Making Pita Bread

Pita Bread Recipe

Fresh and Delicious!

No white bread to toast-I am supposed to disdain it anyway-and a bowl of tuna salad (with capers, of course)…what to do…what to do.  Digging through the freezer hoping to unearth an old slab of bread I thoughtfully saved for crumbs, I discover a pack of equally old pita bread.  Ok, this will do.  Toasted and stuffed, I bite.  Whoo, this is old pita, hard, freezer-burned and tasteless, but a bit better than naked tuna salad and much less carb-ladened than white bread.  Bite, chew.  Bite, chew……Wait a second!  I COULD MAKE THIS!!! I think I have instructions from the CIA for pita.  I look, I find, I make it.  I love it, company loves it, my Israeli friend loves it.  I got it.  So here it is.

The Recipe

  • 1lb 9 oz. all-purpose flour (about 4 1/3 cups)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 envelopes (1/2 oz.) dry yeast
  • ½ tsp sugar

Note: you can make whole wheat pitas but substituting up to ½ C of whole wheat flour for ½ cup of the all purpose flour.

  1. Preheat oven, preferably a baking stone to 500° or as high as your oven will go.
  2. Set up a large floured baking sheet and several barely damp towels
  3. Set up a second (and third) floured baking sheet and several dry towels
  4. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl
  5. Pour about ¼ C of the warm water into a smaller bowl and add the yeast and flour.  Wait about 5 minutes for it to bloom (bubble and become active).  Add the rest of the water.
  6. Add the water mixture to the flour mixture and work into dough.  Knead for about 10 minutes.  Or use a mixer with a dough hook and mix until the dough is formed.  This dough should NOT be sticky.
  7. Divide the dough into equal portions (about 12 or less, if you want larger pitas) and form into smooth balls.  Place the balls as they are done on the floured baking sheet and cover with damp towels-do not let them dry out.
  8. Roll each ball into a circular shape about 1/8” thick and place on another floured sheet and cover with dry towels.  Made sure the disks are smooth on both sides.  Wrinkles and tears will prevent the dough from puffing in the oven.  You can use a little bit of flour to help roll, if you need it.
  9. Cover well with the towels and let rise about 45 minutes.
  10. If you are not using a stone, preheat a baking sheet for about 10 minutes.  You are trying to simulate the shock of the bread’s contact with a baking stone by getting a baking sheet as hot as possible.
  11. After the pitas have risen, take the baking sheet out of the oven and quickly place several pitas on the sheet and quickly put it back in the oven.  Or toss the pitas onto the stone.
  12. When the pitas have puffed (3- 4 minutes), flip them over with tongs and let cook about a minute more.  They should be slightly brown in several spots, but not dark or dry.
  13. Take them out of the oven and quickly wrap them with dry towels to prevent them from drying out and getting crisp (the towels keep the steam in).  Serve immediately.  They willhold for several hours wrapped in towels. Or, when cool, put them in a Ziploc bag.  You can enjoy them for several days, but are best when hot from the oven.
Pita Bread Recipe

Rolled out and ready to go.

Pita Bread Recipe

Time to flip!

Categories: Breads, Recipes

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