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March 20, 2015

Pita Bread

Skip store-bought pita bread. Making it from scratch just requires a little stirring and minimal kneading, so they will puff up in the oven.

Skip store-bought pita bread. Making it from scratch just requires a little stirring and minimal kneading, so they will puff up in the oven.

Pita Bread

I don’t think I could ever go gluten free. My shopping list always involves 3 loaves of bread to get our family through a week of morning toast and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

We need carbs for survival! Hopefully that doesn’t offend anyone. I have such sympathy for those with even the slightest intolerance to gluten. 

Depending on what I am planning to make in the week ahead, I also like pick up something more interesting than a basic loaf. Anything crusty like a baguette or sourdough round.

When I can find the time, I love baking these kinds of specialty breads in my kitchen.

Ambition struck thanks to a batch of hummus in the fridge.

Store-bought pita bread is always such a disappointment. I have yet to discover a brand that tastes good. They’re all kind of like cardboard to me, a bread connoisseur!

I decided to make pita from scratch. The best discovery was that it’s not complicated. I’ve made it so many times since.

Pita Bread

How To Make Pita Bread

The recipe involves stirring and minimal kneading. 

I started by making the sponge. It only took 15 minutes for this mixture of warm water, yeast, sugar, whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour to be bubbling.

Then I added salt, olive oil and more all-purpose flour.

I kneaded it together into a smooth dough in 3 minutes, let it rest and then gave it one last 2 minute knead before putting it in a bowl to rise.

To bake, I preheated a baking stone in the oven.

I divided the dough into 8 balls and rolled them out. As I placed the first circles on the stone, I marveled when they puffed up. It worked!

After the hummus was gone, I still had pita leftover, so I tore it into pieces, drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled it with sea salt. After about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven, I had crisp pita chips. 

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Pita Bread

Pita Bread

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
  • Yield: 8 6-inch pitas 1x

Skip store-bought pita bread. Making it from scratch just requires a little stirring and minimal kneading, so they will puff up in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 21/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast, sugar, whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. You should see bubbles form.
  2. Add the salt, olive oil and 1-3/4 cups flour. Stir it into a shaggy dough. Knead in the bowl for 1 minute. Transfer to a work surface to knead for an additional 2 minutes. Add as little of the remaining flour as possible.
  3. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, and knead again for 2 minutes. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and let rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Place a baking stone in the oven and preheat to 475 degrees F.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 balls. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let them rest for 10 minutes. Roll each ball into an 8-inch diameter circle about 1/8-inch thick.
  6. Place the pita on the hot baking stone. Bake for 2 minutes. It should puff up. Then use a spatula to flip it over and bake for another minute. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  7. Pita is best eaten the day it is baked. Store in an airtight container once it has cooled.

Notes

Adapted from The New York Times February 26, 2014

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
  • Yield: 8 6-inch pitas 1x

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