I first made shashuka last year at New Year’s to provide a nice and cozy brunch for a cold and, well, let’s be honest, hungover day. I made it Italian-style, with a bunch of ads-ins, and it was delicious. The only caveat was that I realized, after adding some goat cheese, I forgot to mix in the spice! So the goat cheese got all mixed in too. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but the food photography wasn’t blog-worthy.
Now I decided to try again, which a more standard take on the shashuka. As I was writing pita bread on the grocery list, I thought hey, why not make my own??
Whip up the aromatic and comforting shashuka with homemade pita for a delicious start to your weekend. Middle Eastern and North African flavors give it a warm quality, but it would be a good choice for any season!
Prep the pita bread. It will need to rise for an hour, so get it started first! Measure out your ingredients.
Heat the water to about 110F. It should be warm but not hot. Bloom the yeast for 5 minutes
Mix together the dry ingredients; pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. Mix together with a fork until a dough forms.
Turn the dough out into a floured surface. Knead the dough until it is stringy- this means that the gluten bonds are forming! This process should take about six minutes. Flour the bowl and put the dough back in it. Let the dough rise in a warm place for the total of an hour. Set a timer for 40 minutes. This is when you will start the shashuka. Measure out and chop your ingredients, then go make yourself busy for a bit.
When your timer rings, set it for another 20 minutes for the dough. It’s time to start the shashuka! You need to make the shashuka in a skillet or other oven-safe pan. Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion, garlic, olives, and pepper until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Then, add the tomatoes. Cook until the mixture starts to simmer slightly. Mix in your spices and reduce the mixture for another 5 minutes. Preheat your broiler on high heat.
By now, your dough should be ready. Punch down the risen dough and divide it into six pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and roll out the ball to 1/4 in thickness on a floured surface. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium high heat.
One at a time, cook the pitas. Cook the first side for 45 seconds, then flip and cook the other side for one minute. Flip one more time and cook an additional minute; store the finished pita in a basket with a towel so that they don’t cool before you’re ready to serve them! Repeat the process with the remaining dough, but you don’t need to add more oil in-between.
Now it’s time to add the eggs. Crack five of the eggs into a star pattern near the rim of the pan. Crack the last egg into the middle. Continue to cook over medium heat for five minutes; next, broil the pan until the eggs are done but the yolks are still runny (about 3 minutes). Crumble feta and top with cilantro; serve with warm pita. Enjoy!