Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pita Bread

This is my second attempt at making pita bread. The first time, for some reason, my pita breads refused to puff up. This time, they rose quite well, though still not well enough. I followed the recipe in The Fresh Loaf. Here is the recipe with some adjustments.

Pita Bread
This recipe makes 4 pitas

1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup water, roughly at room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil, vegetable oil, vegan butter, or shortening

1) Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar.
2) Add the olive oil and 1/2 cup water and stir together with a spoon.
3) 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, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes. (The purpose of kneading is to thoroughly combine the ingredients and to break down the flour so that the dough will become stretchy and elastic and rise well in the oven. A simple hand kneading technique is to firmly press down on the dough with the palm of your hand, fold the dough in half toward you like you are closing an envelope, rotate the dough 90 degrees and then repeat these steps, but whatever technique you are comfortable using should work.) When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately an hour.
4) When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 4 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'll be easier to shape.
5) While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius. 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 you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.
6) 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 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again. After rolling out, rest the dough for 30 minutes.

7) 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. It should start forming bubbles after about a minute of baking.

Serve by cutting the pita breads in half to make a pocket for your filling.


  1. you should try using only white flour, instead of mixing it with the wholemeal one. It should levitate better.

  2. It's true but I do like wholemeal