Herbed Pita Bread with Grilled Pork & Tzatziki

I’ve tried making pita bread only once before. The results were quite mediocre which is why I was never tempted to try it again. However, as time has passed, I’ve gained a little experience and confidence in the baking department. The other day, when we were stuck at home thanks to a continuous downpour that showed no signs of stopping, I had to think of  something for supper.

pita bread recipe

grilled pork and pita

The only meat we had was a fillet of pork and a cucumber was the only vegetable left in the fridge. The decision was made to grill the meat and make a salad using the cucumber. But then, what do we eat it with? There was no bread  in the house and that was how I went about trying my hand at home made pita bread once again.

pitta bread

I looked online for easy recipes and found a reliable here. The only addition I made were some dried herbs to give the bread some extra flavour. Although it does require a bit of time, as any bread making process does, I found it to be a relatively fuss free procedure and we were very happy with the fluffy, crisp breads that came out of the oven. They were much better than store bought ones which tend to be on the heavier, stodgier side for some reason.

The grilled meat and tzatziki I made are quite simple too and don’t require too much of your attention.

souvlaki pork

All in all, a lovely light yet gratifying meal for a rainy evening.

Herbed Pita Bread

Ingredients

300g plain flour

2 tsp instant yeast

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed

2 tbsp olive oil

about 190-200ml water

Method

Mix all the ingredients except water in a large bowl. Add the water, a little at a time, to make it all come together. Knead the dough by hand or using a mixer until it becomes smooth and elastic. It takes about 10 minutes if you’re doing it manually. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a piece of lightly oiled clingfilm and leave it to rise. This takes about an hour depending on the temperature in your kitchen.

pita bread dough

Once doubled in size, scrap the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll them into balls. Roll one ball into a small circle or oblong shape with roughly the same thickness all around. Place this on a baking sheet. Once the baking sheet has as many rolled out pitas as it can hold, leave it aside, uncovered, while you preheat the oven to 250C (conventional). As you’re rolling out each piece of dough, keep the rest covered with a tea towel.

home made pita

pita dough

Once the oven is hot enough, place the baking sheet on the lowest rack. Bake the bread for 5 minutes or until they puff up. Then transfer them to the middle of the oven so they can get nice brown spots on the top.

Remove from oven and place wrapped in a tea towel or piece of foil in a plate. Repeat with all the pieces of rolled out dough.

fresh pita

I got 6 pitas out of this recipe. Enough to last the two of us for two meals.

Grilled Pork

Ingredients (Serves 2)

250-300g pork fillet

3-4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sweet paprika powder

1/2 tsp hot paprika powder

a pinch of fennel seeds

1 tsp dried oregano

juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper to season

1 large red pepper cut into large chunks

Method

Cut the meat into cubes. Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make a marinade. Coat the meat with this mixture and leave it to marinate for at least an hour if not longer.

Preheat the oven on its grill mode at a high setting (around 250C). Skewer the meat and pepper pieces onto metal or bamboo skewers. If using bamboo skewers, remember to soak them in cold water for 10-15 minutes before using to prevent them from burning.

Place the skewers under the grill and cook until done and the edges of the meat and pepper are charred, turning the skewers around occasionally for even cooking.

souvlaki style pork

grilled pork

Remove and serve right away.

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

One half of a cucumber

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

2 small pots of yoghurt (preferably Greek yoghurt) – about 250ml

juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper to season

Method

Grate the cucumber using the large holes of a box or other grater. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the grated cucumber using your hands, a little at a time. Place this in a bowl. Stir in all the other ingredients and mix well.

tzatziki

Check for seasoning and add more garlic, lemon, salt or pepper as required.

pita and pork

The combination of grilled meat and tzatziki went really well with the fresh pita. Definitely a must try if  you ever have the time!

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