Pita Bread ~ Two Recipes
Pita bread is served at just about every meal in the Middle East. It can be used for dipping, or to make delicious sandwiches in the pocket. In the Middle East, pita is made in brick ovens, where very high heat can be achieved. It is very hard to duplicate in a home kitchen, but this recipe, combined with high heat, comes very close.
- 1 package of yeast, or quick rising yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup lukewarm water
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.
Combine flour and salt in large bowl.
Make a small depression in the middle of flour and pour yeast water in depression.
Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic.
Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. When the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded.
Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated.
Allow to sit in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 deg F. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to also preheat your baking sheet.
Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.
Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes.
Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.
Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags.
Storing Pita Bread
Pita bread can be stored for up to a week in a pantry or bread box, and up to a month in the freezer. Be sure to use freezer bags when storing in the freezer.
In Greek: πίτα, pronounced PEE-tah
Many recipes for pita bread require cooking at very hight heat, and home ovens don’t always do the best job. This recipe makes soft, white pita rounds that should be brushed with olive oil and grilled, heated in a skillet, or toasted in the oven before using and serving. Serve wedges of this soft bread with dips, as a wrap for sandwiches, and in other creative ways.
Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 21 minutes
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 cup of warm water
- 4 cups of bread flour
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Dissolve in the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water and set aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Dissolve salt in the remaining 1 cup of warm water.
In a large mixing bowl, add flour and make a well in the center. Add yeast mixure and salt water. Knead with hands for 10 minutes in the bowl. Add olive oil and continue to knead until all oil is absorbed. Shape into a ball in the bowl, cover, and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in volume, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down the dough and knead for 5 minutes more.
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), and lightly oil baking sheets.
Take pieces of dough slightly larger than an egg and roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of 3/8 to 1/4 inch. (For larger or smaller pita bread pieces, take more or less dough). Prick the bread with a fork in several places.
Place on baking sheets and bake at 350°F (175°C) on the lowest oven rack for 2-3 minutes, then turn the pitas over and bake for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a tray covered with a clean dishtowel, with another clean towel on top. When thoroughly cooled, pitas can be stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or frozen.
Before using, brown in a lightly oiled frying pan for a few minutes until browned on both sides.