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July/August 2001
Knead Your Stress Away

By Charles Margulis


If I get to feeling overly stressed, it’s usually because I’m not spending enough time in the kitchen. That’s when I make bread. Some water, a pinch of yeast, flour (from organically grown grain), salt and time is all it takes. The timing is key, both for the bread and for my sanity. Bread operates on its own timetable, it can’t be rushed and can’t always be predicted. A worthy counter to my generally impatient nature. And the result tastes good, too!
Charles Margulis, Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Campaign

Easy Bread Recipe
By Charles Margulis

A bread recipe I like to share, especially with people who say they can’t bake, is this one for pita bread. A deceptively simple recipe, the steps for making this dough are the same as for any yeasted bread, with a few additions (toasted walnuts, raisins, etc.), it can be baked as a loaf for many other bread varieties.

The evening before you will bake the bread, mix together:
1 1/2 C. Filtered Water (room temp)
Pinch of Yeast (1/4 t. for those who like exact measurements)

Let stand 2 minutes and add:
1 C. Organic Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 C. Organic Bread Flour (or any unbleached organic white flour)

Mix vigorously for two minutes. It should look like a thick pancake batter. Let sit overnight (at least 7 hours; longer is okay) at room temperature.

In the morning add:
1 C. Filtered Water
1/4 C. Oil (a nice olive oil, safflower is also fine)
1 T. Molasses
2 C. Organic Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 t. Salt

1. Mix ingredients together until a dough forms, then turn onto a lightly floured board and start kneading (you can also use a sturdy mixer with a dough hook, kneading at the lowest speed).

2. Knead in another 1/4 to 1/2 C. of whole wheat flour, as needed, to make a soft but not too sticky dough (roll a piece of dough into a ball; it should hold its shape with little sag. If it droops a lot, it’s probably still too sticky).

3. After 10 to15 minutes of kneading, form the dough into a ball and let it rest for 3 to 4 hours. It should be about doubled in volume after 3 hours.

4. Pre-heat oven to 500° (or as high as it goes). When the oven is almost ready, divide the dough into 8 pieces, forming each into a smooth ball.

5. With a rolling pin, roll out each ball between 1/4 and 1/2” thick (to form round discs about 6 to 7” across). If you want sesame seeds on top, sprinkle lightly toasted seeds on the dough half-way through rolling and roll them in.

6. Place two pitas on a lightly floured baking sheet. (To insure bottoms don’t burn, double two baking sheets together; these are also great baked right on a baking stone, which should be preheated with the oven.)

7. Let the rolled pita stand 10 to 15 minutes before baking. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, once pockets form they should bake no more than another minute.

Makes 8 pita breads


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