Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hummus is so easy to make!! (Pita is more complicated, though.)

A few days before I left Ann Arbor for the West Coast, I made hummus from scratch. It was really fast (like 10 minutes fast) and easy and tasted way better than store-bought and kept in my fridge for over a week. Cool!

I enjoyed my hummus making so much that when I was packing to leave I actually said "Noooo, part of me just wants to stay here and keep blending things!"

But California is fun. Seriously the only downside to the apartment I'm subletting for the summer is that we don't have a blender.

Anyway, if you DO have a blender, I encourage you to make some hummus:

I got this recipe from It's the second result when you google "hummus recipe."

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced and then mashed
  • 2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

In a blender, combine the mashed garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.

Oh, I almost forgot. I also made some pita to go along with it. The pita was kind of a pain in the ass (get it? the pita was kind of a PITA! HA!) but it wasn't actually hard, it just needed a lot of tending to and you have to let the dough hang out overnight, etc.

I used the smitten kitchen recipe. Good old Deb.

Pita Bread

3 cups plus a scant 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I used half white / half whole wheat)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast (I had not-instant yeast and I was worried it wasn't going to work but it was fine. I just had to put it in some warm water first. I don't really understand yeast yet. Just follow the directions on whatever package you have and stay calm.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature

1. About 1 1/2 hours before shaping, or for best flavor development, 8 hours to 3 days ahead, mix the dough.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for a scant 1/4 cup of the flour. With a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until all the flour is moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together.

Sprinkle a little of the reserved flour onto the counter and scrape the dough onto it. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding as little of the reserved flour as possible. Use a bench scraper to scrape the dough and gather it together as you knead it. At this point it will be very sticky. Cover it with the inverted bowl and allow it to rest for 5 to 20 minutes. (This rest will make the dough less sticky and easier to work with.)

Knead the dough for another 5 to 10 minutes or until it is soft and smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. Add a little flour or water if necessary. (The dough will weigh about 27.75 oz./793 grams.)

2. Let the dough rise: Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a 2-quart or larger dough-rising container or bowl, lightly greased with cooking spray or oil. Press the dough down and lightly spray or oil the top of it. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape, mark the side of the container at approximately where double the height of the dough would be. Refrigerate the dough overnight (or up to 3 days), checking every hour for the first 4 hours and pressing it down if it starts to rise.

3. Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 475°F one hour before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone, cast-iron skillet, or baking sheet on it before preheating.

4. Shape the dough: Cut the dough into 8 or 12 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth. On a lightly floured counter, with lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Cover the dough with oiled plastic and allow it to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes before baking.

5. Bake the pita: Quickly place 1 piece of dough directly on the stone or in the skillet or on the baking sheet, and bake for 3 minutes. The pita should be completely puffed but not beginning to brown. The dough will not puff well if it is not moist enough. See how the pita puffs, then, if necessary, spray and knead each remaining piece with water until the dough is soft and moist; allow to rest again and reroll as before.

Proceed with the remaining dough, baking 3 or 4 pieces at a time if using a stone or baking sheet. Transfer the pita breads to a clean towel, to stay soft and warm. Allow the oven to reheat for 5 minutes between batches. The pitas can be reheated for about 30 seconds in a hot oven before serving.

1 comment:

  1. woah I am so impressed that you made pita!!!!

    good old deb.