Unleavened Bread/Pizza

 It is that time of the year again: Pesach, or Passover.  During this week (since Monday night), my family and I will celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  We don’t eat anything with leaven in it, which means resorting to matzah or unleavened pita for sandwiches, pizza, and so on.  

 I recall the first time my family and I participated in this feast.  It was agonizing trying to figure out what to eat!  It seemed like every time we turned around a bag of food it had a leavening agent in it; however, many things have changed since then.  I realized this morning that our regular diets don’t consist of a lot of leavened foods, which has made Passover quite easy to experience this year.

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 In effort to try something new and not have to buy lots of matzah, I decided that I would attempt unleavened pita.  Unleavened pita is really simple to put together.  All it is, is just flour, warm water, and salt.  I added Italian seasoning to this batch, since it will be used for pizza for dinner.   

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To start you will need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (I heated mine to 95 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

 Start out by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine three cups of flour, one teaspoon of salt, one tablespoon of Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder in a medium bowl.  Set aside the bowl. 

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 Heat 1 cup of water to 95 degrees F and then pour into the flour mixture.  Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.  You may or may not have to add more flour if the dough is too sticky, and vice versa, more water if the dough is too dry and crumbly.  When it is combined and starts to pull away from the edges, dump the dough out onto a floured surface and lightly knead it for a minute.  

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 Separate the dough into twelve pieces then roll them into balls with your hands.  You may have to sort of smash them a bit while you roll.  

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 Cover the dough balls with a damp cloth and let them sit for twelve minutes.  I used a damp paper towel and it worked just fine.  Make sure the surface on which your leave the dough balls on is floured.

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  When the twelve minutes is over, flour a rolling pin and then roll each of the balls out thinly.  Each piece of dough should be about eight inches in diameter each.  

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 Place three or four on a pizza pan that has been sprayed well with non-stick spray.  If you wish to make them into pizzas, then bake for five minutes then take them out, flip them over, top them with your favorite pizza toppings, then bake them for another 8-10 minutes.  The Natives topped their’s with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, turkey pepperoni, and jalapenos (please pardon the lack of the squiggly line over the “n”).  .  

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They came out very well!  They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and The Native enjoyed it so much they requested this as a regular way to have pizza every so often even when it is not Passover.  Who’da thunk?! 

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Cheers and Chag Pesach Sameach!

 

 

Yogurt Banana Bread

 Today is beautiful where I am.  The sun is gloriously shining and the temperature, though not exceedingly warm, is just right.  It felt like a great day to bake!  I decided upon banana bread since I have a bunch of bananas that were getting ready to expire in the next couple of days and banana bread is a great way to use them up!    

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 I have made banana bread several times in the past using a recipe from a Better Homes and Gardens cook book, but today I wanted to try out something slightly different and new: yogurt banana bread!  The recipe I decided to use is from Sweet as a Cookie.  I like how quick I was able to put it together, and that fact that I didn’t have to use an electric mixer was a bonus for me! 

  To begin, you will need these ingredients: 

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  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (I used three since I had a third one that really needed to be used).  
  • 4 tbsp vegetables oil
  • 1 cup yogurt (the original recipe calls for vanilla yogurt, which I did not have, so I just added about 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla to it)
  •  2 eggs 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups flour

 Start out by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, 4 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 cup of yogurt, 2 eggs, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.  

Image I noticed that before I added the banana to the other wet ingredients, it all looked like a smiley face! 😛   Mix it all up then set this bowl aside. 

 In small bowl combine 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 1/2 cups of flour.  

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  Stir the dry ingredients together then add them to the wet ingredients.  

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 Mix up all that yummy-ness! 

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 You will notice from the picture above that I added some raisins (1 cup) to it.  I also added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

 Grease an 8-inch loaf pan well, then pour the batter in there. Into the oven it goes! 

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 I set the timer for forty minutes to begin.  When I checked it at forty minutes, it looked semi-done, but boy was I wrong!  

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 The middle was all gooey still, but the edges were starting to brown.  I took the bread out of the oven and covered the edges with foil to avoid them browning much more then stuck it back in the oven. 

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 I ended up baking it for an additional twenty-two minutes.  It came out a bit darker than I would have liked, but not horribly dark.  Perhaps the adding of cinnamon darkened it a tad? 

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 At any rate, I recommend giving this recipe a try.  The Natives and I certainly enjoyed it! 

Cheers!