This is a class plan I created for a pre-teen community class taught for Y.U.M. Chefs. Please feel free to reuse it and modify for your own classes!  

Pita Bread:

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3- 3 ½ cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water for about 5 minutes in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Add salt and 1 ½ cups flour and with the dough hook, beat to make a batter.

Add additional flour until a rough, shaggy mass is formed.

Knead 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it is too sticky.

Divide into six pieces for large pitas or ten fro smaller.

Form dough into balls, then flatten with a rolling pin into ¼ inch thick discs. Try and keep an even thickness as this is what helps them ‘puff’.

Let rest on the floured surface 30-40 minutes until slightly puffed. Preheat oven to 425F.

Flip the rounds of dough upside down on to a baking sheet.

Bake 10-15 minutes until light golden. Stick around to watch for the first five minutes of baking when the pitas perform their magic and puff up from flat pancakes to proud, four inch high pitas!


  • 2 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup parsley leaves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven and a baking sheet to 425 degrees F.

Combine all falafel ingredients except 1 tablespoon olive oil in the bowl of a food processor.

Process for 10 seconds. Stop motor and scrape down sides of bowl, then pulse for another 10 seconds, until all ingredients are well incorporated but mixture is still slightly coarse and grainy.

Form mixture into 16 falafel balls and brush with remaining tablespoon olive oil.

Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes, flip falafel balls and bake an additional 20 minutes, until falafel balls are crisp and browned.

Makes 8 servings 


  • 10-12 dried red chili peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain. Remove stems and seeds.

Combine chili peppers, garlic, salt, and olive oil in a food processor.

Add remaining spices and blend to form a smooth paste.

Store in airtight container. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top to keep fresh. Will keep for a month in the refrigerator. 

 Yogurt Sauce:

  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, and/or mint
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Chop up the cucumbers and combine all ingredients.



This class plan was originally created for YUM Chefs. Here are some notes from the experience:

For our second round of our community center classes, we made a some yummy and healthy Mediterranean-centered recipes.

We had so much fun making our pita bread, and got to refresh our knowledge on yeast that we learned in Pizza class. In one of our classes we used too hot of water and ended up killing our yeast! But this ended up being a great lesson, because now we understand better that yeast is alive and that it needs nice warm water to work its magic and make our bread rise!

The yogurt sauce was a big hit with all the ranch-lovers, and we found out that our harissa works better with more flavorful big dried Mexican chills, than with hotter and smaller thai chills. The falafels were super yummy, but a bit more crumbly when baked instead of fried (but much better for us!).

We used our fun ingredients to make yummy pita sandwiches, and found some homemade pickles in the fridge that Leah had left for us. Yum!

Overall it a was fun class to learn how much control we have when cooking and how we can change recipes to suit our own personal tastes. 



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