Homemade Pita BreadPosted: November 16, 2009
I haven’t made pita bread in years, but with friends coming over for dinner, I thought it would be a warm (cheap) treat. Pita bread is extremely easy – if you wanted to get into yeast breads, but didn’t want to make a whole loaf yet, this is a recipe to try.
It’s from Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and it couldn’t be simpler:
- 3 cups AP flour (or a mix of AP and whole wheat), plus more as needed
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Combine the flour, olive oil, yeast, salt and sugar in a food processor. Turn it on and add 1 cup of warm water through the feeding tube.
- Process for 30 seconds or so. The mixture should form a sticky ball. If you need more water to make the dough come together, add it gradually, one tablespoon at a time. Let the dough form a smooth round ball in the food processor or take it out and knead it (get your aggressions out!).
- Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in a warm, draft free place for 1-2 hours, until dough doubles. Bittman says you can cut the rising time short if you’re in a hurry or let it rise in the fridge slowly for 6-8 hours.
- When it is ready, divide it into 6 or more pieces (depends on how big you want your pita). Roll each piece into a round ball (make sure other pieces are covered) and place on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle dough balls with a little more flour and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until they puff slightly, 20 minutes or so.
- Roll out each ball into less than 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface. Spread discs out on a floured surface and keep them covered.
- Preheat oven to 350F (if you have a pizza stone or a cast iron skillet, now is the time to use it, pop it in the oven) while the discs rest for 20 minutes.
- Slide the discs onto the stone or skillet (as many as can fit) or you can bake them on a cookie sheet, although they puff up better on the stone. You can also bake them in a heavy skillet on the stove top. Whatever you decide to do, bake them until lightly browned on one side, flip an repeat. This should take about 2-3 minutes on each side.
- As the breads finish baking, place them in a dishtowel-lined basket to save or brush them with butter and serve immediately. You can also cool them and store in wax paper or a baggie.