Pita Bread Recipe
Pita is a flat bread originated from greece, and used in many cuisines in the Middle East. It is hollow allowing it to be a pocket for (the best) sandwiches full of various ingredients you feel like stuffing inside. Pita is also commonly used to scoop up dips such as the almighty hummus.
Making homemade pita bread is quite the process, but it certainly gives you a lot of respect for it in the end! Because of the intense process I usually only make pita bread for parties, it tastes so much better than buying it at the store!
This Pita Bread Recipe Makes 8-10 Pitas.
Items needed for preparation:
- Big mixing bowl
- Strong hands
- Rolling pin or bottle
- Wooden spoon
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
Step 1: Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Add sugar. Stir for 1 minute and let stand for 10 minutes.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl combine flour and salt using your hands; make a well in the middle and pour in the yeasty water and add 1/2 of the seperate lukewarm water. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gradually adding the other 1/2 cup of water in little, tbsp amounts. (If not mixed well you will end up with a sticky nightmare! Definately not my idea of fun picking dough off your hands for 5 minutes ) Mix thoroughly until it is a little sticky, may slightly adhere to your hand.
Step 3: Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, counter tops work best, and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Its an important factor to not underestimate the process of kneading or the yeast will not interact with the dough enough to rise. Kneading is an essential process in bread making; while you knead, the yeast interacts with the dough, the gluten becomes activated helping to create small bubbles of carbon dioxide in the rising process. Return dough to bowl and cover (with plastic wrap) for 2-3 hours.
Step 4: When dough has doubled in size punch down, and knead lightly. Roll out a rope and pinch off handfuls the size of tangerines, between a tennis ball and ping-pong ball. Place balls on a lightly floured surface area, cover for 10-15 minutes.
Step 5: Preheat the oven to 450. When bread was first made in the middle east, the ovens were extremely hot, cavern-like structures (sometimes even wood burning stoves), with hot floors. The dough was placed on long paddles into the oven until it puffed and was slightly brown on top. To create the same effect place a pizza stone or baking sheet on lowest rack to get it nice and hot.
Step 6: On a lightly floured surface area, flatten each ball while rounding it until it is about 1/4" thick and 5" diameter. I had a little fun with mine.
Set aside and cover for another 10 minutes.
Step 7: Pull out hot pizza stone or baking sheet and place the dough on it. I had to do this 3 times since there wasn't enough room on my baking sheet. Cook for 4 minutes. When they've risen about twice their size take them out. If you leave them in for too long you'll get pita crackers not bread! They still taste good, they just don't have the warm, chewy texture of bread. Allow to cool, and your delicious homemade pitta bread is ready to be served!
Enjoy this simple, but intensive pita bread recipe!
Learn How to Make You Own Hummus
Return from Pita Bread Recipe to other Healthy Snack Recipes