This is something we all know as the honest-to-god truth: there’s nothing quite like homemade bread. It’s just one of those happy scents that when it’s wafting through your house, you know there’s going to be something delicious on the table.
See, last week I had a hankerin’ for some Middle Eastern food. You know the drill: hummous, baba ganoush, tzatziki, falafel, and pita bread. I thought I’d give doing my own pita a shot again; I had done it during those long-ago days of school, so I knew it wasn’t hard to do. And, really, if you’ve ever made a loaf of bread in your life, making your own pita is a snap.
This recipe makes a good amount of dough–I got a dozen 6″ pita breads, which is plenty for our little family. The great thing about leftover pita bread: it makes delicious pita chips. All you do is cut them into 1/6 wedges, toss them in some olive oil and salt, and toast them in a 400 degree oven until crispy. You’ll make pita bread just for the purpose of making chips, I tell you.
Kiddo got into the act with helping roll out the breads.
A great thing about pita is that it cooks fast–it’s just a few minutes on a pizza stone or sheet pan in a hot oven. This is definitely worth the effort of making your own.
Pita Bread – Recipe adapted from Flatbreads & Flavors by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
- 2 teaspoons regular dry yeast
- 2.5 cups lukewarm water
- 5-6 cups all-purpose flour (I used a 50/50 combination of whole wheat and white flours)
- 1 tablespoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and stir in one cup of flour and let sit for about 15-20 minutes.
- Add salt, olive oil, and flour in 1 cup increments to the sponge (that bubbly flour-yeast mixture–it’s called a sponge, but you knew that, right?), stirring until the dough is too stiff to stir. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, or knead in a KitchenAid with a dough hook for about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Place dough in a clean and lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°. Heat pizza stone or baking sheet in oven.
- Punch dough down, and divide into 10-12 pieces, and roll into balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4″ thick.
- Place 2 or 3 breads onto heated stone/sheet and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, until bread has fully ballooned. If your bread doesn’t balloon, it’s okay, it’ll still be very tasty.
- Keep baked pita wrapped in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm while the rest of the breads bake.