Guys, do you know how easy it is to make pita bread at home? Okay, so maybe “easy” isn’t the right word. It’s totally doable, though. If you can make pizza dough, you can definitely make pita bread.
When you really think about it, they are almost exactly the same thing. Pita bread is just a smaller version of pizza dough and the recipes are practically identical.
I tell you all this so that you are not intimidated by the pita bread. Of course if pizza dough intimidates you, then this isn’t helping. Don’t you worry though; I have a whole blog post that will get you over that real quick.
Like most bread, it all starts with the yeast. If you haven’t worked with yeast much, it may seem a bit scary. But don’t worry, I got you. I will teach you everything you need to know right now.
Yeast thrives in a warm, sweet environment. So as long as you give the yeast a little bit of sugar (honey counts) and heat it up a bit, your yeast will do whatever you want (not unlike myself).
I stir my yeast into water that is about 100 degrees (it feels just warm to the touch, not hot!) with a bit of sugar dissolved in. After about 10 minutes, it should be foamy, like you see in the picture above.
The yeast mixture is poured into a mixture of flour, baking soda, and salt along with a bit of olive oil.
After a it gets all mixed together, it will be a bit of a shaggy mess. Now it’s time to get kneading. You can have your stand mixer do the work for your, or you can roll up your sleeves and do the dirty work yourself. Knead the dough until the shaggy dough becomes a smooth, elastic ball of dough.
At this point you would transfer the dough to a greased bowl so that it can proof until it’s doubled in size. This is the part I always forget to take pictures of, so you are just going to have to trust me on this.
After the dough has proofed, divide the dough into 6-8 smaller balls of dough and roll out into discs. Lay the discs out under a damp cloth and let proof for another 10 minutes or so.
Now is the fun part! Baking them! It is so fun to watch them puff up into these huge bread balloons.
If you want a little extra color and char on the pita, throw them on a hot skillet and cook for another minute or so on each side.
Now you have prefect little pita pockets. Because they puffed right up in the oven, they will turn right into pockets once you cut open one end or cut them in half.
Also, like most things, I prefer these homemade pitas much more than the store bought ones. Especially right out of the oven! Delish!
- 1 cup water
- 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Heat the water up in the microwave for about 35 seconds. Stir in sugar until it is dissolved. Stir in yeast then let sit and bloom for 5 to 10 minutes until a foam forms on top.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, or bow of a stand mixer, whisk together the flours, salt, and baking soda. Pour in yeast mixture and oil and begin mixing. Once all the flour is incorporated and the dough looks a little shaggy, begin kneading the dough (or use a dough hook). Knead for 5 to 10 minutes until dough forms a smooth, elastic ball. If the dough is too wet and tacky, add up to 1/4 cup additional flour.
- Transfer dough to a greased bowl and let proof for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
- Divide proofed dough into 8 even balls, Roll into discs about 1/4 inch thick. Let rest under a damp towel for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a large pizza stone or baking sheet inside to heat up. Place about 4 discs of dough on the stone at a time and bake for 3-4 minutes. Dough will be completely puffed up.
- Place the baked pitas under a towel and continue baking the rest of the pita.
- Once all pitas are baked, place a cast iron skillet on high heat. Place a pita on the skillet to char for about 1 minute or less, turning half way through.
- Serve warm, or store in a zip top bag once cooled to room temperature.