Pitta breads and frugal eating

Frugal living is a bit trendy now, but it's not so much fun when it's done out of necessity (something to do with having the choice, I think). However, it's nowhere I've not been before and even food I ate when I was cash strapped student can be made nice, with the addition of some thing like...home made pitta bread. I used the recipe from the BBC recipe site here. If you don't like clicking on links, I've popped my tweaked version of the recipe at the end of this post. (It's really just a basic bread formula).

As I don't have a large kitchen work space, I used a little child's rolling pin to roll them out with. Which did the job nicely. They have to be rolled out very, very thinly, to get the magic 'puff'. Otherwise you end up with proper flat breads.

Personally I'm not too fussed about getting equal sizes, as you can see. I also dust the tray with just flour, no fat or oil. A very hot oven should make them puff and form the handy pockets.

They take about 5 minutes to bake, depending on your oven. Mine's a bit dodgy and is nick named 'Dante's Inferno', for good reason.

I used two packs of very cheap savoury rice (25p each) to complete the meal. As we couldn't possibly eat all of it, there are leftovers. The cost of the meal is under £1 per head, for two. And of course, if you're feeling flush, you could also add chopped sausage, chicken bits or anything tasty to go with it.

Basic Pitta breads (UK recipe)

250g bread flour
1x 7g sachet instant yeast
1 tsp of salt
a good glug of oil (I used olive oil)
160 ml of warm water.

Mix the dry ingredients, then the glug (1-2 tablespoons) of oil. Add two thirds of the water and bring the dough together, adding more of the water if you need it (I always do). You should have a soft dough which is not sticky. Leave it to rise until it's a good size, the usual 'doubled in size' is a good bench mark. Split the dough into 6 or 8 bits, depending on how large you want your pittas. Roll them out very thinly, using spare flour for dusting. I bake mine in batches of two, in a hot oven. They should take about 5 - 8 minutes each, depending on your oven. That's it. Then add them to something nice. 


Karren said...

Who says you can't eat well on a frugal budget! Those look yummy, and now I'm going to have to try them. This is one of those things I've always meant to make but just never got around to it. Thanks for the example, maybe I'll get off my duff and try it! I have lots of good lettuces and cilantro coming up in the garden to throw in there too. Yummmm.

Ross Jacka said...

Something that helps is to save your potato water and use it as the liquid.

BumbleVee said...

oooh, they look very nice Gretel... I'm going to bake me some too....today I am baking Alexandra's Mom's Peasant Bread again...it is so simple and quick.

some day I want her cook book because she uses it as the basic dough for several breads from the sound of it...

tonight we are having rice stuffed red peppers... they were on sale, so pretty frugal too... a bit of leftover chicken in it and some bits of carrots, green onions and celery ... should be tasty enough. And, I made my first cole slaw dressing yesterday for some cabbage I bought... much better than the stuff I've had in the past from a shop for sure.

Yarrow said...

I've used your recipe several times this week. It's tasty as well as cheap :D

Granny Sue said...

I've been there more than once in my life, Gretel. So I know what you mean about frugality out of necessity. But you made the best of it here, and that's the key to keeping perspective. Wishing I could share some of this garden bounty with you--and the overabundance of eggs from our hens. I swear I am going to start clucking soon!