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ISO: Pita pockets that open properly


Darienne

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Sent Ed to buy Pita Pockets for luncheon stuffings and alas, he bought pitas which actually say right on the package...they are pitas without pockets.  Oh, right.  Ed does not read labels.

 

So I sent him back again and this time stressed that the pita package had to say that it had pockets.  Oh, but then, I didn't know there were pitas with pockets which didn't open properly at all.  The brand says right on the package:  Pocket Pouch Pita Bread.  And this time Ed did read the labels.  And today we used them and had to pretty much butcher the pitas to get the pockets open.

 

I seem to recall in the past, buying Pocket Pita and they were not a problem to cut open at all.

 

Please help me.  Tell me what pocket pitas from regular Ontario grocery stores you use that can be opened reasonably easily.  Thanks. 

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

We live in hope. 

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42 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

They seem to be thin buns rather than pita.  They do look interesting. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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I made my very first flatbreads yesterday (in just over an hour, start to finish). And then today called up King Arthur to find out what I could fix for next time. This is the King Arthur recipe for Quick and Easy Flatbreads which uses a stand mixer and some kneading. Because my hands don't really work, I was advised by King Arthur (long ago) to do all of my bread making in the bread machine.  @Darienne, I can send you my revised recipe if you're interested.

 

I especially like the part where Clara told me that the pockets in the dough are a feature, not a bug. 😃

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16 minutes ago, Anna N said:

They seem to be thin buns rather than pita.  They do look interesting. 

 

I just measured them. They are 5/8" thick, 4" across and weigh 70 grams each.

 

Edited to add:  the brand also makes mini pitas which can also be made into a pocket but they are quite a bit thinner than these.  I know I have 2 of those buns in the stand-up freezer but I can't find them to measure them.

Edited by ElsieD (log)
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13 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

Did they have pockets in them when you were finished? Or is that the revision that you made?

 

They made inner balloons of their own accord and the balloons were not evenly distributed across the entire flatbread. I didn't investigate opening up the flatbread, so I don't know how much pocket was actually there.

 

Because I was trying to convert the recipe to bread machine, I didn't use all the flour I should have, and it didn't mix properly. I was concerned that the puffed up flatbread wouldn't cook properly on the second side. That's when Clara (from King Arthur) told me the puffiness was a feature, not a bug.

 

Clara did say that people often use flatbreads as a wrap. Mild tasting bread-like which is wrapped around spicy meat and vegetables.

 

I will try to remember to report back when I know more.

 

Edited to add: There are photos of the flatbread on King Arthur recipe here.

 

 

 

Edited by TdeV (log)
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11 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

I just measured them. They are 5/8" thick, 4" across and weigh 70 grams each.

 

Edited to add:  the brand also makes mini pitas which can also be made into a pocket but they are quite a bit thinner than these.  I know I have 2 of those buns in the stand-up freezer but I can't find them to measure them.

Yes. I saw the mini pitas made by the bakery. According to the site they do have a pocket. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Thanks all so far.  I was in this case looking for pocket pitas and not flat-breads which Ed has bought also.  Ed was having a hamburger and I was having what Superstore calls the World's Best Meatless Burgers.  And yes, they are pretty good.  And no I'm not a vegetarian.  

 

And no, I don't want to make them.  I already make most of what we eat and sometimes I just want to grab a couple of pre-made things and assemble them with no muss and no fuss.  

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

We live in hope. 

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I was amazed at how very few options are offered by Fortino's online grocery store as far pitas go! I could find only a single brand with pockets: Cedar Bakery. They are described as Lebanese style. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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In my experience, it's practically impossible to guarantee that the pitas you purchase have easily opened pockets. Freshness helps.  I have a local Syrian bakery (sorry, not near Ontario) where I can get pitas that I'm certain are baked the night before, and that's given me the greatest chance for success, but, even those are sometimes difficult to pry apart.  I'm reasonably certain that manufacturing plays a role, and that, even if they come out of the oven puffed sky high, if they aren't completely cooled, the tiniest amount of steam will cause the centers to bond.  I'm also sure that packaging plays a role- the more pitas are stacked on top of each other, the more likely the centers will stick.

 

It looks like Scarborough has Lebanese and Syrian bakeries.  If those are close enough, I'd see what they offer.  In my area, Indian grocers typically carry pitas.  The packaging doesn't look too terribly local, but, the turnover/freshness might be better than a typical supermarket.

 

If you have a local MIddle Eastern restaurant that sells sandwiches, you could give them a call and see where they're sourcing their pitas from. Once you start selling falafel and hummus sandwiches, perfectly pocketed pitas become critical.

I might be bordering on heresy here, but, I eventually just gave up on finding pitas and used tortillas in those recipes instead. A tortilla isn't a pita, exactly, but, for sandwich making purposes, it's close enough, imo.

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10 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I was amazed at how very few options are offered by Fortino's online grocery store as far pitas go! I could find only a single brand with pockets: Cedar Bakery. They are described as Lebanese style. 

That's hilarious.  That's actually the very brand which I had to hack into to get apart at lunch today.  I'll admit I don't have the knife skills of a surgeon...but surely that's not called for when using a pita with a pocket.

 

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

We live in hope. 

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Just now, Darienne said:

That's hilarious.  That's actually the very brand which I had to hack into to get apart at lunch today.  I'll admit I don't have the knife skills of a surgeon...but surely that's not called for when using a pita with a pocket.

 

As @scott123said it is rare that all the pitas in a package open up easily. I don't think you have too many options in Peterborough. But I don't think you are any worse off than the rest of us unless we have access to Mediterranean bakeries. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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4 minutes ago, scott123 said:

In my experience, it's practically impossible to guarantee that the pitas you purchase have easily opened pockets. Freshness helps.  I have a local Syrian bakery (sorry, not near Ontario) where I can get pitas that I'm certain are baked the night before, and that's given me the greatest chance for success, but, even those are sometimes difficult to pry apart.  I'm reasonably certain that manufacturing plays a role, and that, even if they come out of the oven puffed sky high, if they aren't completely cooled, the tiniest amount of steam will cause the centers to bond.  I'm also sure that packaging plays a role- the more pitas are stacked on top of each other, the more likely the centers will stick.

 

It looks like Scarborough has Lebanese and Syrian bakeries.  If those are close enough, I'd see what they offer.  In my area, Indian grocers typically carry pitas.  The packaging doesn't look too terribly local, but, the turnover/freshness might be better than a typical supermarket.

 

If you have a local MIddle Eastern restaurant that sells sandwiches, you could give them a call and see where they're sourcing their pitas from. Once you start selling falafel and hummus sandwiches, perfectly pocketed pitas become critical.

I might be bordering on heresy here, but, I eventually just gave up on finding pitas and used tortillas in those recipes instead. A tortilla isn't a pita, exactly, but, for sandwich making purposes, it's close enough, imo.

When I used to do the shopping...lo! these many years...I bought pitas and they always came apart easily.  

 

No we are not near Scarborough and we enter Toronto only when forced to.  

 

As for Middle Eastern restaurants...Apparently we now have quite a selection.  (We don't eat out much at all anymore. )  And some serve falafel in pita pockets.   Wow!  a new Indian restaurant which is reasonably priced (in my estimation).  Strangely in our experience, all the local Indian restaurants have very high prices which traditionally was not our experience with Indian restaurants.  Thanks @scott123 for pointing me in that direction.  

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

We live in hope. 

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28 minutes ago, Darienne said:

As for Middle Eastern restaurants...Apparently we now have quite a selection.  (We don't eat out much at all anymore. )  And some serve falafel in pita pockets.


This might be cost prohibitive, but you could see if any of these restaurants will sell you a bag of pitas.

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When I have difficulty opening pockets in pitas, I usually find that 20 seconds in the microwave on medium puffs them up allowing them to be split more easily. I know it works with the ones I have access to but no guarantees it will work with yours.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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7 hours ago, Darienne said:

When I used to do the shopping...lo! these many years...I bought pitas and they always came apart easily.  

 

Same for me, many decades ago here in Seattle. Now, it's a different story. Just last week I bought the only pita breads in the store (Safeway) advertised on the label as being "pocket pitas." And my experience was much the same as yours, Darienne. Rather impossible to get them to open up without tearing them to shreds. 

 

*EDITED TO FIX TYPOS*

 

Edited by SusieQ
Fix typos (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's yesterday's download from a forum that I follow:

https://www.facebook.com/TheMediterraneanDish

 

You'll notice that this meal is stuffed into a pita pocket.  Casually.  Without comment.  As if all pitas had pockets and all pockets opened readily and you could just stuff them at will.  No discussion about how you have to search for a pita with an opening pocket, or how when you find a pita with pockets, you can't get the ruddy things open.  

 

Just thought I'd post it. 

 

And apparently I can't post it on the specific recipe.  It's down from the top about 5 items.  

Edited by Darienne (log)
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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

We live in hope. 

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