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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Pita Bread


Here we go again with another thing that is so much better homemade, I will probably never buy it from the store again.  This was so simple to make and fairly quick, and the result was incredible.  This blows store-bought pita bread out of the water.  The pitas were amazingly soft and airy, and tasted fabulous.  They were the perfect accompaniment to the hummus I made the same day (it will be my next update).  I’m sure they would be wonderful stuffed with many different things, but they didn’t last long enough for me to find out :-)  This is a recipe I will be making frequently.

I did have some issues with the dough being very sticky initially.  I had to constantly flour my hands and the work surface, but eventually it came to the right consistency, and it was a breeze from that point on.  The dough felt light and silky and made hand-kneading and shaping very enjoyable.  I’m already looking forward to making (and eating!) them again.

Pita Bread
Yield: 8 pitas

Ingredients:
3 cups flour, plus 1/2-3/4 cup more as needed
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar or honey
1 packet instant yeast
1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups water, roughly at room temperature
2 tbsp. olive oil, vegetable oil, butter or shortening

Directions:
Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar.  Add the olive oil and 1 ¼ cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon.  All of the ingredients should form a ball.  If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water.

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes.  As the dough is mixing, continue to add flour, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and is tacky but not sticky.  (I add a significant amount of flour, so don’t be afraid to keep adding more until you reach the right consistency.)

When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the dough around so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it will be easier to shape.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450°. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while it is preheating. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between ¼ – 1/8” thick – 6 inches in diameter. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently, you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5-10 minutes before trying again.

Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet or parchment paper and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn’t necessary.

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

  • http://delishfood.wordpress.com ash

    your pitas came out beautiful!

  • http://chelley325.wordpress.com Chelle

    Beautiful pitas! I’m glad you enjoyed these, I’m due for another batch myself. And I just made hummus yesterday, so it’s perfect timing.

  • Laura

    I love pita bread and these look gorgeous! : )

  • Erin

    What great timing for your post- I JUST posted a hummus recipe on my blog, then I saw that you made this pita bread! This looks so pretty and I can’t wait to get a chance to make it!

  • joelen

    I have to make this recipe… soon!

  • http://cateskitchen.blogspot.com Cate

    Wow they look absolutely perfect!

  • http://www.babyemilygifts.com Jennifer

    They look great….I have to try this!

  • http://www.goodeatsblog.com Jaime

    i really enjoyed this recipe too! i had to add some flour at the beginning to get it to be not so sticky…

  • http://amberskitchen.blogdspot.com Amber

    Your pita bread looks magnificent.

  • Liz

    I made these for dinner last night…they were amazing!

  • Michele

    These look great. When you use your electric mixer in step 2, do you use the dough hook or the regular paddle? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Hi Michele,
    I use a dough hook for that step. Sorry that wasn’t entirely clear.
    :) Annie

  • betchacanteatjustone

    Okay, I’ve made homeade pitas before and they turned out good but they weren’t anything like this recipe! These pitas are airy, but thick and soft and chewy at the same time and so fantastic! A keeper for sure!

  • Pingback: Pita Bread « Skinny Food By Amy

  • Allie

    Is it really necessary to preheat the oven that long?

    You say to turn it on 35-45 minutes before you put the Pitas in (when they rest as disks)

  • Annie

    Hi Allie,
    Good catch! No, I have made these many times since I first posted and realized that it is really not necessary to have the oven heated for that long. I will edit the recipe at some point to make more sense.
    Thanks,
    Annie

  • Sara

    I made these the other night and they were amazing! We couldn’t stop eating them. I was wondering if you’ve tried adding any wheat flour to thr recipe and if so how much did you substitute? Or would you suggest? Just thought if I could made them a touch more healthy I’d feel better about making them all the time!
    Thanks so much for all your awesome recipes!

  • Annie

    Hi Sara,
    Glad you enjoyed them! I actually have a recipe for wheat pitas saved that I haven’t tried yet because I always make this kind. I’ll give it a try soon so I can share with you! Wheat:all-purpose flour subs aren’t always one to one and this recipe can be finicky anyway, so I think that might be the way to go. Will plan on it soon!

  • http://mikeandkarlahenderson.blogspot.com Karla

    Hi, Annie! Hey, I was wondering if you could share some info on “instant yeast”? Is it really its own kind of yeast? Where do you find it in the grocery store (I shop at Meijer)? I would love to make this recipe for my upcoming birthday dinner this week. Thanks!

  • Annie

    Hi Karla,
    Instant yeast is the same as bread machine or rapid rise yeast, and is sold just the same as active dry (in packets or a jar), in the same location. I always use instant yeast no matter what the recipe calls for, and it gives much much better results than active dry.

  • http://a-voice-crying-out.com a voice crying out

    Hi. I use the yeast in the jar and I refill the jar. I was wondering does about 3tsp make a packet of yeast? I’m hoping to make these tomorrow. Are they best to eat the day you make them or can I wait a day or so?
    Thanks.

  • Annie

    A voice crying out,
    So sorry for the delayed response. It’s difficult to respond to everyone’s questions quickly. Google is always a good resource for these types of questions. 2 1/4 tsp. of yeast is equal to the amount in one packet.

  • Morgan

    I have been making these every once in a while for about 6 months now. These pitas are not only delicious but SUCH a hit in my house! One batch is gone by the next day. LOVE this recipe!!

  • Michele

    I want to try these again. My first batch a while back flopped but now I’ve been heeding your advice to weigh everything. How much should the flour weigh? Thanks again for all of the great recipes.

  • Annie

    Michele,
    I don’t weigh the flour for this particular recipe. This is a very finicky dough, and the amount of flour varies a lot depending on the humidity in your area. You just have to aim for the correct end feel – tacky, but not sticky. I do have a wheat pita recipe on the blog as well which I think is a little more reliable or has less “wiggle room” where the flour is concerned.

  • jazmin

    Annie! I am making these right now! so exiting to watch them puff up in the oven! Thanks! all the way from Paraguay, South America =)

  • jazmin

    oh! I forgot to tell you, I made 16 mini breads, ssooo cute =)

  • Alli

    I just tried these on the grill because my apartment has no ac and it’s about 100 outside – so amazingly perfect! I still used an upside down cookie sheet that I hardly use, and had the grill on medium to high heat. The first couple burned a bit on the bottoms, but the others were perfect!

  • Bethany

    This turned out great. I made it in the dorm and everyone loved it!

  • Emily

    Do you “make” the yeast (add the water to the yeast, allow it to sit, etc) before adding it to the flour?

  • Annie

    I think you mean “proof” the yeast. You don’t need to proof if you use instant yeast.

  • Kristen

    I made this recipe and it is wonderful! I will never buy pitas again!

  • Heidi

    These things are FANTASTIC! I didn’t have the time to commit to the french bread and we had tons of fresh vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, basil) from our crop share. I made these and we put homemade basil mayo, cheese and vegetables on there… SO SO good. I could have easily eaten them plain.

  • Cindy

    Finally made these today. You were right about the need for lots of flour. Kneading wasn’t a problem, but when I went to form the balls I found the dough was pretty sticky. My pitas rose a lot more than I thought they would. After checking a few other recipes I think I’ll skip that last 30-45 minute rise.

    This looks like the same recipe minus the final rise.

    http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/pitabread

    Making your Chicken Gyro recipe tonight. The marinade smells awesome!

  • Cindy

    Back to say thanks for both recipes! Dh ate 2 1/2 pitas! Guess that says it all.

  • darbishar

    I made these along with your chicken gyros, they were delicious. The only problem I had was with the pita, they rose a lot more than I thought they would. Next time I will try and roll them out even thinner or just skip that last resting/rise time. Even as thick as they were, they were still delicious and worked well for my gyros. Thanks so much for posting! BTW I found you on Pinterest.

  • http://www.zovs.com zov

    I used to make pita bread when i was in high school. These look delicious. You now inspired me to make them again. Thanks.

  • Bethannabel

    These are life-changing! I will never buy a store bought pita again. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  • gugs

    These were really great! The last time I tried to make pitas (from a different recipe) they were a big flop but these turned out perfectly. Now that I have a good basic recipe I am going to try making a yemenite version where you add tumeric and other spices to the dough!

    Just a question – some recipes call for pressing down on them after they come out of the oven – do you recommend this?

  • Anonymous

    No, I haven’t needed to do that.

  • Rose

    I love this recipe! it was so easy and they turned out amazing! the whole family likes them too. Thanks so much!

  • Noelle

    Annie you’re amazing!! I am becoming so fearless in the kitchen because of your wonderful blog!!! These were soooo good and we made the gyros too, just delish!!!

  • annieseats

    I love to hear that! Keep trying new things. It will only make you better!

  • sarah

    I’ve made these twice this month- we love them. This dough is so soft and stretchy and squeaky and fun to work with.

  • SueAnn

    I’ve tried other recipes for pita bread and they were ok. This recipe is the best! They came out great! I did bake them on a stone but turned the oven up to 500.

  • Dfvalent9

    Holy Moly! These were awesome! I made them today. Totally time consuming because I am new at this cooking/baking thing. But WOW were they worth it. I live and work in Dearborn (the American version of the Middle East really) and these were definitely comparable to theirs. Thanks! So when I get a hankering for them, but don’t want to leave the house, I can make them!
    P.S. my family loved loved loved them :-)

  • Cindy

    I made the homemade pita’s along with the chicken gyros for lunch today. They were wonderful!! My family and friends were impressed. It was my 1st time making pita bread but I will do it again. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  • zografia avgerou

    they are so fluffy!!!!!!!!!! we have loved them!

  • Pdurkinpix

    I would love to try these, but I have a question on the yeast. I have little packets of quick rise yeast, but I also have a large pkg of instant yeast – purchased in volume. How much is in the little packet of instant that you used? I need an actual measurement please.

  • annieseats

    1 packet = 2 1/4 tsp.

  • jaxjax

    I just made this tonight! I’ll be honest, I’ve tried to make breads “from scratch” before, and they’ve all turned out terrible. But this recipe was so easy, and my pita turned out FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

  • And2ken

    I successfully made these in my bread machine, they were fabulous!!! My husband raved at how light they were and the “pockets” formed beautifully. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Kayspiels27

    Can you make these without a mixer?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000432005329 Carolina Kavalkievicz

    I was able to make it without a mixer and they turn out delicious!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000432005329 Carolina Kavalkievicz

    Worth to cook the pittas. There is nothing better than homemade! Thanks for sharing the recipe, easy to follow and the result was fantastic!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.woolley.37 Thomas Woolley

    My Pitas are nine minutes away from going into the oven…I AM SO TERRIFIED!!

  • Melanie

    So easy and yummy. I can’t believe how much better homemade then store bought.

  • Melissa@mywholefoodlife

    I am glad I found this! Looks great. Would this recipe work with whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour?

  • annieseats

    I’d actually recommend this recipe. It’s the only one I use anymore! http://www.annies-eats.com/2010/04/20/whole-wheat-pita-bread/ Enjoy!

  • Madelene Manley

    Looks great. Recipe I use is similar, but I use nonstick pan and heat them on top of oven instead of baking……