bread · no-dough · sourdough · travel

Pita, Sourdough Pizza and Stewed Aubergines

I’ve just returned from a culinary job trip (but obviously culinary too!) to Kiev, Ukraine, or Kyiv, as you wish. And then I recalled I had this draft of some Asia-inspired recipes, so I decided to post them anyway, even if they have nothing to do with Ukrainian food. Ooooh, Ukraine, I will remember you =) I went to a pseudo-Russian traditional cuisine restaurant yesterday and you know what? Guys, you will never beat Ukraine! Really, we DO miss something here in Russia. It was not us who separated it was FROM us that all these countries wanted to get away. And I really appreciate that at least they preserve their individuality and traditions and take pride in them. We joined the people in the streets while they were celebrating the Independence Day and absolutely loved their traditional blouses, wreaths and flowers on their heads and… I really loved their fermented milk products, haha =)

Here are the rows and rows and shelves and shelves of the famous Kiev cakes (which we did not have the opportunity to try – we were fed ohhh soooooo well!) in the underground floor of a Ukrainian confectionery store (I’m pretty sure they are just amazing!):

BUT, let’s however get to the recipes I wanted to share with you for a long time. I was thinking about concocting some more Mediterranean food, something to put inside your pita, and I somehow ended up making three recipes. Here are the unusually – againsweet & sour Moroccan-style aubergines (eggplant):

Eggplant Stewed in Honey and Spices adapted just a bit from www.travelerslunchbox.com, although not that nice as I wanted them to look, were quite unexpectedly nice! There are spices, there is something sweet and there’s definitely something sour, so you’re getting just about everything! And the eggplants are soft and ‘meaty’ (in the vegetarian sense =) and infused with the flavours. Not your common dish, though, I mean, can be not to everyone’s taste.

I used less honey (not to ‘offend’ my parents’ weird tastes) and omitted fresh ginger completely (for the lack of decent looking fresh ginger roots!), adding some lemon zest and minced onion instead. My eggplants were not that much baby ones and so they took longer to cook.

There was a lot of thick honey-peppery sauce left after the aubergines were eaten and I used it to soften the falafel I made to accompany the eggplants and pita. Ah, yes, here is a very easy and working recipe for the stacks of pita bread:

Homemade Pita Bread taken from karmaperdiem.wordpress.com, and although not all of them turned out to have this nice pocket, this is a recipe to note!

The only change I’ve introduced to the recipe was to add just a bit of wheat germ to the flour. Yes, nothing else this time =)

Apart from being served for lunch or dinner, the pita makes wonderful pita sandwiches in the morning, mmm:

You surely cannot see it, but there was steam coming out from the pita bread – according to the recipe you should let the air out from the pockets – but with spatula of course, not with your fingers =) The steam is hot!

The last recipe for tonight is this wonderful flavourful sourdough crust for two pizzas I did some time after finishing all our pita pockets (and pocket-less pita too!):

Sourdough Pizza Crust adapted from www.sourdoughhome.com, the second time I’m using this recipe, this time with a more successful result.

ATTENTION: you will need sourdough starter (here’s mine which is from rye), so be prepared=)

This time I fed my starter with white flour and so the crust was less… crusty and more chewy than when I fed it with rye flour as usual. I did not make any changes apart from using a rye starter for pizza!

And you know, with mushrooms and tomatoes and cheese… that was really flavourful and tasty! I mean it! Rye + mushrooms = something truly authentic. I just threw in some olives, tomatoes, peppers and mixed up some sour cream+herbs sauce for the base. Really, you should try it, with your own favourite topping and the idea of a perfect pizza =) I did a meat version for my Dad who then as usual ate the leftover piece of a non meat version the next day as he thought it was with meat. But I did not mind, I can always bake more!=)

OK, tomorrow is a hard working day, with overcoming my disability to talk serious things on the phone, hehe.

See you soon!

G.

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