Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Baba Ganoush and Flat bread

Baba Ganoush
Baba Ganoush
Baba Ganoush

It's just fun to say. Go ahead. Say it out loud three or four times. It'll make you feel better. It might also be suspicious activity that will make your loved ones look at you funny – but if you’re like me, you won’t notice because you get that look often.

I don't particularly like hummus, which is because I'm not wild about garbanzo beans. I am over the moon for eggplant though. And baba ganoush is basically hummus made with eggplant instead of chick peas. The eggplant I found this past weekend was predestined to be blogged about. And when I was about to hit "GO!" on the food processor, the jar with one big piece of roasted red pepper in the fridge started yelling at me to be used. So I threw it in the mix.

When I started thinking about making the dip, though, I forgot one important thing: Most people don't just eat this with their fingers. I needed flatbread or something. And I did not feel like going back to the store. Which gave me an excuse to try making homemade pita bread!
I was amazed when I took it out of the oven and it had actual little pockets – like real pita bread! Because, you know, I was so afraid of making artificial pita bread.

Now, I was lucky enough to have tahini in my pantry. I am unlucky enough to have a completely disordered pantry. So when I went hunting for the tahini, my incredibly graceful self knocked over a box of pasta, which pushed over a jar of something, which rolled a wee bit before knocking the tahini off the edge of the shelf.

The lesson I’d like you to learn: Tahini splatters.

Baba Ganoush: (adapted from:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 heaped tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 cloves garlic – peeled and minced
  • one very large piece of roasted red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Pierce the sides of the eggplant with a fork four or five times. Put the eggplants on a baking sheet and put them in a 350F oven for 45 minutes. (The original recipe says to turn them, but…um…I forgot).

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out all the yummy goodness inside into your food processor (yes, I broke down and pulled it out for this). Add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, peppers and salt. Give it all a whirl until it’s nice and pureed.
Serve with pita bread

Pita Bread: (almost verbatim from here, because it’s perfect as is:

  • 2 ½ tsp yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • Olive oil, as needed

In a large metal bowl, mix yeast, warm water and sugar. Let it proof for about 10 minutes. Add salt and about 3 cups of flour (whatever combination you’d like). Add the remaining flour ¼ cup at a time until the dough forms a ball.

I knead my dough in the bowl – I have a nice wide metal mixing bowl, and it keeps me from getting flour all over the counter, so I don’t have to go hunting for stray particles of flour under my microwave. Knead for about 4-5 minutes, until smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Put your rack in the center of your oven and get your broiler going. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Punch the dough down and divide it into about 10 pieces (I roughly shaped it into a log and then used a steak knife to cut it into 9 pieces that were about the same size).

Form dough into balls, and cover with a dish towel. Leave to rest for about 10 minutes.
Roll balls into disks that are about 1/8” thick. (I have no clue how thick mine were, but they were probably more like ¼”).

Place 2-3 disks on a baking sheet and broil for about 2 minutes per side. Watch them – as soon as you turn your back, they WILL burn.

Remove from pan and let them cool between kitchen towels (it holds the moisture in). Once cool, store in an airtight container.

Here's a shot of them vey close to finished while baking:

And here's a shot proving that there are actual little bitty pockets deep in there (yeah, it's a horrible picture,but I was so proud of my pockets!):


Dhana said...

wow, home made pita bread that looks so healthy...nice!

Nicole said...

I love baba ganoush but I've never tried making it at home. I can't believe I've never made it since I'm living in 'eggplant land' right now! I make hummus and pita all the time though. I'm going to bookmark this to remind myself to try it sometime! Thanks!

TBC said...

Wow! you made your own pita bread!
It looks great.I've never made baba ganoush (BTW, u're IS fun to say it) 'cos I'm not a big fan of eggplant. I've made hummus heaps of times though :)