|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 35g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||5%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Soft and pillowy pita bread is easy to make at home and will make all the difference in how you appreciate freshly baked bread. Although store-bought pitas are extremely convenient, once you've made a batch of these little rounds it's unlikely you'll buy them bagged again. The recipe requires very few ingredients, and while the dough rests you can get on with the rest of the meal. You'll be rewarded with delicious, puffy pockets that can be stuffed with vegetables, falafel, or meats, or used as a scoop for saucy preparations or dips like hummus or baba ganoush. Use this bread for sandwiches, homemade mini pizzas, or just to enjoy with butter or spreads.
Pita bread dates back thousands of years and is a staple in the cuisines of the Middle East and Mediterranean. Just as corn or potatoes appear on American tables every day, so does pita bread in countries like Turkey, Israel, Greece, Lebanon, and Egypt. Traditionally baked in very hot brick ovens where people could take their homemade dough, pitas can be made in the oven or on the stovetop.
The dough can be made ahead, and it also freezes nicely for later use. The secret for puffy pitas lies in the temperature of the oven, so don't rush the process—allow it to be piping hot before placing your dough.
Click Play to See This Homemade Pita Bread Come Together
"Though it's simple, there’s a fair amount of hands-on time during the cooking process. Because you’re cooking directly on a piping hot baking stone already in your oven, it's challenging getting the rolled-out pitas into the oven safely. A few lost their round shape when transferring, but that's the beauty of homemade pita...a little imperfection." —Carrie Parente
1 1/4 cups water, divided; at about 110 F
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divide; plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing
Make the Dough
Gather the ingredients.
Pour the yeast into 1/4 cup of warm water. Add the sugar, mix well, and let stand for 10 minutes.
Sift the flour alongside the salt into a bowl.
Form a well in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining cup of warm water, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Begin to mix with your hand, a wooden spoon, or the dough hook of a standing mixer to form a dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 to 15 minutes, or use the machine and dough hook, until the dough is smooth and soft but not sticky. If needed, add more flour until the dough comes together nicely.
Oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Turn to coat the entire surface with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and put the dough in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Shape and Cook the Pita
Preheat the oven to 475 F. Place a heavy baking sheet or baking stone on the lowest rack of the oven. With the help of a rolling pin, roll the dough out, then fold and roll again. Close like a book, roll again, and close again, repeating the process a few times to get the air bubbles out of the dough. Shape the dough in a rectangle of about 9x12 inches and about 1/2-inch thick.
Divide the dough into 10 pieces and cover with a dampened towel.
Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll and turn each ball as you would shape a pie crust. Each pita should be about 1/4-inch thick and about 7 inches in diameter.
Sandwich each dough circle between floured cloths and let them rest while you roll the remaining dough balls.
Lightly sprinkle the hot baking sheet or baking stone with flour. Place as many pitas as will comfortably fit.
Bake for about 5 minutes or until they just begin to show some color, carefully flipping them about halfway through.
Remove from the oven and cover with a clean kitchen towel until cooled. Repeat the baking process with the remaining dough. Serve with your favorites dishes, and store in a bread bag for up to three days.
Can I Make Pitas on the Stove?
Yes. And it's very easy too:
- Once your balls are flattened and ready for cooking, heat up a cast-iron skillet or another heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat.
- To check the temperature, add a few drops of water. If they sizzle right away, your skillet is ready.
- Grease the skillet with a tiny amount of olive oil—carefully use a paper towel lightly dampened in olive oil and spread the oil around.
- Place each round of dough on the skillet and allow to cook for 30 seconds.
- Turn and allow the dough to cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Turn again and allow 1 to 2 more minutes or until it puffs up nicely.
Careful With Your Very Hot Oven
To get the pita into the oven safely, remove the top racks before preheating the oven. That way, when you place the pitas into the oven and then when flipping and removing them, you have enough space to maneuver and don't risk burning your hands.