One summer day a couple of years ago, I went with my youngest daughter and her children to a little hole-in-the-wall Greek Restaurant in the Sharonville suburb of Cincinnati. It was a small room with formica-topped tables. paper plates and napkins, one waitress and one cook/owner who made gyros for a crowd of hungry people. They were the best gyros I’ve ever eaten and I was particularly impressed with the soft bread wraps. I’ve been looking for a good recipe ever since. I finally found it on the King Arthur Flour blog. I adapted the recipe somewhat and this bread is so good. It’s well worth the extra time and trouble.
GOOD SOFT WRAP BREAD
3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup potato buds or flakes
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise yeast (Quick-Rise in Canada)
Lightly cover the bowl and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flakes or buds and 1 cup of the remaining flour along with the salt, oil and yeast. By hand, add this to the slightly cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes to form a soft dough. Keep hands and work surface lightly oiled while kneading.
Place dough in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours (I let mine rise for 2 hours). I like to let my bread rise in a bowl on top of the microwave which sets under a cabinet.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball about the size of a tennis ball. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Fry them without oil on a pre-heated griddle or frying pan over medium heat for about 1-½ minutes per side until they’re puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly. Cooking too quickly will cause them to be undercooked in the center; cooking too slowly will dry them out.
The bad news about making this bread is that although hands-on time is short (20 minutes or so), you have to allow about 3 hours (rising and resting time) when you can come back in the kitchen for a few minutes at a time.
The good news is that the bread can be refrigerated and then removed to a countertop about 2 hours before frying. The dough can also be frozen after it is formed into balls. Place in a covered container to freeze, remove from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before serving. The next day, remove from the refrigerator and let set for about 2 hours to bring to room temperature.
Then roll and fry as instructed above.
And further good news is that this is the best soft wrap bread I’ve ever made – almost as good as the ones in the hole-in-the-wall restaurant.