Homemade Pita Bread

Nick and I both love hummus and I try to keep a batch of it in the fridge so we can snack on it during the week with vegetables. I keep meaning to buy some pita bread to eat with the hummus, but the last two weeks I have forgotten. I thought about it again today and figured I could easily find a recipe online for homemade pita bread. I ended up merging recipes from The Fresh Loaf and my friend Ally at Culinary Infatuation. Not only were these incredibly easy to make, but tasted a thousand times better than any store bought pita I have had before. And watching them puff into saucers while in the oven will make you giddy too ;-)

More about making the pita bread and the recipe after the break…

My notes are in red.

Pita Bread

Makes 8 pitas

3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1 packet yeast [I used instant]
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water, roughly at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening

Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water [I had to add a bit more water].

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes. [I did it by hand and 10 minutes was dead on as far as a time estimate.]

When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes. [Mine doubled in about 40 minutes; maybe it was because I used instant yeast, but that is what The Fresh Loaf used, or perhaps the space was just ultra warm?]

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces. [I used a kitchen scale to ensure they were all about the same size.] Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it’ll be easier to shape.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick – 6 inches in diameter. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet [I used parchment paper] and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface [I made 2 at a time on my baking stone]. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn’t necessary [I baked mine for about 5 minutes each].

Check out that puff!

The perfect sandwich:

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27 Responses

  1. The pictures don’t work for me right now (stupid work!), but this is such a great idea! I love pita bread!

  2. Yeah, we have been making pita since I was younger and I HATE store bought now. It’s a good addiction, though. Looks great!!

  3. That looks great! Most homemade pita breads I’ve seen on blogs look hard and crispy, so I’ve not been inclined to make it myself, but yours look perfect!

  4. These look terrific! I am saving this so that I can try it!! I haven’t had pita bread in years!

  5. pita bread is delicious, and so much fun to make! my old oven didn’t have a window in it, so i could never watch the puffage–a tragedy, i know. i have a window now, and i always find an excuse to make more pitas! :)

  6. Ohh Chelle the bread looks great!

  7. They look like beautiful sand dollars! They really look wonderful!

  8. I’ve been meaning to make my own pita for a while now, too. This looks great! I need to figure out how to make the “Greek” kind that is soft and doesn’t have a pocket, too. But, I’m not quite the bread extraordinaire, yet. :)

  9. They look perfect! We eat a TON of hummus, so having homemade pitas would be so nice. Did your leftovers keep well? I’m wondering if you could freeze the extras…

  10. Sharon – I actually did freeze mine! I wrapped each one individually and then put them all in a freezer bag. They were perfect.

  11. The thing I love about making bread is it always looks so storebought. Professional. Perfect. These are no exception.

  12. Oh yum Chelle, these look awesome! I can’t wait to make some so I can turn them into sandwiches and pita chips! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Great job, those look fantastic. I’m a big pita fan myself. yum…

  14. wow, awesome! i had no idea pita bread was so easy (or at least you make it sound easy).

    those are gorgeous. i’m definitely gonna have to give this one a try some time!

  15. I’ve never tried to make my own pits bread, gotta give it a go. They look great.

  16. Fantastic! I definitely have to give this a try! :)

  17. how cool! i’ve been wanting to try my hand at this since seeing it on ally’s blog too! it looks great!

  18. I love hummus too! I’ve made piadine to go with it before, but I don’t think I’ve tried making pita bread – it has been on my to do list. I’ll have to try it soon.

  19. OMG! They look fantastic! I may pop my yeast cherry with them;)

  20. Yum. Those look great. I’ve made pitas once, with the recipe in the Bread Bible. I definitely need to try it again. Especially since I just checked my notebook and discovered that it’s been three years since I did that.

  21. My mother and I made this recipe and they are delicious! They didn’t last long in the house. Thanks for sharing!

  22. They look wonderful! I love pita and seriously could eat it with every meal!

  23. My pita breads are all rolled out and just waiting to double in size.

    This is not just a great recipe, but the pictures, and the notes mean that it’s easy to follow.

    Well done – I can’t wait to take them to work for lunch and proudly tell that I made them myself!!!

  24. [...] surface, which I’m guessing is what produces the characteristic pocket. I’ve seen recipes that use a pizza stone for this, but I’ve always just preheated a flour-coated baking pan. As [...]

  25. These look and sound great! I’m going to add these to my ‘need to make’ list.

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