Another day, another dip. I am very into bread and dips at the moment. I have been going through them by the bucket-load. It’s so hot, that I am trying to limit my cooking to every other day. Some bread and dip is all I need to satisfy me on a hot summers eve. Once again I picked up some beetroot cheap and was looking for another interesting way to use them. This dip is easy and tasty and it’s bright pink!!! What more could you ask for? Feta was the ideal thing to pair it with but you could easily use Greek yoghurt or sour cream instead. I found a jar of feta cubes in my local store which I used but I believe they have real feta at Homeplus and the foreign food mart in Itaewon. If you are vegan then just skip the dairy completely, the roasted beet tastes great on it’s own.
I also decided it was about time I learned to make real pita bread. My flat bread recipe is awesome, but I wanted to take it to the next level. I scoured pinterest and found this recipe. It is by far and away the best recipe I have ever come across for pita bread and my most successful to date. They puffed up beautifully when rising. Sadly they did not get as big as the ones on the site, but I have since discovered that is because the top heating element on my oven has broken, so they are rather on the pale side and not as golden brown as they could be. But they still tasted wonderful. I will definitely be making more the second my new oven arrives.
2 – 3 cloves of garlic
50g of feta (I used about 10 small cubes)
A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon yeast (I used instant)
1 1/4 cups of warm water
1 teaspoon of salt
31/2 cups of flour (450g)
To make the pita bread dissolve yeast in water for about 5 minutes in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add salt and 1 ½ cups flour and with the dough hook or with a whisk, beat to make a batter. Add additional flour until a rough, shaggy mass is formed. Knead with your hands for 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it is too sticky.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into six pieces for large pitas or ten for smaller. I make all sorts of sizes to suit different snacks and meals. Form dough into balls, then flatten with a rolling pin into ¼ inch thick discs. Try and keep an even thickness as this is what helps them ‘puff’.
Let rest on the floured surface 30-40 minutes until slightly puffed.
Preheat oven to 425F.
With a large spatula, flip the rounds of dough upside down on to a baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes until light golden. Stick around for the first five minutes of baking when the pitas perform their magic and puff up from flat pancakes to proud, four inch high pitas.
These store for up to two days well wrapped or frozen for three weeks.
To make the dip, you need to roast the beetroots for about an hour at 185 degrees Celsius until they are soft in the middle. If they are small to medium you can keep them whole, if they are large cut them in half. If you like you can drizzle a little olive oil on the beetroot first to stop it drying out, but its not 100 % necessary if you are looking to keep the calorie count down. When the beetroots have roasted they should be easy enough to peel, be mindful of pink hands though! Chop the beetroot into pieces and put it in the blender and blend with the garlic. You can roast the garlic first to take the edge off of it or keep it raw, it’s up to you. When you have a beautiful beetroot paste crumble in the feta and blend again. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste and maybe a little more feta. Voilà roast beetroot and feta dip with home-made pita bread.