Pitas Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

homemade pita flatbread greek easy delicious healthy cancer cooking recipes

Pitas Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

Ease of Preparation:
Intermediate Recipe if you are a baker
Advanced Recipe if you have no experience baking

Dish Description:
Pitas are the simplest form of bread. Pitas are the Eastern Mediterranean equivalent of French bread. They are good with everything. Pitas are good by themselves, served with a spread like hummus or baba ghannouj. With a little extra oil, they are perfect for sandwiches. They are very easy to make, but there is a learning curve. Especially when learning when the dough is properly proofed. When pitas are properly proofed, the dough is malleable and easy to work with and will retain the shape you stretch it out to. When improperly proofed, they will be difficult to work with. The other important part of making pitas is to make sure that you kneed the dough properly to develop nice long gluten proteins. Otherwise, they will not poof correctly and will be difficult to stretch.

Tasting Guidelines:
This recipe should taste sweet and savory with yeasty undertones.
The weight of this recipe is medium.
The texture of this recipe is soft.
This recipe is good for people with low to moderate treatment side effects.
This recipe gives an emotional response of yummy warm bread goodness.
This recipe is best categorized as Eastern Mediterranean.

Food Ingredients:
3 c. flour (plus some extra for rolling out)
2 tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil is fine
1–2 cups of warm, but not hot water
1 packet yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt

Recipe Directions:
Activate your yeast as directed on yeast packet. Next, in a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the water. Mix. Add water as necessary until you make a proper bread dough ball. After dough ball is formed, knead about 10 minutes or until bread develops some nice gluten. The dough will start soft, then get firm, then get extremely soft again. At this point, you know that you have kneaded enough. This is when a kitchen mixer is fantastic with a dough hook. Dough should look and feel like bread dough. Not too sticky, not too dry.

If it’s too sticky, mix in more flour. If too dry, add more water. Allow to rise in a warm, humid area covered with a moist towel or paper towel to keep it wet or keep it from drying out for at least 3 hours. The longer it rises, the better of a flavor it will develop. But 24 hours is probably way too long. Remove dough from bowl. Cut into balls 2–3 inches in diameter. Should make about 8. Allow to rest about an hour.

At this time, take a pizza stone and put it in your oven. Heat as hot as it will go without burning down the house. Heat to at least, 425°F. If you do not have a pizza stone, you should go out and get one. They are about fifteen dollars, and you can even order them off the Internet. Take a baking sheet or an upside down pan and use that instead. The idea here is to have a flat, hot surface to shock the dough into cooking.

Roll out one ball of dough. You want it thin, but not paper thin. Paper thin will burn, and if it’s too thick it will cook more like a naan bread. The idea here is to get it somewhere between 1–2 millimeters in thickness. If the dough will not stay rolled out in length and begins to contract, roll the dough back into a ball and allow to process longer. Assuming your dough is happy and healthy, what we want to do is throw each pita onto the stone or pan and allow it to cook until it makes a poof, or a pita pocket.

If you did everything correct, this will happen, and you will have a nice light brown pita with a perfect pocket. If you are like me and didn’t do everything correctly down to the last detail, you will get some nice bubbles throughout the entirety of the dough and a very pliable pita perfect for making sandwiches.

Depending on the temperature of your oven, this process should take about 2–4 minutes. Remember to allow your stone or pan to come back up to temperature in between making pitas. I like to roll them out one by one so I can be certain to hit the correct temperature in between.

Chef Recipe Tips:
With pitas, practice makes perfect. Do not get discouraged if they do not turn out perfectly the first time. This same recipe can be used to make fresh pizza dough! I simply increase the oil from 2 tbsp. to a 1/2 of a c. Increasing the oil makes the dough softer and spongier when cooked. It also helps maintain moisture after cooking. This recipe will yield two large pizzas. If you like really crispy pitas or pizza, remove the oil entirely. These pitas are perfect for making sandwiches or serving with dips and tapenades, like hummus or baba ganoush.

Cooking for Chemo focuses on teaching you how to make your food taste good again during cancer and chemotherapy treatments. The flavor and cooking techniques contained within our easy to make recipes will help improve your quality of life as you go through cancer and chemotherapy treatments. Our cooking and flavor techniques can be integrated with any diet regimine. All of our recipes can be made with organic ingredients if you choose. Our holistic approach to cooking will help you not only be able to eat but to also enjoy the taste of your food again during and after cancer and chemotherapy treatments. We have many healthy recipes, crockpot recipes, chicken recipes, dinner recipes, shrimp recipes, pasta recipes, soup recipes, vegan recipes, salad recipes, vegetarian recipes, breakfast recipes, and even a great chili recipe. Talk with your oncologist and dietitian to come up with a quality nutrition plan. This site is not to be taken as or used instead of professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor, oncologist, and dietitian before starting any new diet.

This recipe is taken from Cooking for Chemo …and After! By Chef Ryan Callahan -The Cancer Chef. For more cooking for chemotherapy recipes like this, you can pick up a copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Have specific questions? Email us at cookingforchemo@gmail.com

About the Author:

Chef Ryan Callahan is a classically trained chef with fifteen years of culinary experience. He is also the author of "Cooking for Chemo ...and After!" Chef Ryan acted as his mother's primary caregiver while she herself went through chemotherapy treatments.