miércoles, abril 30, 2008

WTSIM…Breakfast – The thinnest home made pittas with cretan goat cheese (xynomizithra) and honey

Everyone who has ever tasted these pittas…just dies for them. It’s my special occasion / holidays breakfast (and even dinner sometimes). The ingredients are very simple, the whole “mystery” lies on the technique they are made. The secret consists in achieving the finest pitta possible, but taking care not to “tear” and make holes in the dough. Lots of patience is required but the result really worthes the while. The specialist in preparing them is my grandmother, the specialists in eating them…all the others: family, friends, neighbours, friends of our friends etc.
They can be prepared 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated carefully set in a flat plastic or other recipient. Make sure to avoid any contact between them using clean kitchen towels, as they can stick together and you don’t want this to happen. They can be also kept in the freezer for months but, again, try to keep them well separated with film, at least until they are completely frozen.
The cheese (xynomizithra)
normally used is typical of Crete and can only be bought in the island and some selected gourmet stores of Athens. I never leave Athens without, at least, a kilo of this cheese and no-one is welcome in Madrid if his/her luggage does not smell of it. Do not make experiments with feta cheese or anything similar because the humidity they contain will provoke holes to the dough and the result will be disappointing. Try a creamy but not at all moist cheese, such as Spanish Afuega l’ pitu, any classic French creamy goat cheese or even Roquefort or Cabrales.
These pittas are traditionally served in Crete as dessert.

Ingredients for 13 – 15 pittas (serves normally 7 as breakfast or 13-15 as dessert)

500 gr cretan goat cheese or any other creamy but not moist cheese (see notes above)
500 gr all purpose wheat flour (For those who live in Spain: try the Harimsa harina ecológica)
300 ml (more or less – depends on the flour mainly) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A good pinch of salt
Natural honey

Mix with your hand the flour, olive oil and salt and start adding water gradually until the dough is soft but easy to work with. Let the dough stand in a covered recipient for at least half an hour. In the meantime form 15 small “cheeseballs” with the cheese you have selected.

Once the dough is ready form 15 small “doughballs” almost at the size of those made by cheese or slightly bigger.
Take one doughball in your hands and open it at the center.

Introduce the cheeseball inside and pull the dough around the cheese until it is completely hidden inside.

Seal well each stuffed doughball to avoid that cheese comes out. Spread some flour on your table and flatten with your fingertips the ball as thin as possible.

Fry in hot olive oil or in a non-sticking pan greased with a tablespoon of olive oil at low temperature. The second method tales longer but is, certainly, healthier. They are traditionally prepared on a hot stone – the next present I want for my birthday!!! Serve immediately with natural honey – preferably from Crete.


Blogger thepassionatecook said...

que cosa mas rica... this looks delicious! thanks for contributing your favourite breakfast treat to WTSIM!

Blogger Heleni said...

Vielen Dank Johanna! I am really impatient to read all these delicious recipes of WTSIM April!!!

Anonymous Eva said...

Hola Heleni,

Es posible que no leas ya estos comentarios, puesto que el post se publicó hace ya unos meses. Pero por si las moscas, no puedo dejar de decirte lo emocionada que estoy con tu blog. Soy una gran aficionada a la cocina y además Grecia es mi segunda patria. He vivido allí varios años y sigo en constante contacto con mi gente y sus "productos". La cocina griega es maravillosa y suelo hacer recetas griegas casi a diario. Por eso, ha sido toda una sorpresa encontrar tu blog cuajadito de cosas griegas que tanto me gustan, como estas maravillosas pitas cretenses que me hacía la abuela de una amiga. Qué recuerdos...
Heleni, no dejes de contarnos cosas parakaló. Filia!!!!

Blogger Hilda said...

Llevo unos dias mirando esta receta... y cada día me apetece mas hacerla...
la cuestion es que salen muchas, es posible su congelacion ??? cuanto tiempo duran hechas sin ponerse malas ???

muchas gracias por este blog tan maravilloso...y muchos besos

Blogger Heleni said...

Gracias Eva.
Estoy en una época con mucho trabajo y por eso he dejado un poco aparte el blog. Espero poder seguir más adelante.
Gracias igualmente Hilda. Yo creo que duran facilmente 3-4 meses congeladas. Luego se resecan un poco, al menos en mi congelador que es de esos de aire frío.

Blogger Mediterranean kiwi said...

pita sfakiani - an absolute delicacy!

Blogger Heleni said...

Thanks a lot kiwi. The sfakiani pita is indeed the queen of simpleness and...delight.


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