Last week, I decided to make Pita Bread.
It’s a first for me, but seemed pretty darn simple.
In case you don’t know what Pita or Pitta is . . . it’s a round pocket 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. I didn’t search the world over for Pita recipes, I just chose one and made the stuff. I have a friend who makes this often (KJ) and I need to snatch her recipe as well. It’s always nice to compare recipes and see which one you prefer. I made my Pita pretty small. I figured this size would be perfect to stuff and make sandwiches.
If you have a Stand Mixer . . . it’s a breeze!
I followed the recipe below exactly, but I did add 2 teaspoons of sugar to the yeast mixture.
A bit of sugar makes yeast pop!
I made 13 small equal size balls.
Roll each ball out to about 1/4″ thickness.
Try to keep the thickness . . . even . . . so that they puff in the oven.
Let rest on a floured surface, covered with a clean towel or rest on Silpats covered with a clean towel. Rest for 30 to 40 minutes until slightly puffed. The recipe says to flip the rounds of dough upside down onto a baking sheet. (I already had my pitas on the silpat covered baking sheet. When they had rested for 30 minutes, I did gently flip them over. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (middle of the oven) until light golden.
I also brushed them with a bit of melted butter, when they came out of the oven. Once cooled, slice one side open and you have “pocket bread!” It’s fun to watch them puff in the oven. I didn’t take a picture of them baking, because I was afraid they would lose their “PUFF!”
These were quite tasty, and made the perfect bread shell for my tuna sandwich. Like I said . . . I’m not a Pita expert, since these were the first. I might have done it ALL WRONG. They didn’t go to waste though. They were all eaten up.
I’m still on the hunt for KJ’s recipe. I will try it soon. In the meantime, these were pretty darn easy!
EASY PITA BREAD
1 tablespoon yeast
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 ¼ cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3- 3 ½ cups flour
Dissolve sugar in warm water and sprinkle in the yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add salt and 1 ½ cups flour and with the dough hook, beat to make a batter. Add additional flour until a rough, shaggy mass is formed. Knead 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it is too sticky.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into six pieces for large pitas or ten for smaller. I make all sorts of sizes to suit different snacks and meals. Form dough into balls, then flatten with a rolling pin into ¼ inch thick discs. Try and keep an even thickness as this is what helps them ‘puff’.
Let rest on the floured surface 30-40 minutes until slightly puffed.
Preheat oven to 425F.
With a large spatula, flip the rounds of dough upside down on to a baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes until light golden. Stick around for the first five minutes of baking when the pitas perform their magic and puff up from flat pancakes to proud, four inch high pitas.
These store for up to two days well wrapped or frozen for three weeks.