Perfect Pita Bread

Who’s ready to learn how to make some delicious pita bread? Pita bread is probably the easiest bread recipe to master, even the most novice of cooks shouldn’t be intimidated! Truthfully, the only challenge you might need to overcome is making sure the pita bread puffs up to form a “pocket.” Luckily, even if it doesn’t puff up, it will still taste amazing. Simply fold it in half and eat it like flatbread! Lucky for you, I’m a perfectionist. Using my “fails” to your advantage, I’ll make sure that you achieve the perfect “puff” almost every time!

 

Wheat or White?

You might notice in my recipe photos that some of the pita bread looks like it’s made with white flour, and some with wheat. The simple explanation is that sometimes I substitute 1/2 cup of wheat flour for 1/2 cup of white flour. The photos are a sampling of both variations. You can even add more wheat flour if you wish. Although I have never tried making 100% whole wheat pita bread, I have substituted as much as half of the white flour with wheat. The end result was still delicious. However, if I’m being honest, I prefer pita bread made white flour over wheat.

 

Stovetop or Oven? 

Recently, I have noticed a trend of cooking pita bread in a cast-iron skillet on the stove, versus the oven. I have given this method a few tries and have found that the pita does not puff up most of the time. Sure you might have an occasional puff, but I don’t like those odds. In my humble opinion, the pan method should be left for making flatbread and tortillas. If you’re still not convinced, check out the photo below. The pita on top of the stack was cooked in a pan; it did not puff up at all. The rest were cooked in the oven, and they all puffed up perfectly.

pita bread

 

Oven Temperature and Cooking Times 

Your oven should be set to 500°F. Cooking with a lower temperature for a longer period does not achieve the same great results. Either a pizza stone or a cast-iron skillet is a must for this recipe. Whichever you decide to use, be sure to heat it in the 500°F oven for 15 minutes first. How long should you cook the pita? Let’s just say I have experimented enough for the both of us. I have found that cooking the bread for three minutes, then quickly flipping over for an additional minute helps to achieve the perfect puff. If you flip the pita too soon, it will not have had a chance to puff up. Cooking for an additional minute on the other side helps that side to brown as well.

 

Follow these few simple, yet necessary steps, and you will be baking pita bread like a Middle Eastern grandma in no time!



Print Recipe
Pita Bread
pita bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
pita pockets
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
pita pockets
Ingredients
pita bread
Instructions
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in honey and set aside for five minutes, or until the water is frothy.
    pita bread
  2. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast and water mixture, along with one tablespoon of the olive oil.
    pita bread
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixed. Knead by hand, or use a mixer with a dough hook attachment. Mix until the dough is elastic and smooth, approximately five minutes.
    pita bread
  4. Add dough to a bowl, coated with the remaining oil. Roll the dough to coat evenly with the oil. Cover with a towel and allow to rest in a warm spot for two hours.
    pita bread
  5. Divide the dough into eight equal portions. Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
    pita bread
  6. Remove the top racks from the oven, leaving only the lowest rack. Place a pizza stone or a cast-iron skillet on the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  7. Lightly flour your work surface. Roll out one portion of dough at a time into an 8” circle, leave the remaining portions covered.
    pita bread
  8. Using a spatula, transfer the rolled out dough onto the pizza stone or cast-iron skillet. Set timer to three minutes.
    pita bread
  9. After three minutes have elapsed, turn the pita bread over with a spatual and cook for an additional minute.
    pita bread
  10. pita bread
  11. Place the cooked pita bread into a paper bag and close the bag. Do the same with the remaining dough. The pita bread will stay soft if you cool it off in the paper bag.
    pita bread
  12. Another option is to wrap the warm pita bread in a clean dishtowel. Repeat with the remaining dough.
    pita bread
  13. Place cooled pita bread in a ziplock bag and store in the refrigerator. Heat in a toaster or a pan before serving.
Recipe Notes

Goes Great With

Buried Cheese

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