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Convection Bake Pita Bread
The Convection Bake mode is the perfect choice for baking quick-cooking pita bread. In this mode, both the bottom and top heating elements are engaged while the fan circulates the heated air around the oven cooking each bread to perfection. The bread can be baked on a rimmed baking sheet or a pizza stone placed on rack position 1 close to the bottom heating element.
Pita bread uses the same ingredients as pizza dough; however, the method of preparation is slightly different. I have been using the recipe written by David Tannis from NYT Cooking for many years except of course I use either my Convection or Combi-Steam oven for proofing.
The recipe comes together easily and doesn’t require using a stand mixer. Typically when baking in Convection lowering the temperature by 25 degrees is recommended however keeping the higher temperature when baking this quick-cooking bread will ensure the best results.
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
½ tsp white sugar
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil
Arrange the racks in the oven, placing one rack on the lowest tray slide and select the Proof Mode, the temperature will default to 100°F.
Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir to dissolve.
Whisk in the whole wheat flour and place in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until frothy.
Add the salt, olive oil, and 2 cups of flour to the sponge and stir with a wooden spoon to form a shaggy dough. Knead in the bowl for a minute, adding a dusting of flour if needed.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently for 2 minutes until the dough comes together and is smooth.
Cover the dough loosely with a light kitchen towel and rest for 10 minutes then knead again for another 2 minutes. Add small amounts of the remaining flour as needed but the dough should be soft and a bit moist.
Pace the dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl and place in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the oven, place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet on the lower rack, and heat the oven in the Convection Bake mode 475°F.
Punch down the dough, divide it into 8 equal pieces and roll each one into a ball. Cover the dough balls with a light kitchen towel and rest for 10 minutes.
Roll the dough balls one-by-one into a 6 -8” disk, adding a little more flour to prevent sticking if needed. Bake the bread two or three at a time depending on the size of the baking tray or stone.
Bake for 2 minutes until puffed then turn with tongs and bake for one minute more. The bread should be pale with only a few brown spots.
Makes 8 - 10
Note: I did try baking the Pita bread in my Combi-Steam oven but since the highest temperature is 450 degrees, it wasn’t hot enough for the bread to puff and bake correctly.
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Baked Ham with Tangerine Glaze and Roasted Carrots
Since ham is already cooked by smoking it is most often eaten cold, however heated through and brushed with a fruity glaze it makes a great centerpiece for celebration meals.
In order to heat the ham through it usually needs a fair bit of time in a slow oven and to avoid drying out the meat it is covered until the final stage when the glaze is added. However, if you bake your unsliced ham in Convection you will not need to cover the ham and the heating through time will take approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours, depending on the weight of the ham. If you are heating a sliced ham then it must remain covered in foil to avoid drying out.
1 - smoked ham, bone-in, skin on 7 - 9 lbs
1 - bunch fresh sage leaves
¾ - cup olive oil
1 - cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 - cups tangerine juice
2 - tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed
2 - cups, packed light brown sugar
1 - cup water
½ - teaspoon whole cloves
2 - cinnamon sticks
1 ½ - lbs baby carrots
Preheat the oven in the Convection Mode 300 degrees.
Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan.
Score the ham with cuts in a diamond pattern about 2 inches apart and ½ deep.
Season generously with salt and pepper. Chop 8 of the sage leaves and mix with the olive oil to make a paste, rub all of the ham getting into the slits.
Bake for 2 hours.
Combine the butter, tangerine juice, tangerines, brown sugar, water and spices in a heavy medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.
Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy glaze, 30 - 40 minutes.
Brush the glaze over the ham when it has completed its initial heating phase. Add the baby carrots and another 8 chopped sage leaves and continue baking for another 40 - 50 minutes until the carrots are tender and the internal temperature of the ham is 150 degrees.