The open airy pockets in pita bread are perfect for stuffing with your favorite fillings. One day while I was in our local middle eastern market, I watched the bakers making pocket bread. A flat piece of dough went into a fire heated oven and came out all puffed and golden brown. I was mesmerized! One bite of this warm bread and I was hooked!
Recently, my husband wanted pita bread for dinner and the market was closed. So, I googled how to make pita bread. I figured it can’t be that hard. Right? OMG! The pita bread puffed up like a balloon and turned golden brown just like the ones from the market. And the taste? Aw! Yum! The best part was the airy pocket hidden inside. 😊
Homemade pita bread is so much better than the stuff that is called pita bread at the grocery store. A close second would be the pocket bread from our local market. I’m hooked! I can’t ever go back to pre -packaged pita bread. Not when homemade is so easy to make and superior in flavor.
Makes: 8 pitas
Cook Time: 4-6 minutes
Temperature: Medium to Medium High
Recipe Source: All Recipes Chef John
- 1 package (.25 oz) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (90 to 100 degrees F.)
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour.
- 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. sea or kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, or more as needed
- 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
1.In the bowl of your mixer, add the 1 cup of flour, the yeast and 1 cup of warm water (90 to 100 degrees F. )
2. Whisk together and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. The mixture will bubble and foam as it rises and makes a loose sponge.
3. Pour 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil into the sponge. Add 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour. Mix together on a low speed using the dough hook until the dough is soft and supple. The dough will feel tacky or slightly sticky. If the dough sticks to the sides of the mixing bowl, add a little more flour. You can add up to ¼ cup additional flour a little bit at a time, as needed.
4. Knead the dough with the dough hook until it is slightly springy and still soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a ball.
5. Wipe a clean bowl with ¼ tsp. of the olive oil. Turn the dough ball around in the bowl to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with foil. Yes, I did say foil and let rest until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
6. On a floured work surface, lightly pat the the dough into a flat shape. Use a dough cutter or knife to cut dough into 8 equal pieces.
7. Form each piece into a small ball with a smooth top by pulling dough from the sides and tucking the ends underneath the bottom.
8. Use a lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap to cover the dough balls. Let the balls rest for 30 minutes.
9. Lightly sprinkle a small bit of flour on top of each ball and on the work surface. Gently pat each dough into a flat round circle about ¼ inch thick. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel, to keep the dough from drying out. Let the the dough circles rest for 5 minutes.
10. Brush the skillet with ¾ tsp. olive oil. Heat the skillet over medium to medium high heat. Carefully lay the pita into the hot skillet and cook until it begins to puff up and the bottom has brown spots and it starting to blister, about 2 to 3 minutes.
11. Flip and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
12. Then, flip the pita back over and cook for an additional 30 seconds. The pita will begin to puff up and fill with air. Each pita will create a different size air pocket. You may see a small pocket of air form, or the whole pita will puff.
13. Cool the pitas on a wire rack or a plate. The pita will deflate as it cools. The finished pita looks like an English Muffin on the outside, with a hidden pocket on the inside. When the pitas are cool enough to handle, break the bread in half and open the pocket inside. Add your favorite fillings or eat them just the way they are.
Once you taste these pitas, you will never want to eat another pre-packaged pita from the store again. Homemade pita bread from our kitchen to yours! 💗