Homemade Pita Bread

Circle B Kitchen

The trick to turning out great pita bread is making sure that your dough is wet enough.  It’s the steam created by the hot oven in the moist dough that causes them to puff and create that iconic pocket.  I found that adding a couple more tablespoons of water to the Serious Eats recipe created the perfect dough.  Do not worry about the dough being overly wet and sticky.  You will be adding flour at every stage of the process.  I keep my hands floured as well as the work surface, the dough and the rolling pin and it all works perfectly in the end!

Recipe adapted from Serious Eats

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour*)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (8 ounces) water plus 2 more tablespoons
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl

* White whole wheat flour is a whole grain flour made from white wheat.  It is a whole grain wheat that is just lighter in color than red wheat, which makes it perfect in recipes where you want the nutty goodness of whole wheat but with a milder flavor.)

Directions

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if mixing by hand), add the flours, yeast, salt and sugar.  Use a whisk to mix well and then with the mixer on low and using the dough hook, add the water and olive oil.  Once the dough comes together, knead for 8 minutes, or if kneading by hand, 10 minutes.  The dough should be fairly tacky, bordering on sticky, but not overly so.  :)

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a clean mixing bowl and place the dough inside, then rub oiled hands over the top of the dough. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let rise for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place a baking stone, cast iron griddle or cast iron pan in the oven and preheat oven to 500°F. Line a plate with a large, clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Punch down the dough, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, and cut into 8 even pieces. Form each dough piece into an even ball and let rest, covered, for about 10 minutes.

Roll each piece of dough into a very thin 6-7-inch circle and place on parchment paper.  Use a pizza paddle or large spatula to slide the discs onto the stone or cast iron pan (the parchment paper makes transfer easy and doesn't burn).  I could get 3 discs onto each piece of parchment and then onto my pizza steel in the oven.

Bake for 2 minutes.  The pitas will have completely puffed in that time.  Flip them over and continue to cook for 1 more minute.  

Remove from the oven and place on the towel-lined plate.  Cover them with the towel while you finish finish baking the remaining pitas.  And then they're ready to eat!

If not using immediately, cool completely and then store them in ziploc bags for several days.