Bread always seems very intimidating, doesn't it? All this kneading and rising and blah blah makes a person just want to go buy a loaf at the grocery. Pita bread seems especially daunting. How does one get a pocket inside a piece of bread? What is this magic? Surely I can't do it myself!
My friends, you are wrong. You CAN make pita bread yourself, and you will be downright amazed at just how much dang better it is than anything you can buy at the store. Like, whoa, I just wanted to eat all of it immediately, better. And it's pretty easy. For someone who hasn't made a lot of bread, I didn't really have many problems doing this. I suppose I have baked a bunch so I kind of have a certain instinct going on, but seriously? So easy. And delicious. Deliciously easy.
I'll tell you what's also really fun - getting to watch them puff up in the oven. I was like how does this work, really? What will happen in there to make a pocket? Answer - puff up city. The puffing happens because of the water vapor creating steam and the high high heat being up next to the broiler. Magic? Maybe not. But it seems like it, right?
For this batch, I just used an upside down baking sheet because I was lazy and did not want to deal with getting the baking stone out from the cupboard. I'll have to try it another time on that and see if it makes any kind of difference. But these turned out so wonderfully, I don't know that it's even necessary.
So - go! Make pita bread! Eat it and love it forever!
Easy Homemade Pita Bread
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Mix together the yeast, sugar, and a 1/2 cup lukewarm water in a small bowl. Let sit for about five minutes until it gets foamy.
- Combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low until blended. Add in your yeast mixture, another 1/2 cup water, and the olive oil. Mix on low until the dough forms a ball that pulls clear from the sides and bottom of the bowl. If that doesn't happen after about a minute, add another tablespoon of water.
- The moment the dough starts to pull clear of the bottom of the bowl, add another 1/2 cup water and continue mixing until it's all incorporated. The dough should feel tacky when slapped with a clean hand, but it shouldn't be very sticky. If it sticks to your hand, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it feels right.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about an hour. OR you can let it rise in the refrigerator overnight. Note: It didn't really rise for me in the fridge. I took it out and let it sit for quite a while on the counter and it did eventually rise.
- Preheat your oven to 500F, with a rack in the upper third. Place either a baking stone or an inverted baking sheet in the oven to preheat along with the oven.
- Roll the dough into 8 balls roughly the size of baseballs. Cover with a cloth and let rise until they are about the size of softballs.
- Roll out each dough ball to about a 1/4 inch thickness with a floured rolling pin on a floured work surface. Place one or two at a time on your baking stone or sheet and bake until puffed and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately, or let cool.