Baked Falafel and Pita Bread

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I looove falafel and I have always wanted to make pita, so I decided to make these for my mom on her birthday!  She’s also a fan of falafel.  I don’t like to fry foods, so I looked through my Google Reader to see if anyone had tried baked falafel and I found this recipe from A Year in the Kitchen.  It turned out really well!  If wasn’t as crispy as if they were fried, but they still has some crisp to them.  I made the patties very thin to try to get the crunch.  Here’s the recipe:

Baked Falafel-totally make-able in Russia!

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and patted dry
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, about a handful

Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until everything is well mixed and ground well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours (I did this overnight).

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.  Heavily grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Make 9 thin patties from the falafel mixture and bake for 10 minutes, turn, and bake for 5 more.

I served these with cucumbers, hummus and pita.  I also like them with red bell peppers!

Pita Bread – this recipe is not so Russia friendly.  I’m not so sure you can get bread flour there, but maybe you could make if with regular flour. Anyone know the difference between all purpose and bread flour?

Adapted from Gourmet 2003 (I halved their recipe)

  • 1/2  package active dry yeast (1 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 3/4 cups warm water (105–115°F)
  • 1 cups bread flour or high-gluten flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheets

Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

While yeast mixture stands, stir together flours in another bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup flour mixture into yeast mixture until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Stir in oil, salt, remaining warm water, and remaining flour mixture until a dough forms.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, working in just enough additional flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough and cut into 4 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten 1 ball, then roll out into a 6 1/2- to 7-inch round on floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer round to 1 of 2 baking sheets lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Make 3 more rounds in same manner, arranging them on baking sheets. Loosely cover pitas with 2 clean kitchen towels (not terry cloth) and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Set oven rack in lower third of oven and remove other racks. Preheat oven to 500°F with a baking stone inside.

Transfer  pitas, 1 at a time, directly onto the stone. Bake until just puffed and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over with tongs and bake 1 minute more. Cool pitas on a cooling rack 2 minutes, then stack and wrap loosely in a kitchen towel to keep pitas warm. Bake remaining 3 pitas in same manner. Serve warm.

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