Pita (Zelnik)

Pita (Peeta) Recipe

Submitted by Maria Pappas 

Dough Ingredients:

  1. Four (4) cups of Flour.
  2. Two (2) tablespoons of Vegetable Oil.
  3. One-quarter (1/4) teaspoon of Salt.
  4. One and one-half (1 ½) cup of warm water.
  5. One-quarter (1/4) Teaspoon of Dry Yeast.

Filling Ingredients:

  1. Five (5) or Six (6) large eggs.
  2. One (1) and one-half (1/2) quart of cottage cheese (36 ounces).
  3. One (1) bunch of green onions or leek (Optional).
  4. One (1) tablespoon of flour.
  5. One (1) tablespoon of unsalted rendered melted butter.
  6. One-half (1/2) teaspoon of salt (or to taste).

Miscellaneous Ingredients:

  1.  One pound of unsalted rendered melted butter to be used as the recipe calls.

Preparation of Dough:

  1. Measure four (4) cups of flour and put in a container.
  2. Measure two (2) tablespoons of vegetable oil and put it in a mixing bowl.  Oil the turning unit in the mixing bowl so that the dough won’t stick to it.
  3. Measure one-quarter (1/4) teaspoon of salt and put it in the flour container.
  4. Measure one (1) cup of warm water and put it in the mixing bowl.
  5. Measure one-half (1/2) cup of warm water.  Add to it one-quarter (1/4) teaspoon of yeast and mix it well till it melts then put it in the mixing bowl.
  6. From the flour container take two (2) cups of flour, turn on the mixer on slow, and slowly put the cups of flour to the mixing bowl.  Keep on mixing and adding flour until all the flour is put in the mixing bowl.  If the dough is too dry add a little warm water very slowly. Every now and then scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.
  7. When finished mixing the dough, remove it from the machine.  Place it on a flat smooth surface and knead it well.
  8. Put it in a plastic bag, remove all air, and put it in the  refrigerator to rest overnight (Optional).

Preparation of Filling Ingredients:

  1. Sautee onions or leek (just enough to soften them).
  2. In a separate container (bowl) mix the eggs well.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients in the container (1 ½ qt. of cottage cheese, sautéed onions or leek, one tablespoon of flour, one tablespoon of melted butter, and one-half (1/2) teaspoon of salt (or to taste),  and mix real good.
  4. The “filling ingredients” are now ready to be added to the peeta.  One layer of the peeta dough is already on the big tray to which you will add and spread the ‘filling ingredients” before you put the second layer of peeta dough on the tray.  (See item #7 of the Final Preparation.)

Final Preparation:

  1. Take dough out of the refrigerator or wherever.
  2. Separate it in two equal parts.
  3. With a rolling pin start stretching  the dough.
    1. Stretch the dough to about or less of the size of the large tray.
    2. Apply melted butter on one side.
    3. Fold one-third and apply melted butter on the folded one-third.
    4. Fold the other one-third and apply melted butter on that fold.
    5. Fold one end to center and apply melted butter on the folded side.
    6. Fold the other end but do not apply melted butter.
    7. Set it aside.
    8. Repeat the same process with the other half of the dough (a through f).
  6. At the end of the first part, roll it on the rolling pin, and now you are ready to apply it on the tray.  Before putting it on the tray apply melted butter on the tray and then lay the rolled sheet in the tray making sure you have no wrinkles on it.  And also make sure that you have a couple of inches extra all around the tray.
  7. Pour the “filling ingredients” in the tray and spread it over the stretched sheet of dough.  (See item #4 of the Preparation of the Filling Ingredients.)
  8. At the end of the second batch stretching, roll it on the rolling pin and apply it on the tray over the “filling ingredients” only this time it should have some wrinkles.
  9. When finished applying, fold the edges all around the tray so that no dough is on the outside of the tray.  In other words seal the “filling ingredients” between the two sheets of stretched dough.
  10. Apply melted butter on the top of the peeta including the edges.
  11. You are now ready to put the peeta in the oven.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  13. Bake the peeta for about one hour.  Remove it when it is nice and red.
  14. Detach the peeta from the tray and place it on a grated wire sheet to cool it off.  The circulation of the air will prevent the peeta from sweating.
  15. After it is cooled you may cut it into pieces of any size.  BON APETITE.