Traditional grilled cheese gets fancied up a bit with some nigella and sesame seeds and finished with a little honey for some of sweet-salty goodness. But if you wanted to scrap all that and just go for cheese in a pita? No one’s gonna be mad at a grilled cheese.
2 cups shredded Gouda
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon nigella seeds, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Easy Peasy Pitas (recipe below) or store-bought (the fluffiest you can find)
Honey, for serving
In a medium bowl, toss together the Gouda, sesame seeds, and nigella seeds. Using a serrated knife, slice a corner off each pita and open up the pocket. If it doesn’t open easily, use a sharp knife to gently slice through the middle, creating a pocket. Butter the inside and outside of each pita and stuff them with the cheese mixture.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Arrange the pitas in the warm skillet and press down with a spatula. Toast until the first side of the bread is lightly golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side, 5 to 7 minutes.
Cut each pita in half and drizzle with honey and sprinkle over more seeds. Serve hot.
For Easy Peasy Pitas
1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
1½ tablespoons sugar
1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon kosher salt
In a stand mixer, whisk together the yeast, sugar, and 1 cup warm (not hot) water. Let sit for 5 minutes, until the mixture is foamy. In a separate medium bowl, combine 1cup water and the olive oil.
Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer. Add the flour to the yeast mixture and mix on low speed. Right away, add the olive oil/water mixture and continue mixing for 5minutes. Add the salt and increase the speed to medium-low, mixing for another 5 minutes. The dough will be on the wet side but everything should be incorporated. If you need to, scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are getting pulled into the dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it double in size in a warm place, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Cut 12 roughly 5-inch squares out of parchment paper and lightly dust them with flour. Then lightly dust a clean work surface and your hands with flour. Break off a tennis ball–size piece of dough and loosely form it into a ball. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the ball to about ¼inch thick and place it on one of the prepared parchment squares. Cover with a clean towel as you continue rolling out the remaining pita. Let the dough proof at room temperature for 1 hour to 1hour 30minutes, depending on how warm the room is.
About 30 minutes before baking, place a pizza stone or an overturned baking sheet on the lowest rack, make sure nothing else is in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
Line a bowl or basket with a kitchen towel and have it at the ready. Working with 2 at a time, carefully place the pita directly onto the pizza stone or baking sheet without taking it off the parchment (or it will lose air and its shape). Bake until puffed and flip over, 3 to 5 minutes total. You want it to be lightly toasted without much color, so be sure to keep an eye on it.
Using tongs, transfer the baked pita to the towel-lined bowl or basket and cover with another towel to keep warm as you finish baking the remaining pita.
Serve warm or let the pita cool before storing them in a plastic bag. Reheat them in the oven or toaster before serving.
If your pita doesn’t have a pocket, that’s okay! Just slice off a small piece from the side and carefully slide a serrated knife inside to create a pocket—ideally without slicing all the way through. But if it does break in half, no sweat; it’ll still mop up hummus beautifully.
Excerpted from Eating Out Loud by Eden Grinshpan. Copyright © 2020 by Eden Grinshpan. Photography by Aubrie Pick. Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.