There is something magical about homemade bread. The scent of freshly baked bread gently drifting through the kitchen creates an enchanting atmosphere, infusing the air with cozy anticipation. While there are countless varieties of bread to indulge in, one standout that combines versatility, taste, and a touch of Middle Eastern flair is pita bread. With its soft and fluffy texture, pita bread has become a staple in households and restaurants worldwide, serving as a vessel for countless delectable fillings and spreads.
Originating in the Middle East, pita bread has gained popularity worldwide for its ability to act as a vessel for countless fillings and dips or simply as a side to be torn and savored. While store-bought pita bread is easily accessible, there's an incomparable joy in crafting your own at home. Not only will you revel in the delightful process of making it, but you'll also enjoy the unmatched flavor and freshness of homemade pita bread.
In this post below, we will share the easy-to-make homemade pita bread recipe. Whether you're an experienced baker or just starting your journey in homemade bread, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and techniques needed to achieve a perfectly fluffy and delicious pita every time. This easy-to-make pita may become one of your favorite go-to homemade bread recipes.
Homemade Pita Bread Recipe
1 hour and 25 minutes
1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, honey (or maple syrup), and yeast. Gently stir using a wooden spoon and allow the mixture to rest for approximately 5 minutes until it develops a frothy texture.
2. In a large mixing bowl, blend together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Create a hollow in the middle of the flour mixture. Pour the yeast mixture and olive oil into the hollow. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until a cohesive dough forms. If the dough sticks excessively to the bowl, sprinkle a small amount of additional flour and knead it in.
3. Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for approximately 5-7 minutes until it reaches a smooth and elastic consistency. If the pita bread dough feels overly sticky, you have the option to incorporate a small amount of additional flour.
4. Transfer the pita bread dough into a greased bowl and cover it either with a clean kitchen towel or a designated cover. It is recommended to position the bowl in a warm location and let the dough rise for approximately 1-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
5. Set the oven temperature to 475°F (245°C) and allow it to preheat. If you possess a pizza stone, position it in the oven during the preheating process.
6. After the pita dough has completed its rising, gently press it down to release the trapped air. Proceed to divide the dough into small dough balls of equal size.
7. Flatten each ball on a lightly floured work surface into a circular shape, approximately 1/4 inch thick. This can be achieved either by using a rolling pin or by gently stretching the dough with your hands. With caution, transfer the rolled-out dough onto a baking sheet, parchment paper, or a preheated pizza stone.
8. Place the prepared pita in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 5-7 minutes, or until it expands and becomes golden brown. If you have a pizza stone, you can bake multiple pitas simultaneously. Once the pita is fully baked, remove it from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Tips & Notes
Properly proof the yeast: When activating the yeast, ensure that the water is warmed to approximately 105-110°F (40-43°C). If the water is excessively hot, it can deactivate the yeast, while if it's too cold, the yeast won't activate properly. Let the yeast mixture sit undisturbed for a few minutes until it becomes frothy, indicating that the yeast is active.
Balance the flours: Combining whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour creates a nice balance in the texture and flavor of the pita bread recipe. The whole wheat flour adds fiber and nutrients, while the all-purpose flour helps create a lighter texture.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.4g
Saturated Fat 0.2g
Total Carbohydrate 18.6g
Dietary Fiber 0.8g
Total Sugars 0.6g
Vitamin D 0mcg
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Knead the dough well: The process of kneading the dough aids in the development of gluten, which imparts structure and elasticity to the pita. Take your time and knead the dough thoroughly until it reaches a smooth consistency and exhibits resilience when pressed with your finger.
Allow proper rising time: The rising time is crucial for the dough to develop flavor and to ensure the pita puffs up well in the oven. Locate a warm spot for the dough to rise, such as close to a window or on the surface of a preheated oven. If the room temperature is too low, the dough might require an extended period to rise.
Preheat your oven and baking surface: Ensure that you preheat your oven and, if utilizing a pizza stone, position it inside the oven during the preheating process. This will ensure that the pita bakes evenly and puffs up properly.
Roll the dough evenly: While rolling out the dough, strive to maintain a uniform thickness to promote even baking and consistent puffing. If the dough is too thick, the pita may not puff up well; if it's too thin, it may become too crispy.
Use a Stand Mixer: If a stand mixer is available, you can knead the dough at low speed using a dough hook attachment in a stand mixer instead of hand kneading the pita dough.
What Ingredients You Will Need To Make This Homemade Pita Bread Recipe
Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour is a more nutritious option compared to refined all-purpose flour due to the presence of bran and germ, which contribute higher levels of fiber and essential nutrients. It adds a nutty flavor and contributes to the overall healthiness of the pita.
In the event that whole wheat flour is unavailable, you have the option to substitute with whole wheat pastry flour or a blend of all-purpose flour and wheat bran. Nonetheless, it is important to note that the resulting texture and flavor may vary slightly.
In this pita recipe, all-purpose flour is incorporated alongside whole wheat flour to achieve a lighter texture. It helps to balance the density of the whole wheat and makes it softer.
If all-purpose flour is unavailable, bread flour can be utilized as a substitute. Bread flour contains a higher protein content, aiding in gluten development and overall structural integrity. However, the result may be slightly denser.
Salt enhances the flavor of this pita. Additionally, bread flour assists in regulating the fermentation process by moderating yeast activity and enhancing the gluten structure. There is no exact substitute for salt in terms of functionality.
However, if you need to reduce your salt intake, you can simply reduce the amount used in the recipe or omit it altogether. It is important to note that the flavor of the pita may undergo a slight alteration.
Active Dry Yeast
Yeast is responsible for the rising and leavening of the dough. As the yeast consumes the sugars present in the dough, it generates carbon dioxide gas, leading to the expansion of the dough and the formation of air pockets within the pita.
In case you don't have active dry yeast, you can substitute with an equal amount of instant yeast. Instant yeast does not necessitate proofing and can be directly added to the dry ingredients.
Honey or Maple Syrup
To activate the yeast, honey or maple syrup is utilized as a natural sweetener. The yeast feeds on the sugars present in these sweeteners, facilitating its activation and the fermentation process of the dough.
If you opt not to use honey or maple syrup, you have the option to substitute them with an equal quantity of coconut sugar or agave syrup.
Warm water is employed to dissolve and activate the yeast. The warm temperature (around 105-110°F or 40-43°C) helps wake the yeast up and kick-start the fermentation process. Warm water is essential for activating the yeast properly. For optimal results, ensure the water is neither excessively hot nor too cold.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil contributes moisture and flavor to the pita, ensuring it remains tender and prevents dryness.
If you prefer, you can substitute olive oil with another mild-flavored oil, such as avocado oil or canola oil. The primary objective is introducing moisture to the dough, so any neutral-flavored oil will suffice.
How to store pita bread
If you plan to use the pita within a day or two, you can wrap each pita individually in food wrap or aluminum foil and then in an airtight container. This will aid in preserving moisture and safeguarding the pita from becoming dry.
If you plan to use the bread within 2-3 days, store it in the refrigerator. The cool temperature will help preserve freshness. Don't forget to securely seal the container to avoid absorbing odors from other foods in the refrigerator.
If you intend to store the pita for an extended duration, freezing is the recommended approach. It is advisable to individually wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap or place them in separate freezer bags. Then, place the baked pitas in the freezer. Properly stored, frozen pita can last for up to 3 months.
When you are ready to utilize the stored pita, begin by thawing it. Retrieve the desired quantity of pitas from the refrigerator or freezer and allow them to thaw at room temperature for a few hours. Alternatively, you can place them in the refrigerator overnight for gradual thawing. Once thawed, you can reheat the pita by placing it in a preheated oven set to 350°F (175°C) for a few minutes until it is warmed through.
Ways To Make Pita Breads Without Using The Oven
There are other ways to make a pita bread recipe without an oven. In the event that an oven is not accessible, there are several alternative methods available for cooking pita. Here are three options to consider:
Warm a sizable skillet, cast iron skillet, or griddle over medium-high heat.
Position one rolled-out pita round onto the preheated skillet or griddle.
Cook for approximately 1-2 minutes on the initial side until bubbles form on the surface and the bottom turns a light brown color.
Use tongs or a spatula to flip the pita.
Continue cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes on the other side until it slightly inflates and is thoroughly cooked.
Repeat the process with the remaining rolled-out pita rounds.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
Lightly brush the grill grates with oil to prevent sticking.
Position the rolled-out pita bread directly on the grill grates.
Cook for approximately 1-2 minutes on each side until they acquire a light brown color and puff up.
Take the grilled pita off the grill and repeat the process with the remaining rolled-out pita rounds.
Stovetop Flame Method
If you have a gas stove with an open flame, you can cook the pita bread directly over the flame.
Turn on the gas burner to medium heat and adjust the flame size.
Carefully place one rolled-out pita round directly on the flame using tongs.
Cook for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side or until they achieve a light char and puff up.
Remove from the flame and proceed to repeat the process with the remaining rolled-out pita rounds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I use only whole wheat flour to make pita bread?
While using only whole wheat is possible, it may result in denser and heavier pita bread. Combining whole wheat with all-purpose flour helps create a lighter texture. However, if you prefer 100% whole wheat pita bread, you can experiment with adjusting the hydration and rising time to achieve the desired outcome.
Why isn't my pita bread puffing up?
Pita bread requires high heat to puff up properly. If your pita isn't puffing, it could be due to several reasons: the oven or cooking surface not being hot enough, the dough not being rolled out evenly, or not allowing enough time for the dough to rise properly. Ensure the cooking surface is preheated, roll the dough to an even thickness, and allow sufficient rising time for better results.
Can I freeze the dough or baked pita bread?
Yes, you can freeze pita bread and pita dough.
To freeze the dough, shape it into rounds, wrap each round tightly in plastic wrap, and place them in a freezer bag. The frozen dough can be thawed, raised, and then cooked as usual. Baked pita bread can also be frozen; wrap each pita tightly in plastic wrap or place them in freezer bags, and thaw and reheat when needed.
How long does it take for the dough to rise?
The duration of the rising time may differ based on factors such as temperature and yeast activity. Generally, it takes approximately 1-2 hours for the dough to double in size during the initial rise. However, monitoring the dough and letting it rise until it has visibly doubled in volume is important.
Why is my pita bread not puffing up?
Pita bread may not puff up properly due to various reasons. Some common causes include not rolling the dough thinly enough, insufficient oven temperature or cooking time, using stale or inactive yeast, or not allowing enough time for the dough to rise. Ensure the oven is properly preheated, the dough is rolled thinly, and the yeast is active for best results.
How do I keep pita bread soft?
For maintaining the softness of pita bread, proper storage is essential. Ensure the baked pita bread cools down entirely before placing it in an airtight container or resealable bag. This practice helps preserve moisture and keep the pita bread soft. If the pita bread becomes slightly dry, you can lightly dampen it with water and heat it in a microwave or a covered skillet to regain some softness.