Whipped Feta & Roasted Garlic Dip

Recipe By: ©2009 Eric Villegas


Ingredients:

1 pound Michigan feta cheese, drained
1/2 cup Michigan sour cream
1/4 cup roasted garlic puree, see recipe
1/2-2/3 cup extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, or similar
1 teaspoon Clancy’s Fancy Hot sauce, or similar
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed, or to taste
For serving:
2 ounces Michigan feta cheese, drained and crumbled
1/2 ounce extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, or similar

Directions:
Crumble the one pound drained feta and sour cream into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and pulse together until smooth.

Add the roasted garlic puree and drizzle in the olive oil and hot sauce, and continue processing until the mixture is smooth and spreadable. Season to taste with the lemon juice and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

When ready to serve, spoon out the dip onto a suitable plate or shallow bowl and sprinkle the 2 ounces of the crumbled feta over the top and served with fresh or toasted pita bread.


Pita Bread

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups tap water, warmed to 105 to 115 degrees
1 tablespoon Michigan clover honey
2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 cups high gluten Michigan bread flour, unbleached
2 cups whole wheat Michigan flour, unbleached
1 tablespoon Michigan kosher salt
1 tablespoon roasted garlic soy oil, see recipe, or similar

Directions:

For the pita dough:

In the large bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook add the warmed water and honey. Sprinkle over the yeast, stir to dissolve and let stand for 10-15 minutes to proof the yeast. If the yeast hasn’t started “proof” or to activate and expand after that time the yeast is probably dead or the water was too hot, either way it’s dead – start the process again with fresh warm water, honey and yeast.

After the yeast has proofed, start adding both flours one cup at a time over low speed. Follow with the salt and oil and increase the speed one level and mix for 10-12 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Remove the dough and lightly oil the bowl. Using both hands form the dough into a large tight ball and return to the oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a draft free warm area and let rise until at least doubled in size, approximately 1-1/2 hours.

Baking the pitas:

Place a large pizza stone, unglazed quarry tiles, a large cast iron griddle or two small heavy bottomed baking sheets, on the bottom rack of your oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

After the dough has properly risen gently punch down, divide in half, and set one half aside, covered, while you portion and roll the other half. On a lightly floured workspace divide the other half into 8 equal pieces and flatten each piece with lightly floured hands. Roll out each piece to a circle about 8 to 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4 inch thick. Keep the rolled-out breads dusted with a bit of flour and covered until ready to bake, but do not stack.

Place 2 breads, or more if your oven is large enough, on the stone, tiles, griddle or baking sheets, and bake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until each bread has expanded to a “balloon shape.” Keep in mind there are a variety of reasons your pitas might not balloon. Uneven rolling of the dough, dry bits, rolled to thin or perhaps the oven was not properly preheated. Not to worry, they will still taste yummy. The more practice you have, the more you will become familiar with all the variables, and your pitas will more consistent.

Wrap the baked breads together in a large kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft while you bake and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Serve immediately.

One Response to “Whipped Feta & Roasted Garlic Dip”

  1. OMG!!! I love both feta and garlic. But for some reason unbeknownst even to myself, it had never occurred to me that you could combine them!

    This is a great recipe. One that I will be trying out next weekend when I’ve got some free time on my hands. Thanks for the inspiration!

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