Turkish Pita and Stuff

Stuff is the worst. Possessions are one thing, shoes are treasures, but stuff is a curse. It would be great if there were a giant flour sifter, a big silver cylinder, and I could just squeeze a handle to capture all the treasures while losing the dust, the stuff, that clutters my floors and shelves. Moving forces you to reconsider the preciousness of things. There is one part of me that champions simplicity and craves to purge the place; there is another part of me that feels the charmed power of each and every totem. All the stories we attach, the givers, the people connected through an object in time. The teddy bear that has been a witness to your whole life from a quiet corner in the room. In the end, that is what is so hard about throwing things away, what makes “stuff” in itself so tricky to discern—it isn’t the thing itself, it’s what the thing represents — memory, attachment, witnesses– that you threaten to abandon.

And so goes the rationalization of an early hoarder. Or, a romantic.

turkish pita slice

Turkish Pita

Adapted from Food and Wine


1/2 cup warm water

1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 cup all-purpose flour


1 ¼ cups warm water

1 cup sourdough starter

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cups bread flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt

Cornmeal, for dusting

Nigella or sesame seeds, for sprinkling

In a medium bowl, mix the water with the sourdough. Stir in the flour. Cover loosely and let stand overnight.

In a large bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the water with the yeast and sugar and let stand until foamy. Add the yeast mixture, the remaining 1 cup of water and the olive oil. Stir in the flours and salt until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled in bulk, about 3 hours.

Place a baking stone on the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°. Punch down the dough and divide it into 4 pieces. Flatten each piece into a round. Cover them with plastic and let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal. On a floured work surface, with wet hands, flatten each round into an 8-by-10-inch oval. Make 6 or 7 deep grooves with your fingertips down the length of each oval.

turkish pita dough

Spread olive oil across the top. Sprinkle the ovals with the nigella seeds. Slide the ovals onto the peel, then onto the hot stone in the oven. Bake until crisp on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

turkish pita with a bite

Haiku #124 (May 4)

A scallop sizzles

in a pool of oil, my tongue

sizzles over drool.

Haiku #125 (May 5)

Half-finished paintings

are what I have to show for

these color brush days.

Haiku #126 (May 6)

So now we will put

into boxes the objects

we think mean something.

One thought on “Turkish Pita and Stuff

  1. My moving-time thoughts and feelings exactly! I very much hope that your giant flour sifter invention becomes reality 🙂 In the meantime, wisdom and energy to you, KP and your bulldog and chicken support staff as you decide what to pack! That bread looks amazing 🙂

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