The Pita part:
Yield: 8 pitas
3 cups flour, plus 1/2-3/4 cup more as needed
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar or honey
1 packet instant yeast
1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups water, roughly at room temperature
2 tbsp. olive oil, vegetable oil, butter or shortening
Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and 1 ¼ cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water. (I didn’t find that I needed any more)
Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes. As the dough is mixing, continue to add flour, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and is tacky but not sticky. (I add a significant amount of flour, so don’t be afraid to keep adding more until you reach the right consistency.)
When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the dough around so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.
When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it will be easier to shape.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450°. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while it is preheating. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.
After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between ¼ – 1/8” thick – 6 inches in diameter. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently, you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5-10 minutes before trying again.
Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet or parchment paper and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.
Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn’t necessary. (Mine took about 6 minutes, but weren’t crispy)
Source: Brown Eyed Baker
My notes on the Pita Bread:
I suck at making anything with yeast. These actually turned out and were quite yummy. Definitely better than the dry crap you buy at the store, although very time consuming. The jury is out as to if I will make them again. I’m guessing I will since I love gyros so much and I can’t imagine eatting one with the store bought crap unless I find something other than what I’ve had before.
On to the fun part!
The Tzaztiki sauce and Chicken part:
For the tzatziki sauce:
16 oz. plain yogurt (not nonfat, if possible)
1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
For the chicken:
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tbsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 lbs. chicken pieces (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, sliced thin
To make the tzatziki sauce, strain the yogurt using cheesecloth over a bowl. Let strain for several hours or overnight, if possible, to remove as much moisture as possible. (I set the cheesecloth in a strainer and put that over a bowl and it worked really well.)
Shred the cucumber. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. (I added a bit more lemon juice to get the sauce to my liking)
To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. (I skipped the s&p since the oregano will be all the seasoning you will taste, so why add more sodium?) Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. (I butterflied the chicken breasts and then cooked them under the broiler.) Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips.
Source: adapted from Elly Says Opa
My notes on the sauce and chicken:
They were great! As noted I just added a bit more lemon juice to the sauce out of preference. Ok, I need to confess. I’ve only had gyros from my small little hometown before, so I don’t know how authentic they are, but I love them. This sauce is just like theirs, so it was a homerun in my book. But for the food snobs out there, I don’t know how these will compare. The gyros that I have had are also served with shredded lettuce and feta cheese. I think they would really be lacking without the cheese.
My notes within the recipe will be in this blue.
Both recipes are from annies-eats.com