- Submitted by Dahlia
(Pitta Bread, Pocket Pita Bread, Pitta Bread Pockets)
Pita is an Arabic bread that is very soft. It is often used to make sandwiches, gyros etc. It is widely used in Arabic, Syrian and Greek recipes. These days you get pita bread in stores but the taste of fresh homemade warm pita is far better. It is also quite simple to make. Once you start making homemade pita, you will never again go back to the store bought ones.
Pita bread starts with making a dough which is very similar to the basic bread dough. The dough is then rested giving time for the yeast to activate and do its job. Then the flat breads are rolled out and cooked. These breads can be cooked in the conventional oven or on stove top. Using the conventional oven, you can make 4-6 pitas at a time. It stays white in color with no brown spots. When cooked on stove top, you get some brown spots. It’s your personal preference.
Pita bread is traditionally made only with all-purpose flour (maida). To make it healthier, I prefer making with whole wheat flour. You can use both flours 50-50 or make with either one of the flour. The following method and ratio is what I follow. Do try it out.
Recipe for making Pita Bread At Home
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes: 10-12 pita
- Whole wheat flour – 1.5 cups
- All-purpose flour (Maida) – 1/2 cup
- Luke warm water – ¾ cup
- Yeast – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Take the yeast, lukewarm water, oil and sugar in a bowl. Wait for 5-10 minutes till the yeast gets activated and the mixture gets frothy.
- Add the wheat flour, maida (All-purpose flour) and salt. Knead it with the yeast mixture to form a soft and sticky dough. Add extra water if needed.
- Continue kneading the dough for few minutes, cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 1 hour.
- Apply some oil in your palms and make lemon sized balls with it.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball into a 6” in circle, about ½” thick. I prefer using some all-purpose flour (maida) for dusting while rolling.
- Heat a pan or griddle and carefully transfer the rolled out dough on to it. After about 30 seconds on one side, you will see small bubbles.
- Flip it and cook the other side for another 30 seconds. Flip once again and cook for another 30 seconds. This time it will start puffing up separating the 2 layers. Press with the back of the spatula or with a clean kitchen towel to help it puff evenly. Your pita with pocket is ready to serve.
- Remove from stove. After it cools a bit, cut into two halves to stuff.
Detailed Steps for making Pita Bread
Take the yeast, lukewarm water, oil and sugar in a small cup and let it rest for 5-10 minutes till the yeast gets activated. The mixture gets frothy. Take the wheat flour, maida (All-purpose flour) and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast-water mixture and knead to form a soft and sticky dough. Add extra water if needed. Continue to knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 1 hour.
Apply some oil in your palms and make small balls with it. It should be about the size of a big lemon.
Using a rolling pin or with your palm, roll out each ball into a circle. It should be approximately 6” in diameter and about ½” thick. I prefer using some all-purpose flour (maida) for dusting while rolling.
Heat a griddle and cook the rolled out dough on medium high heat. After about 30 seconds on one side, you will see small bubbles. Flip it and cook the other side for another 30 seconds. This time the lower side would have got a few brown spots. You do not have to add oil.
Flip once again and cook for another 30 seconds. This time it will start puffing up separating the 2 layers. Press with the back of the spatula or with a clean kitchen towel to help it puff evenly. Your pita with pocket is ready to serve.
(Note : Sometime, it may not puff up all around. These are called pocket-less pitas. Remove them once both side are cooked.)
To make in the conventional oven, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place a baking stone or cookie sheet also to get preheated. Place the rolled out dough on the hot cookie sheet and bake for about 2- 3 minutes till it puffs up. Here I have shown my small convection oven in which only one could be made at a time.
Remove from stove. After it cools a bit, cut into two halves to stuff.
- Pita bread can be served with some yogurt dipping sauce.
- Pitas with pocket can be stuffed with some meat or vegetable patties or falafal to make tasty pita sandwich.
- Pockt-less pitas can be cut into pieces and baked to make pita chips. These can also be used to make wraps.
- You can refrigerate prepared pita dough and use it when needed to make fresh pitas. It stays good for up to a week. I prefer to do it this way. The other option is to make the pitas and freeze it. You can warm it when required. Frozen pitas stay good for 2-3 months.
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