I roasted an eggplant the other day and made Baba ghanoush with it. It was as fantastic as I remembered, and made even more so by a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. Baba ghanoush cries out for pita bread, though.
I was browsing through gluten free pita recipes last night and came across something I hadn’t seen before. Instead of using xanthan gum as a gluten replacement, it used psyllium husk powder. I’m well aware of psyllium husk powder’s “supplemental” usage and the problems it can cause so while I was interested, I was also leery. I then ran across an article on psyllium that said chia seeds have some of the same qualities as psyllium and flax seeds. I had a bag of chia seeds in my cupboard so I experimented with them today.
The results were great. The pitas split the way they were supposed to and they were soft and chewy yet crunchy on the outside. They were practically perfect. Nikki, who is half Italian and very picky about bread and pasta, said she couldn’t tell they were gluten free or vegan. Yay! I served the pitas with turkey/chicken curry salad (turkey for me, chicken for Nikki and Justin), Baba ghanoush and cucumber slices.
1 package quick-rising yeast
1 tsp agave nectar
2 Tbs chia seeds
1 1/2 cups warm water, divided into 1/2 cup increments
1 1/2 cups amaranth flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Add agave nectar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes until water is frothy. Soak chia seeds in 1/2 cup warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, until a gel forms. Combine flours and salt in large bowl using a heavy-duty mixer. Pour in yeast mixture and chia seed gel. Mix on medium speed using a paddle attachment. Slowly add 1/4 to 1/2 cup warm water and mix on medium for 2 minutes. Add enough water so that dough is soft and tacky, not liquid. Divide dough into six pieces and place pieces on surface floured with brown rice flour. Roll or pat each piece into a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Place circles on parchment paper covered baking sheets and cover with a warm, damp towel. Allow pitas to sit in a warm place for about 2 hours or until they have increased in size. Preheat oven to 475* F. Lower oven rack to bottom position. Bake pitas for 5-7 minutes until bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for an additional 4-6 minutes.