Once you make your own pita bread, you will never go back to store-bought. It’s a relatively quick bread to make from scratch since it only requires 1¯½ to 2¯½ hours of rising. And there is nothing quite as gratifying as watching the pita rise in the oven and puff up to form its coveted pocket.
A few tips on how to make pita that will puff every time, which is satisfying to watch and even more satisfying to eat. (But even if it doesn’t puff up the first time you make, it’s still super delicious).
- Preheat your oven for a long time before baking.
- Use a pizza stone if you have one and pre-heat the stone.
- If you don’t have a pizza stone, use a baking sheet. But make sure to pre-heat the baking sheet.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out each piece before popping into the oven.
- You can use either part wheat flour and part white flour, or you can use all white flour.
- You can easily double this recipe.
- 2 tsp yeast
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 cup + 3 Tbsp lukewarm water
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- Place the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Add the lukewarm water. Stir gently to mix. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy.
- In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, olive oil, and salt. Add the yeast-water mixture and mix on low until dough comes together. Raise the mixer speed to medium and mix for 3 to 5 minutes. If dough seems too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time, taking care not to add too much water. If it feels too loose and wet, add 1 additional Tbsp flour. The dough should be firm, slightly shiny, and bounce back slightly when you touch it.
- Allow dough to rise in a greased bowl for 2 hours with a towel draped on top or covered in plastic wrap. (Note – you can do a slower rise overnight in the fridge).
- Preheat oven to 500°F and place the pizza stone on the top rack of oven to heat. Leave pizza stone in heated oven for at least 30 minutes. (Note: please check your pizza stone’s maximum temperature. Some pizza stones can only withstand a 400-degree oven).
- Divide the dough into 6 to 8 even pieces (use a food scale to measure most precisely).
- Roll each piece into a smooth ball and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Drape a towel over the baking sheet and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.
- Roll out each piece of dough into a flat, round disc around 3 inches wide and ½ inch thick, using a rolling pin. Keep remaining balls of dough covered while you are working.
- In batches of one or two, place flattened disc on pizza stone at back of oven. Watching closely, bake for 3 minutes or until pita has puffed up. Flip onto other side and bake for another 30 to 60 seconds.
- Using metal tongs, remove pita from oven and wrap immediately in a towel. Repeat with remaining dough until all the pitas have baked. Keep pita wrapped in a towel until it has completely cooled. If you place still-warm pita in a plastic bag or container, condensation will form and the bread will get soggy.