How to make quick and easy homemade pita bread- a simple step by step recipe that turns out perfect every time! Allow 1-1 1/2 hours rising time.
Pita Bread Recipe
- 2 teaspoons Instant Yeast or quick-rising yeast ( if using active dry yeast please see notes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup warm water (or sub 1/2 cup plain yogurt for 1/2 of the water and skip the oil- see notes.)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose white, whole wheat, or a mix of both – see notes for other fun options) More for rolling. 330-350 grams
- sesame seeds– optional
- NOTE: When using instant yeast (or quick-rising yeast, which I LOVE) you do not need to dissolve the yeast in water first (the granules are smaller) and you’ll shorten the rising time by half! If using ACTIVE DRY YEAST, see notes below.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer (with paddle attachment) stir yeast, lukewarm water, olive oil, salt and mix until combined. Using wood spoon stir in flour, and mix until combined. The dough should feel tacky and slightly wet.
- Use the dough hook in stand mixer and kneed on med-low for 3 minutes- or kneed right in the bowl with the palm of your hand – folding, turning, folding, turning. If very tacky, use a wet hand.
- Coat the bowl and dough with olive oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm spot for 1 -1 1/2 hours (double the time if using active dry yeast) or until the dough has roughly doubled in size. ( I like to place dough on TOP of the stovetop with the oven turned on to low.) At this point you could refrigerate for later use, letting the dough come to room temp before using.
- Preheat oven to 500 F ( with the sheet-pan or pizza stone inside) and make sure the oven rack is on the bottom of the oven, with no additional racks above. You’ll need this room to maneuver and prevent burning yourself.
- Once the dough has doubled, on a floured surface, gently shape dough into a rope, and divide into 8 equal pieces, rolling into balls. Don’t mess with them too much. Place the balls on a floured surface. Let rest covered with a kitchen towel for 10-15 minutes. ( You can make smaller ones or bigger ones, no problem)
- Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into 6-7 inch rounds, about 1/8- ¼ inch thick. Let them rest for a few minutes before baking. By the time you get done rolling them all out, the first ones will be ready to bake. You could roll some sesame seeds on top of each one for cool presentation and flavor.
- Bake each pita for 3-4 minutes or so, until the pita bread puffs up. Carefully, using a kitchen towel or oven mitt, turn over and bake for 1- 2 more minutes. ( Using tongs may puncture the pita, deflating them!) It’s good to start with one tester. If your pita is not puffing up, make sure your oven is truly at a very hot 500 F and make sure your pan or stone is hot too. If pitas are rolled too thin, sometimes they will not puff up all the way.
- Carefully remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.
- Immediately place baked pita bread in a dish or basket, lined with a kitchen towel,folding it up and over the pita- this will keep the steam in and keep them warm and moist. Serve soon, while warm.
- If making ahead, let them cool slightly, then seal in a ziplock bag to retain moisture. Reheat until pliable in a toaster oven. Freeze, tightly sealed, and reheat in a toaster oven.
- If using ACTIVE DRY YEAST: In a large bowl or stand mixer, stir yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and lukewarm water. Let sit for 10 minutes uncovered, until water is frothy and yeast is activated. Then add oil, salt, and flour. Follow the instructions above, mixing and kneading. Allow 2-3 hours of rising time.
- If using all whole wheat flour, start with 300 grams, adding more as needed. You want a slightly wet tacky dough and whole wheat tends to soak up the moisture.
- YOGURT: Often in Middle Eastern cooking, yogurt is substituted for some of the water- so in this case you could sub ¼- 1/2 cup plain full-fat yogurt for equal parts of the water, which will add a nice chewiness. Up to you.
- Play around with using different flours. Sometimes I’ll sub 1/2 a cup of buckwheat flour or rye for deeply colored pitas. Spelt and Einkorn are great options too! If unsure, blend with white or whole wheat. Key is a tacky, elastic dough- not too dry! Have fun!
- Make this with sourdough starter. Stir 1/4 cup starter with the water. Stir in salt and olive oil. Stir in flour, and knead for 4 minutes. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise 8-12 hours until almost doubled. Proceed with recipe.
- Serving Size: 1 pita
- Calories: 175
- Sugar: 0.4 g
- Sodium: 293.2 mg
- Fat: 4.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 30.4 g
- Fiber: 4.7 g
- Protein: 5.9 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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