Pita bread comes in two types, the pocket style and a round flat bread. The “pocket” in pita bread is created by steam, which puffs up the dough. As the bread cools and flattens, a pocket is left in the middle. The pocket pita bread is great when making sandwiches and the flat pita is usually cut into wedges and served with dips such as hummus or baba ghanoush.
To make the “pockets” follow the recipe directions as written. If you would like a flatter pita, place the dough directly on a baking stone and bake at 500 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes. After years of buying pita bread at the store, I stumbled across this recipe and knew I had to try it. Pita bread was something I had never even thought to make before. Soft and delicious, it was just what I was looking for to serve with my grilled chicken pitas!
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 envelopes (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees)
- In a two cup measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup water, yeast, and 2 teaspoons of sugar; let rest 10 minutes until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together flour, salt, olive oil until combined. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add the yeast mixture and 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water and knead with the dough hook until elastic and smooth, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
- Tear off handfuls of dough, about the size of a small orange. Roll into 12 equal sized balls, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise, about 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the balls intro circles about ¼ inch thick. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Place the dough circles directly on the oven rack and bake 5 to 7 minutes.