Monday, March 31, 2014

Pita Bread

Warm pita bread- fresh from the oven. Delicious and actually easy to make!

I did it! I actually created a baked good that is worthy of sharing on this blog!  Okay, I did make these pretzels and this grapefruit quick bread but those don't count because sugar hides a multitude of sins (except gluttony).

This pita bread is actually quite easy to make and the hands on time is minimal, but it is about a day and half long project and requires storing the dough in the fridge, so be sure you clear out space before you embark on this journey.  You might also consider bringing some friends along for the ride.  I brought Littlest. He ate frozen peas while I mixed the dough, and by the time he finished his peas, I was done with the hands on part for the day.  The next day, he took a nap and I finished the pitas.

The inspiration for these came from a repin of a recipe that is no longer available on Damn Delicious but I'm linking there anyways because that is some good food (or at least good food photography which I appreciate more every day).  She apparently used to have a recipe for a pulled pork Gyro, which is a great idea because really who knows how to cook lamb.  Not to mention that's like $27 a pound around here (possibly slight exaggeration, they don't actually sell it at the two closest grocery stores, so I wouldn't really know the price).

Anyhow, the Pin inspired me to make homemade pitas, and for once in my life it worked.  I had to adapt this recipe from Smitten Kitchen because my first few didn't turn out like I would have liked.

Once I got the technique down, the pitas poofed beautifully with a pocket of steam and a single slice yielded that traditional pocket that just waits to be stuffed with all kinds of Greek goodness (or lets be honest here, turkey and Sriracha work nicely too).

Deb of Smitten Kitchen compares the process of making these to the process of making pizza dough, but I disagree somewhat.  If you've ever done the "wet dough" technique associated with artisan bread in 5 minutes a day (sorry no link, to lazy and I'm not Amazon affiliate so there's really no point in my Googling this on your behalf) its more like that.  The basic difference is that with pizza dough, the rise really isn't that important, but with pita bread the rise is very important.

Also, before you start you're going to need some essential tools.
  1. Large 2 Quart Mixing Bowl (Ice cream buckets work too)
  2. Rolling Pin
  3. Plastic Wrap

Homemade Pita Bread

Pita Bread- It's like a carb pocket ready to be filled with Greek goodness

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 Full Pitas

  • 3 Cups +1/2 Cup for sprinkling Flour
  • 1.3 Cups + A few teaspoons for sprinkling Warm Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1. Mix water, yeast and sugar and allow yeast to proof ten minutes. 2. Add three cups flour, salt and olive oil and mix well. Then knead the dough briefly (2-3 minutes) and allow dough to rest 10 minutes 3. After resting, flour surface generously and begin kneading the dough. You may find that the dough gets too dry or to sticky. Add more water when the dough is too dry or more flour when its sticky. Knead for about five minutes 4. Oil a bowl and put dough in the bowl to rest. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least eight hours (but don't ignore my next instruction)5. For the first four hours of the rise, punch the dough down about once per hour. 6. When you are ready to make the pitas, flour a large surface, then grab a chunk of dough and make a ball about the size of a tennis ball. Flatten the ball into a disk (about the size of a CD) 7. Cover the disk in oiled plastic (reuse the covering of the bowl) and then repeat for all 6 pitas. 8. Allow dough to rest under the plastic for about 10-20 minutes. 9. Using a floured rolling pin on a floured surface roll out on pita disk at a time. The dough should be thin but not see through. Put the flat dough on a plate to rest. Generously rub the dough with water. If the dough starts to tear, you screwed up and you should start back on step 6 with that particular ball of dough. 10. Heat oven and a baking tray to 475 (ie put the baking tray in the oven while it preheats) 11. Place one pita on the hot baking tray and bake for four minutes and 15 seconds (basically for 45 seconds after the dough poofs, but the pita shouldn't be brown yet). 12. If you resist eating it right away, it's nice to cover these with a clean tea towel


  1. Can we talk about how adorable your son is?? What.

    1. He is so adorable, and he's always talking about wanting Auntie Greta to come visit! I can't wait to see you in two weeks.