Whole Wheat Pita Bread and Baked Falafel

I’m not sure what convinced me that we needed to make these. We have been on a Mediterranean-flavor kick lately and have really enjoyed trying out a lot of new foods. I saw this recipe for homemade pita bread here on Simply Life a couple days ago and decided to try it. My confidence has been growing with yeast breads, and in the post-test hiatus, I have a little bit more time this weekend.

 
Look, it grew! I even did this one without my bread machine since it’s still at my in-laws from when my husband made pizza for the Super Bowl. 
One caution in making the pita bread is that it bakes at 500 degrees F. You may want to make sure that you have a clean oven.  Just saying that your kitchen might get a little bit smoky and the fire alarm may or may not go off if it isn’t. Not that I would know…
Well, what better to pair pita bread with than hummus and falafel? Okay, so falafel may not be the first thing that most people think of, but I have been attempting to replicate the falafel at this little Lebanese restaurant right by our apartment. Their food really is amazing! I’ve tried once before, but the recipes have been really different. Pinto beans and cilantro in one, and garbanzo beans and parsley in another. 

Both recipes were good, but I have to say I prefer this one over the other. While we aren’t to restaurant standards yet, this recipe is a lot closer to the flavors of the dish they serve there. The patties also held their shape a lot better making them much easier to flip in the pan.
I served the falafel patties with the pita bread and some tzatziki sauce that we had leftover from some chicken gyros. Pretty good meal if I do say so myself. The hubby has been snacking on the leftover pita bread all day, so it must have passed the test 🙂


Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Ingredients:
1 pkg. quick rising yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1-1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1-1/4 tsp. salt plus an extra pinch
1 tsp. sugar
1 c. warm water

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 c. warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl. Make a small whole in the center of the flour and pour yeast mixture into the center. Slowly add in 1 cup of warm water and stir together. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes.

Lightly coat large bowl with non-stick spray and place dough in the bowl, turning the dough over so it is completely covered with spray. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let sit for about 90 minutes in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (I turned the oven on and set the bowl near the oven to keep it warm).

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place the rack at the bottom of the oven, and put the baking sheet in the oven to preheat it. 
Separate the dough into 12 equal balls and place them on a lightly floured surface. Cover with a cloth and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Roll out each ball of dough into a circle. Bake a couple at a time on the baking sheet, allowing room between circles, for about 4 minutes. Turn the dough oven and bake for an additional 2 minutes. Serve warm.

Baked Falafel
Ingredients:
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
non-stick spray

Place garbanzo beans, parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and baking soda in a food processor. Process until the mixture is coarsely pureed. Mix garbanzo bean mixture and onion together in a bowl. Stir in the flour and egg.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick spray. Warm a skillet on the stove-top over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick spray. Form the mixture into patties and set in the skillet. Cook until golden brown or about 3 minutes on each side. 

Place patties in the pan (or alternately if you have an oven-safe skillet, you can just put this in the oven) and bake until heated through, about 10 minutes.
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