Pita Pan Bread from Whole-Grain Wheat

She may not be Tinkerbell... but she does have wings!

Our little friend here may not be Tinkerbell… but she does have wings!

Processed white flour

If flour lived in Never-Never Land, enriched white wheat flour would play the part of  Captain Hook. Arrrr… it’s bad to the core. In fact, it’s bad because it has no core.

After milling, only the endosperm remains. The outside layer, the bran, is discarded in the grinding process. Wheat’s healthy fiber goes out with the bran.

But even worse, wheat’s heart of gold, the germ, is beaten out of it too. The germ is drubbed from white flour because it produces an oil when ground. The oil goes sour quickly, shortening flour’s shelf life. And with the loss of wheat’s germ, out goes most of wheat’s nutrition.

Some vitamins are added back after the grinding, thus the nickname “Enriched”. But enriched flour is still no treasure chest.

Forget Invisibles Wonder Bread, made from unbleached wheat flour. It’s the Smee of Never-Never Land. It tries…  but it just doesn’t measure up.

Whole-Grain flour

Nothing beats whole-grain wheat flour for natural goodness. But it can be hard to find. Where oh where is the Peter Pan of our flour saga hiding?

At Bulk Barn, the flours marked “whole wheat” had unbleached wheat flour near the top of the ingredient list. Same at Natural Food Pantry. So I sent Tinkerbell out to find our hero. When she came back, she said I should be looking for stone-ground whole-grain wheat flour to play the good guy. As long as it’s labeled whole grain it’s the real thing. Stone-ground is a bonus.

stone_mill_4

Why does stone-ground whole-grain wheat flour mark the spot?

It’s the only kind of flour where the endosperm, bran, and germ all remain in their original proportions. Because the stones grind slowly, the germ stays cooler. The oils aren’t broken down by heat as much and the vitamins are preserved better.

Only small amounts are ground at once, so the germ’s oil is well distributed, to reduce spoilage.  Because stone-ground flour is coarser  than the roller-ground stuff, oxygen has less chance to break down the oils and its nutrients.

Bakers and health nuts alike prefer stone-ground whole-grain wheat flour because of its texture, its sweet, nutty taste, and it’s  good nutrition.

Many folks today say Peter Pan is a Lost Boy. These people stay away from all kinds of wheat flour, even whole grains, and eat “gluten-free.”. But unless you are allergic, or sensitive, to gluten, I think this trend is a bit over the top. The science on this just isn’t in yet.

As a general rule for good health, I’d rather see people steer clear of sugar than wheat.

Try this easy bread recipe that kids can make themselves in no time flat. It’s like a tasty, banana-flavored pita bread, without the pocket! Sprinkle a little fairy dust and make a snack platter you can fly away on to the land of good eating!

DSCN1595_edited

Pita Pan Bread Snack-Platter

Make the bread

  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces or 170 grams) stone-ground whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • A tablespoon or two of coconut or canola oil
  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mash banana with fork.
  2. Combine flour, sugar,  and spices, and mix them into the banana, just until a dough forms. Knead once or twice to bring into a nice ball.
  3. On flour-dusted work surface, cut the dough into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a round disk. Roll each disk into a thin, flat round, about 4 or 5 inches across.
  4. In a hot frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until it sizzles. Fry the dough rounds, in batches, about  45 seconds on each side or until browned. Add more oil to coat pan, as needed.
  5. Cool on wire rack. Store in refrigerator or freeze, separated between sheets of wax paper, in large resealable plastic food-storage bag. Makes 6  pita pan breads.

Make the snack platter

Cut each round into four pieces. Decorate the pieces with the following, alone or in combinations of your own liking:

  • Peanut butter
  • No-sugar-added jam
  • Honey
  • Cream cheese
  • Pepper jelly
  • Home-made nutella
  • Almond flakes, pistachios, or cashews
  • Dried cranberries, raisins, or apricots

I’ve tried this out on all sizes of pirates, young and old. They all say, “Thank you, Pita Pan!”

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 20:23:03

    I do wonder about Gluten-Free.. it seems to be just another fad for many. Those who have celiac are wise to steer clear, but the rest of us?? I like the sounds of stone-ground flour and those little snacks! xx

    Reply

    • Vinny Grette
      Jan 16, 2013 @ 21:00:50

      These little pita breads are amazingly tasty and easy as anything, Barbara. I thought they wouldn’t be sophisticated enough for the adults in the family but was wrong!

      Reply

  2. Our Studio Kitchen
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 08:16:00

    I once bought white wheat flour at the store because it was considerably cheaper than the wheat flour that I normally buy and I just had to have wheat flour that day. I’m not even sure why it exists. Certainly won’t make that mistake twice.

    Reply

    • Vinny Grette
      Jan 16, 2013 @ 11:48:21

      Hi Jennifer – I have since found whole-GRAIN wheat flour at our bulk barn (maybe because I spoke up the time before when I couldn’t find any whole grain flour… – who knows?). I’ve grown to love the taste. My daughter has taken to making her own bread and it is just SO delicious. I might need to get myself a kitchen aid. Am going on a bread-making binge soon, to experiment 🙂

      Reply

      • Our Studio Kitchen
        Jan 16, 2013 @ 13:49:24

        I’m lucky and there are plenty of whole grain flours around me (the cost is a different issue). I kind of prefer making breads without my kitchen aid, I usually only use it if I’m feeling lazy.

        Reply

  3. yourhealthyourlife
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 16:14:13

    Reblogged this on Your health. Your life. and commented:
    Lovely advice for fellow sensitive souls 🙂 x

    Reply

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