Homemade Pita Bread

March 21, 2021


Four minutes in the oven is all that it takes to make freshly baked homemade Pita Bread. The Pita is baked at a high temperature, the moisture in the dough turns to steam causing the Pita bread to puff up making its own little pocket. Perfect for stuffing with your choice of vegetables, or sandwich fixings.


This recipe is by Mel at melskitchencafe.com

”I’ve been posting my favorite, tried-and-true recipes on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe since 2008. I find tremendous joy in making other people (real life or virtual friends!) happy through crazy delicious, amazing food. Even now, all these years and millions of readers later, my motives for food blogging haven’t changed. I simply want to share the best of the best recipes that will help you (and me!) feel like a rock star in the kitchen.“ melskitchencafe.com

HOW DO YOU FILL A PITA BREAD?


Instead of cutting the bread directly in half, trim a 1 ½” opening from the top. Flip that trimmed piece over and tuck it into the bottom of the pocket before filling it with whatever you happened to be craving. You’re basically giving your pita a kevlar vest.www.bonappetit.com

HOMEMADE PITA BREAD


Course: Bread Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern Keyword: pita breadPrep Time: 3 hours Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutesServings: 8Calories: 197kcalAuthor: Mel at melskitchencafe.com

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-1 1/4 Cup Warm Water 110F
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Directions:

  • How to Proof Yeast—Step 1: Stir it Up. In a large bowl, give the yeast, water and sugar a little stir. The water should be warm enough—ideally between 105º and 115º—to really get the yeast going. Step 2: Wait it Out. Be patient, and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl (if mixing by hand), combine the water, yeast, salt and 1 1/2 cups flour. Beat to form a soft batter-like consistency.
  • Add additional flour until the dough starts to come together. It may look rough and shaggy at first but as you continue kneading, it will come together. Add enough flour to form a soft dough that clears the sides of the bowl (but is still slightly tacky to the touch.
  • Knead for 4-5 minutes with an electric mixer or 8-9 minutes by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Coat the inside of a large bowl with a little olive oil, place the dough in it. Place in a warm location, cover loosely and let rise until doubled in volume, about one hour.
  • Place the pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 475F. The pizza stone needs to be very hot, so let it preheat for at least 30-45 minutes prior to baking.

• After the dough rises for about an hour, turn the dough onto a lightly floured countertop and divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Roll the dough pieces into a ball shape. Lightly cover the balls of dough and let them rest for 10-15 minutes.

• After the dough rises for about an hour, turn the dough onto a lightly floured countertop and divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Roll the dough pieces into a ball shape. Lightly cover the balls of dough and let them rest for 10-15 minutes.

• Roll each dough ball into a thin disc, about 1/4-inch thick. Do your best to keep an even thickness throughout the entire disc of dough since this helps the dough puff in the oven (among other things).

• Let the pita rounds rest, lightly covered, for 30-40 minutes until they are slightly puffed. While the pita rounds are resting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. There are three methods for baking the pita bread.

• 1) Use a baking stone. Preheat the stone in the oven for 30-40 minutes (while the pita rounds are resting). When ready to bake, gently lift a pita disc, with your fingers or a large spatula, and flip it onto the hot baking stone (if your stone is large enough you can bake more than one at a time). Flip the dough so that the side that was resting on the counter is now facing up. You want the the side that has been exposed to air (the dry side) to be down on the baking stone and the side that is more doughy and moist to be facing up – this helps the pita puff up. If you bake one or two and they aren’t puffing, spritz the top of the pita round with a light mist of water before baking.


• 2) If you don’t have a baking stone, preheat the oven like normal and then when the pitas have rested, gently flip two of them onto a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Again, make sure you flip them so that the side that was resting on the counter is now facing up. Spritz with water, if needed. Remember to spritz the top of the pita round with a light mist of water before baking.

• 3) You May follow the same steps of placement (side that was resting on the counter should face up) but this time cook the pita on the stovetop using a cast iron skillet.spritz the top of the pita round with a light mist of water before baking.

• Bake the pitas for 10 minutes, until they are starting to brown very lightly on top and they have puffed several inches high. Keep in mind, though, that it won’t be unusual to have some pitas that just refuse to puff. Still take them out after 10 minutes – they will make great flatbreads and will still taste delicious even if they don’t have the magical pocket inside. The trick to great pita puffing is to roll the pita evenly and to make sure the dough isn’t dry on top when it goes in the oven (hence the reason for flipping the pita onto the baking stone or baking sheet). Don’t get discouraged if your pitas don’t all puff. I had some non-puffers and we made little pizzas out of them and/or used them to roll around the filling instead of stuffing inside the pita. The baked and cooled pitas can be frozen or stored covered at room temperature for 1-2 days.

NOTES:

  • Active Dry Yeast: One package is 2 ¼ teaspoons, you can use the entire amount, a little extra won’t hurt your Pita Bread recipe. I buy a jar of yeast and keep it in the refrigerator. You need to add the yeast to warm water, with the sugar and a pinch of flour, let it sit for about 10 minutes. You will notice after 10-minutes the surface of the water is covered in foam. This indicates your yeast is good and you’re ready to proceed with the recipe. See the tutorial on yeast (at melskitchencafe.com) that may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.
  • Warm Water: You need to wake up the yeast and activate it. The water needs to be 110F, an instant-read thermometer works great, but I’ve often just checked the temperature by hand. As long as it is warmer than body temperature and not so hot that it is burning you, it will activate the yeast.
  • Sugar: The yeast needs something to consume in order to activate, a little sugar and a pinch of flour will help activate the yeast and gives your Pita Bread a delicate sweetness.
  • Flour: I use a combination of wheat and all-purpose flour. You can make Pita Bread with either 100% whole wheat or all-purpose flour or a combination of both. Just make sure the total amount of flour equals 2 ¾ cups. If using part or all whole wheat flour, add a few minutes to the kneading time to help develop the gluten.
  • Olive Oil: Gives the bread great texture and flavor. For Pita Bread, you want to keep the finished baked bread soft and not too chewy. Olive oil, in this case, is working as the ‘shortening’ preventing the gluten protein strands from becoming too long thereby creating tougher bread.
  • Salt: It is always important to add the salt towards the end of kneading the Pita Bread dough. When making any recipe with yeast, you never want the yeast to come into direct contact with the salt.
  • Here’s how to soften pitas: Place 2 pitas together on a paper plate. Wrap the pitas and plate in moistened paper towels. Microwave 1 minute on high. Turn pitas over, rewrap and microwave for 40 seconds.www.chicagotribune.com
  • The best way to heat up pitas: Wrap the dried out pita bread in a moist towel. Put the bread on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for around 10 seconds. You can also use the oven to reheat the bread. Leaving the bread in the oven preheated to 200 degrees F for around 10 minutes will get the bread warm and soft. foodsguy.com
  • If the oven temperature is too low, steam won’t puff the pitas, and you’ll end up with duds. … As soon as they puff, they’re done. Over-baking will leave them hard and dry. * If you don’t own a baking steel or stone, you can bake the pitas in a cast iron skillet instead.

www.seriouseats.com

WHAT GOES WELL WITH PITA?
The following ideas were written by Rachel Sanders and appear in taste.co. You can find recipes to all 26 Meals taste.co.
23 Easy And Inexpensive Meals You Can Make With Pita Bread

Here are four more ideas from loveandlemons.com:
1. Kale & Apple Salad with Avocado

  • Kale
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • A bit of Dijon mustard
  • Squeezes of lemon
  • Apple slices
  • Avocado
  • Pine nuts
  • Salt & pepper.

2. Smashed Avocado and Sunflower Seeds

  • Avocado
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Sprinkle of sunflower seeds (or any seeds you like)
  • Salt & pepper.

3. Red Pepper Hummus with Chickpeas & Feta

  • Red pepper hummus (recipe below)
  • A few chickpeas
  • Diced red onion
  • Feta
  • Pine nuts
  • Parsley
  • Red pepper flakes.

Red pepper hummus (make in advance)

  • 1¼ cups chickpeas
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jarred roasted red pepper (about ¼ cup worth)
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1-2 teaspoons dry harissa seasoning
  • Water, if necessary for consistency
  • Salt & pepper.

4. Carrot & Quinoa Salad with Curry Yogurt

  • Leftover cooked quinoa
  • Dried currants
  • Olive oil
  • Squeezes of lime
  • A bit of cumin
  • Shaved carrot ribbons
  • A few salad greens
  • Greek yogurt
  • A bit of curry powder
  • Salt & pepper

NUTRITION FACTS:
Serving Size 1 pita breadServes 8
Amount Per ServingCalories 195% Daily Value*Total Fat 2.3g 3%Cholesterol 0mg 0%Sodium 510.2mg 22%Total Carbohydrate 37.8g 14%Sugars 1.7gProtein 5.3g 11%

  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%
  • Calcium 1%
  • Iron 12 %

How did you modify this recipe? Please share in the comments. Thank you for sharing!

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