Pita grilled cheese with gouda and honey

By Eden Grinshpan
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Ido and I both have really fond childhood memories of eating cheesy toasts in Israel—just toasted sesame bread topped with a mild white cheese that would get stringy and delicious. Here, I fancied it up a bit with some nigella and sesame seeds and finished it with a little honey for some of that 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.

SERVES
2

Ingredients

Pita grilled cheese:

  • 2 cups shredded Gouda
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds, plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Easy Peasy Pitas (below) or store-bought (the fluffiest you can find)
  • Honey, for serving

Easy peasy pita:

  • 1 envelope (2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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, five to seven minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side, five to seven minutes.
  3. Cut each pita in half and drizzle with honey and sprinkle over more seeds. Serve hot.

Easy peasy pita:

  1. In a stand mixer, whisk together they east, sugar, and one cup warm (not hot) water. Let sit for five minutes, until the mixture is foamy. In a separate medium bowl, combine one cup water and the olive oil.
  2. 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 five minutes. Add the salt and increase the speed to medium-low, mixing for another five 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.
  3. 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 1/4 inch 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 one hour to one hour 30 minutes, depending on how warm the room is.
  4. 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.
  5. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  6. Line a bowl or basket with a kitchen towel and have it at the ready. Working with two at a time, carefully place the pita directly on to 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, three to five minutes total. You want it to be lightly toasted without much color, so be sure to keep an eye on it.
  7. 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.
  8. Serve warm or let the pita cool before storing them in a plastic bag. Reheat them in the oven or toaster before serving.

Excerpted from Eating Out Loudby 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.

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