Sunday, July 27, 2008


While my boyfriend taught his class, I spent Sunday afternoon sitting outside, reading blogs and newspapers, and shelling 3/4 lb fresh garbanzo beans.

For the pita, I started the dough in the morning. In a large bowl, I mixed 1.5 cup white flour, 3 cup whole wheat "bread" flour (whole wheat flour with 2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten per cup), 1/2 Tbsp salt, 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 cup warm water, and 3 Tbsp olive oil. I mixed the dough by wooden spoon and kneaded it by hand, rolled it into a tight ball, and left it in the bowl covered with saran wrap to rise.

With the dough made and the beans shelled, the rest of dinner came together in less than an hour. I set the baking stone in the oven and preheated 500°F. Then I cut the dough into four pieces, and flattened into pitas. (It turns out that the oven bounce for this dough, after seven hours of proofing, is a lot: the pitas you want are at least eight inches diameter and about a quarter inch thick before cooking. I did not achieve this.) With the oven heated, I transfered the shaped pitas to the stone with the pizza paddle. The pitas need to cook roughly 10 minutes, but I checked them regularly.

I boiled the washed garbanzos at least 30 minutes, with some whole garlic cloves added to flavor the water. (I would put garlic into the falafel, except I'm mildly allergic to garlic.) My boyfriend drained, cooled, and mashed the cooked garbanzos, adding salt, cumin seed that he mashed in the mortar and pestle, and minced parsley. Then he mixed in an egg and some flour. I heated a wok with an inch or so of vegetable oil, and continued to add flour until the dough was workable. Then I rolled the garbanzo mush into balls and fried directly in the oil, removing them to a bowl lined with paper towel when the outside had turned a golden brown.

Meanwhile, my boyfriend prepared a tatziki with plain goat yogurt, sesame seeds, salt, julienned lemon cucumber, diced sweet red pepper, and shredded iceberg or green butter lettuce. We transfered everything to serving bowls, and prepared the individual sandwiches at the table. Delish.

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