Pita Bread: A Recipe

Scroll to the bottom of this post to see my Day #2 photograph for the December Photo Project!

Homemade bread is perhaps one of my favorite things to bake (if cookies didn’t exist of course). I woke up this morning with a great desire to make pita bread. While pita bread is a bit more time consuming and requires some dedication, the end result is always worth the effort. Pita bread freezes well and tastes wonderful in so many applications: cut into wedges and served with hummus, toasted and served with soup, filled with falafel and tahini sauce, seasoned and baked into chips for a tasty snack… I love it!

Pita Dough 02

The recipe I use was printed in my local newspaper quite some time ago. My copy has been taped together many times and has dried dough on it – signs of a well-used recipe! It never fails and uses ingredients you ought to have on hand. You will need a baking stone though. Tim and I created a video of the pita making process in 2009 which I posted to my blog. You can also watch it here if you so desire. It’s funny.

Pita Bread (adapted from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden)

*NOTE: I have had success replacing some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour so feel free to experiment.

Makes 16

1 packet active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water, divided
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 teaspoons salt

1. In a large bowl, whisk together yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cup warm water. Whisk well and set aside until frothy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining 2 cups of warm water and 1 cup of flour. Stir with a big spoon. Add 2 more cups of flour, stirring well after each addition. Allow mixture to rest for 10-15 minutes.

2. Add 2 tablespoons oil and the salt to the mixture and stir well. Slowly add the remaining 3 cups of flour, mixing with a sturdy spoon or your hands. Mix until the dough forms a rough ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Knead on medium speed until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Grease a large bowl with the remaining tablespoon of oil and place dough in bowl. Turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and place in a warm, draft-free spot. Let the dough rise until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

3. Place a baking stone on the middle rack of your oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times and then divide equally into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap to prevent drying out the dough. Start with one ball of dough and roll it into a 7-inch disk. Place it on a lightly floured cookie sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat the process with as many dough balls as can fit on cookie sheets, making sure to leave a bit of space between each disk (do not to stack the dough). I usually use two large cookie sheets and place three disks on each sheet. Let the disks rest for 20 minutes.

4. Bake the disks, 1-2 at a time (depending on the size of your baking stone), on the stone until slightly golden and puffed, about 3 minutes per pita. Set a timer so you don’t forget!! Remove puffed pita(s) from the oven and start stacking on a plate. They will deflate on their own. Cover the stack with a clean dry towel and repeat until all pitas are baked.

Pita Dough 04

5. If you choose to freeze some of the pita breads, let them cool first and then double wrap them in zipper-lock bags. They keep well for several months, but rarely last that long since they are so darn delicious! Enjoy!!

Pita Dough 06

This stack of pita breads is my December Photo Project Day #2 photograph.

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16 thoughts on “Pita Bread: A Recipe

    • I definitely think you should try making pita again. A few tips: (1) Make sure your oven is at the right temperature and give the stone plenty of time to heat up – pitas need a hot space to puff up properly; (2) Work quickly once you are putting pitas in the oven/taking pitas out of the oven – don’t let heat escape from the oven; (3) Let the dough rest once it’s divided into balls, and again once the disks have been rolled – this will help with puffing up too. Good luck!

  1. Beautiful! Now I’ve got an intense desire to make pita and it’s 9:30 at night. I’ll have to restrain myself till next weekend!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  2. Wow it looks so perfect!! I love pita and other homemade breads a lot but last time I made pita breads they weren’t so great – probably because I used mostly WW flour. Very nice job.

  3. You homemade pita bread looks awesome! Pita bread and tortillas are bread we cannot really buy at the store, so we usually make them at home. There’s nothing better that a falafel made with fresh homemade pita bread.

  4. I seem to have horrible luck with all things involving yeast, but these look so beautiful that I will have to give them a try!!!

  5. oh the yumfully warm puffiness of your pitas is magnificent! Thanks for sharing your recipe!
    I love the video…lol…was Tim talking to the microwave at several points? And how is it that somehow guys always seem to eat as much as they make in the kitchen? You can just never get ahead! ;)

    • Ha! You noticed that Tim pretty much eats during the whole video!! I’m pretty sure he ate about 4 pitas plus hummus and whatever else we had at that time… Cookies I think!!

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