Monday, 17 March 2014

Recipe: Light Tzatziki & Homemade Pitta Breads

With the exception of one or two dishes that are already works in progress or are already penciled in, I've decided that I'm refusing to cook any more Winter food this year. This decision came into play around the last few days of February or so, and this means I've been starting to adapt the way I cook for myself. Instead of the one pot meals I tend to favour in the cooler months, I've been making big pots of things like sauces, meatballs etc. so I can just fill up my plate with whatever I fancy from the fridge. This is pretty much how I ate the whole time while I was living in Los Angeles where I felt like it was the Summer every day. 
Light Tkziki2 Light Tkziki
This recipe for a lighter Tzatziki (I can't get enough of Greek dips) was something I came up with last year in LA, I think at the time to accompany some spiced meatballs and an attempt at homemade flatbreads that were tasty, but not delicious enough for me to have made again since. It has just been sitting there in my recipe notebook, waiting for its chance to shine. I've loved working with Total  Greek Yogurt in the past (remember my Easy 3 Ingredient Blueberry Frozen Yogurt?) as a big tub of their 0% is pretty much the only constant aside from French mustard and unsalted butter in my fridge. (You also need Total for my 5 Minute Skinny Smoked Mackerel Pâté, Spicy Carrot Soup with Greek Yogurt & Coriander Lime Oil, Moroccan Chicken Goujons with Yogurt & Mint Dip and my Forced Rhubarb & Cardamom Breakfast Compote.)
Light Tkziki3So, when the guys at Total got in touch asking me if I fancied whipping up something for their new Total + campaign where you add ingredient to your Total to make something delicious (hence the '+'), this Tzatziki instantly sprung to mind. Obviously, you can't have Tzatziki on its own, and as my last flatbreads without a recipe attempt was not too brilliant, I decided to just play it safe and make the Pitta Bread recipe from Brilliant Bread by James Morton, my go to bread book for practically everything, and has not failed me yet! All together this recipe makes a good bowl of Tzatziki and 8 large pitta breads, so makes a generous lunch for four or a good starter to a mezze meal for 8.

  • 1 x 500g tub Total 0% Greek Yogurt (if you are in the USA, the large 0% Fage tubs)
  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • Small Handful Fresh Dill, chopped
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Sea Salt (I like Brenton Fleur de Sel)

Peel the cucumber, slice it down the middle lengthways and with a small teaspoon scoop out the seeds from the middle. These will make your tzatziki too watery. Grate it on the biggest hole of a box grater and squeeze out any excess water over the sink. Stir into the yogurt (when you open it pour away any excess liquid on the top rather than stirring it in) with the garlic and mix well. Season to taste with the lemon juice and sea salt, then cover in cling film and refrigerate to let the flavours meld. Time to make the pitta breads, that are so easy I can't believe I'd never done it before. They also make shop bought seem so dry in comparison. 
Homemade Pitta

  • 200g (7 oz) Strong White Bread Flour
  • 200g (7 oz) Plain (All Purpous) Flour
  • 7g (1 heaped tsp) Salt
  • 7g (1 sachet) Fast-action Yeast
  • 270g (9.5 floz) Tepid Water (tepid means neither warm or cold to the touch)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Using a wire whisk combine both flours in a large bowl. Measure the yeast and salt into opposite sides of the bowl, taking care to keep them apart as the salt can sometimes stop the yeast from working. Rub the respective measurements into the flour until combined. Pour the water into the middle of the bowl and combine first with a fork, then with your hands until all the flour is up from the sides of the bowl and it is all combined. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel, and leave in a warm place (I put mine on a chair in front of the AGA) for 40 minutes, or until it has noticeably increased in size. 

Wet your fingers slightly so they don't stick to the dough. Run them under half the dough in the bowl and fold it over on itself. Keep on doing this, turning the bowl a bit each time until you feel the dough get smoother and tighter, you should meet more resistance to folding. Turn the bowl over so the join is on the bottom, cover with the damp tea towel again and leave for another 40 minutes. After about 20 minutes pre heat your oven to 240 degrees celsius (465 degrees fahrenheit).  

Lightly oil a clean surface and turn the dough out. Roll it into a sausage shape and with a sharp knife divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each of these out until they are 1/2 a cm thick. Place the pitta, 4to a tray onto a pair of non stick baking sheets (they don't need to be oiled or floured) and turn the oven down to 220 degrees celsius (425 degrees fahrenheit). Bake for about 10 minutes until they are puffed up and slightly golden. Serve warm, but not straight out of the oven as they will be full of hot steam. 

I love this lighter version of classic tzatziki scooped up with these soft, light, far superior to shop bought pitta breads for a family stile lunch on the weekend when we're all still busy with things in the kitchen, around the house and out in the vegetable gardens, because it is all full of things that take maximum of 20 minutes to throw together, the rest of the time you just go away and leave it! 


  1. I am all for summer eating now, I can only handle so many stews. This post is reminding me to do something a little more exciting with greek honey than just drizzling it with honey and eating for breakfast. I am going to put that bread book on my birthday list too!

  2. Do, it really is the best bread book I've ever had.

  3. This sounds amazing, I have been transitioning over to risottos, they are so much nicer in warmer weather!

    Maria xxx

  4. I love tkziki, it's just so fresh and lovely and I have no idea it was so simple to make. Thanks for the recipe :). Meg x