For about six months I’ve had a large container of dried chickpeas hanging out in my pantry. So the other day it seemed time to put them to good use. I needed something to take to a party on Friday, and thought hummus would be perfect. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that after soaking the chickpeas, I would still have to cook them for an hour or two. I made up some gluten-free french bread instead, which was very much appreciated by the hostess, who is also gluten-free. Of course, when I got home, there was still a giant pot full of chickpeas crying out for my attention. So on Saturday, I made hummus, and on a whim, some pita to go along with it. I didn’t even realize how much I had missed flat bread, until I took my first bite. In a year of being gluten-free, I’ve never tried to make any flat bread, probably because it is easier to just eat rice with Indian food or just put sandwich fixings over salad greens. But now, I can’t wait to make up another batch. The hummus was very good too, much better than the stuff you buy in tubs at the supermarket, but also a little less smooth and refined. Apparently if you peel the chickpeas you can make your homemade hummus extra smooth, but I didn’t have the patience.

Hummus  (from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food)

3/4 cup dried chickpeas (soaked for 8 hours or overnight)
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves peeled and pounded to a pulp
1 tablepoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Drain chickpeas. Generously cover with water and cook for 1-2 hours until very soft.
2. Drain the cooked chickpeas, reserving 1/4 cup of the water. Puree in a food processor or blender.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients, stir until smooth, adding reserved liquid as needed.

Pita (adapted from Bette Hagman’s The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread)

This recipe makes 9, 6-inch pitas.

Dry ingrdients:
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup rice flour
1 1/4 cups tapioca flour
3 tablespoons almond meal
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon egg replacer

Wet ingredients:
4 teaspoons dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water
3 egg whites

1. Grease 2 large or 3 medium cookie sheets.
2. Mix dry ingredients with the paddle attachment of a heavy-duter mixer.
3. Dissolve the yeast in warm water with the teaspoon of sugar.
4. In a small bowl, melt the shortening in the hot water.
5. Pour yeast and shortening mixture into dry ingredients and blend on low. Add the egg whites.
6. Turn the mixer to high and beat for 3 to 4 minutes.
7. With greased hands, make a ball slightly larger than an egg and pat it into a 6-inch round approximately 1/4 inch thick. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat 8 times, until all the dough is use. Let rise approximately 60 minutes (or until 50% higher).
8. Bake in a preheated 525 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.