Is it a pita or a lepinja? Let’s say flatbread…

Scrolling through the list of DVR’d shows the other night, it occurred to me that if someone didn’t have a clue about our family, they’d have an easy time figuring us out based on the shows we set to record.  Currently, there are multiple children’s shows, science fiction dramas, some comedies, a few HGTV programs, as well as various cooking shows.  I think the combination is rather telling – multi-generational nerdy family with a sense of humor who enjoy cooking and decorating.  Actually, that is very close to is the truth.  What does your DVR say about you?

While I scrolled and mused, I realized that I had 22 episodes of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  I have a fascination with this show, and as I tell my husband, if we ever go to any of these cities, we’ll know where to eat.  So, back to Triple D, I began to read the synopsis of each, and decided to watch the Family Classics episode.  One of the places visited, Cafe Pita, is a Bosnian restaurant in Houston.  The chef baked a pita-like bread called lepinja; I say pita-like as the shape was similar, but the interior seemed both pillowy and craggy.  Unfortunately, the chef didn’t make the lepinja on air, so no recipe.  Intrigued, I began to search and search and search some more, but never found a conclusive recipe.  I decided to experiment and pieced together my own recipe, and  I am incredibly pleased with the results – pillowy and craggy, just as I wanted.  It was the perfect accompaniment to my hummus.

Flatbread
4 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cups warm milk, divided (110 degrees)
2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons canola oil +1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, combine 1/4 cup warm milk, yeast, and honey; let stand until foamy, about 15 minutes.  Measure 4 cups flour in a medium-sized bowl, add salt and baking powder and give it a few turns with a whisk or fork.  Measure 1/2 cup milk and add 2 tablespoons canola oil.  With the mixer on low, add the flour to the yeast mixture.  Slowly pour in the milk and oil mixture.  Pour in the remaining milk and mix until the dough clears the bottom of the bowl.  Switch to dough hook, and knead for 8 minutes.  Remove dough, form into ball, and add 1 teaspoon oil to the same bowl.  Return dough to bowl, turning to coat with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and kitchen towel.  Place in warm spot and allow dough to rise, about 1 hour.  Punch down dough, recover and allow to raise for 1 hour.  Turn dough out onto well-floured area, and cut into 8 equal pieces.  Shape into balls, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes.  Using your fingertips, press balls of dough into pita-like shape, about 5-6″ in diameter.  Place onto well-greased or parchment lined baking sheet, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Bake lepinjas for 5-8 minutes, or until puffed and light golden (internal temperature of 205-210 degrees).  Remove from pan and keep covered with a cloth. Once cool, store in plastic bag.
Enjoy!

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One thought on “Is it a pita or a lepinja? Let’s say flatbread…

  1. I'm sending you a translation of an original Serbian recipe for lepinja, you could try this version:

    Ingredients:

    350 g white flour (350 g is a little bit more than 3/4 of one pound flour)
    30 g fresh yeast
    1 tbs sugar
    1 tbs salt
    8 oz warm water
    2 tbs of warm milk (for yeast growing)

    Mix sugar, salt and yeast with warm milk. Add 2 tbs of flour, mix it well again and let it rest for a few minutes. When yeast dissolves and grows, add the flour and warm water. Start kneading. You should knead it until it doesn't stick to your fingers and gets even, at least for a couple of minutes, add a little bit of flour if consistency is not good. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and place it in warm place (for instance near heater). When your dough grows at least double in size, knead it once again and let it rest until it grows yet again. Then, put it in the greased pan, spread the dough with wet hands until it's about half inch thick and in a shape of a lepinja. Let it rest again for a half-hour, then sprinkle it with water, put it in pre-heated oven and bake it for about 25 minutes/half-hour on 400-420 F. Bake it until it's golden.

    Enjoy 🙂

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