How to make homemade pita bread- a simple step by step recipe that turns out perfect every time! Feel free to use ½ whole wheat flour for a more nutritious version!
Pita Bread Recipe
- 2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast ( if using fast-rising Instant Yeast, my preference, please see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup warm water (or sub 1/2 cup plain yogurt for 1/2 of the water and skip the oil)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 330–350 grams flour ( all-purpose white or whole wheat, or a mix of both ( see notes for other fun options) About 2 1/2 cups. More for rolling.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, stir yeast, sugar and lukewarm water. Let sit for 15 minutes uncovered, until water is frothy and yeast is activated. ( If using instant yeast, see notes! Much faster and easier!)
- Using wood spoon or a paddle attachment mix in oil, salt and flour, and mix until combined. 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.
- Coat the bowl and dough with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap, then a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot for about 2 hours ( 1 hour if using INSTANT YEAST), or until the dough has doubled in size. ( I like to place dough on 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 sit 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.
- 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 in a dish or basket, lined and covered with a kitchen towel … 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.
- If using quick rising yeast or instant yeast ( which I LOVE and recommend) you do not need to dissolve it in water first (the granules are smaller) just place it along with all the other ingredients into a stand mixer or large bowl, and mix, then kneed with your hand or with dough hook for 3 minutes. Rising time will shorten by half!
- If using all whole wheat flour, start with 300 grams, adding more as needed. You want a slightly wet tacky dough.
- 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.
- I often play around with using different flours, with good success. Sometimes I’ll sub 1/2 a cup of buckwheat flour or rye for deeply colored pitas. Spelt is a great option too! If unsure, blend with white or whole wheat. Key is a tacky, elastic dough- not too dry! Have fun!
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