Homemade Pita Bread

I love hummus and I try to keep a batch of it in the fridge so I can snack on it during the week with vegetables. I keep meaning to buy some pita bread to eat with the hummus, but the last two weeks I have forgotten. I thought about it again today and figured I could easily find a recipe online for homemade pita bread. I ended up merging recipes from The Fresh Loaf and my friend Ally at Culinary Infatuation. Not only were these incredibly easy to make, but tasted a thousand times better than any store bought pita I have had before. And watching them puff into saucers while in the oven will make you giddy too ;-)

More about making the pita bread and the recipe after the break…

My notes are in red.

Pita Bread

Yield: Makes 8 pitas

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1 packet yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water, roughly at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening

Directions:

Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water.

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes.

When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it'll be easier to shape.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick - 6 inches in diameter. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn't necessary.

(Recipe adapted from The Fresh Loaf and Culinary Infatuation)

The perfect sandwich:

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51 Responses to “Homemade Pita Bread”

  1. Amy on May 21, 2008 at 8:04 am

    The pictures don’t work for me right now (stupid work!), but this is such a great idea! I love pita bread!

    Reply

  2. katie102006 on May 21, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Yeah, we have been making pita since I was younger and I HATE store bought now. It’s a good addiction, though. Looks great!!

    Reply

  3. Cheryl on May 21, 2008 at 8:25 am

    That looks great! Most homemade pita breads I’ve seen on blogs look hard and crispy, so I’ve not been inclined to make it myself, but yours look perfect!

    Reply

  4. Gretchen Noelle on May 21, 2008 at 8:26 am

    These look terrific! I am saving this so that I can try it!! I haven’t had pita bread in years!

    Reply

  5. grace on May 21, 2008 at 9:06 am

    pita bread is delicious, and so much fun to make! my old oven didn’t have a window in it, so i could never watch the puffage–a tragedy, i know. i have a window now, and i always find an excuse to make more pitas! :)

    Reply

  6. nikki57 on May 21, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Ohh Chelle the bread looks great!

    Reply

  7. sherrilee on May 21, 2008 at 9:35 am

    They look like beautiful sand dollars! They really look wonderful!

    Reply

  8. Elly on May 21, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I’ve been meaning to make my own pita for a while now, too. This looks great! I need to figure out how to make the “Greek” kind that is soft and doesn’t have a pocket, too. But, I’m not quite the bread extraordinaire, yet. :)

    Reply

  9. sharon on May 21, 2008 at 10:28 am

    They look perfect! We eat a TON of hummus, so having homemade pitas would be so nice. Did your leftovers keep well? I’m wondering if you could freeze the extras…

    Reply

  10. Chelle on May 21, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Sharon – I actually did freeze mine! I wrapped each one individually and then put them all in a freezer bag. They were perfect.

    Reply

  11. Kate on May 21, 2008 at 11:25 am

    The thing I love about making bread is it always looks so storebought. Professional. Perfect. These are no exception.

    Reply

  12. Amber on May 21, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Oh yum Chelle, these look awesome! I can’t wait to make some so I can turn them into sandwiches and pita chips! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  13. rainbowbrown on May 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Great job, those look fantastic. I’m a big pita fan myself. yum…

    Reply

  14. gaga in the kitchen on May 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    wow, awesome! i had no idea pita bread was so easy (or at least you make it sound easy).

    those are gorgeous. i’m definitely gonna have to give this one a try some time!

    Reply

  15. Sylvie on May 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I’ve never tried to make my own pits bread, gotta give it a go. They look great.

    Reply

  16. carrie on May 21, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Fantastic! I definitely have to give this a try! :)

    Reply

  17. Jaime on May 22, 2008 at 12:08 am

    how cool! i’ve been wanting to try my hand at this since seeing it on ally’s blog too! it looks great!

    Reply

  18. Holly on May 22, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I love hummus too! I’ve made piadine to go with it before, but I don’t think I’ve tried making pita bread – it has been on my to do list. I’ll have to try it soon.

    Reply

  19. Laura on May 22, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    OMG! They look fantastic! I may pop my yeast cherry with them;)

    Reply

  20. Di on May 22, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Yum. Those look great. I’ve made pitas once, with the recipe in the Bread Bible. I definitely need to try it again. Especially since I just checked my notebook and discovered that it’s been three years since I did that.

    Reply

  21. Lisa on May 27, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    My mother and I made this recipe and they are delicious! They didn’t last long in the house. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  22. Ally on May 29, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    They look wonderful! I love pita and seriously could eat it with every meal!

    Reply

  23. Kylee on June 7, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    My pita breads are all rolled out and just waiting to double in size.

    This is not just a great recipe, but the pictures, and the notes mean that it’s easy to follow.

    Well done – I can’t wait to take them to work for lunch and proudly tell that I made them myself!!!

    Reply

  24. Kelly on August 24, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I am waiting for the dough to rise right now as we speak!

    I found I had to add a few handfuls of flour when I was kneading as my dough was super sticky, although it is pretty humid today and that might have something to do with it. I hope that’s ok……..I’ve only made kneaded bread once and it wasn’t that great, I usually stick to the no-knead kind because I never feel I am doing it right.

    Crossing my fingers for perfect pita-ness!

    Reply

  25. Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) on April 21, 2009 at 1:11 am

    After making this recipe twice, I can say the trick to getting good pockets is not rolling the dough out too thin. I made that mistake the first time and on a few the second time around. I finally re-read the directions and realized I was going much too big.

    The second time I made the dough, it came out really sticky, and I think that had to do with the humidity on the day. I added a bit more flour and a lot more olive oil to keep the whole thing from sticking everywhere. It all worked out in the end though. They were fluffy and tasty. Then I turned some into pita chips but cutting them up and baking them.

    Thanks!

    Reply

  26. Krissi on February 3, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Hi! I came across this recipe while in search of a good pita bread recipe. I will try it this weekend and let you know how mine turned out. By the way, it would be great if you could include nutritional info on your recipes, if possible. :) Thanks!!!

    Reply

  27. Sana on February 23, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Hi Michelle

    I made these yesterday and they came out great. However there was one thing. I rolled my pockets to just over 1/8″ thick, and stuck them in the oven. They started pillowing around 2 1/2 minutes, finishing about a minute or so later.
    But, the top of the pocket is SO thin compared to the bottom of the pita. Is there any way to get the top and the bottom a little more uniform? Or is it normal to have it thinner on the top than the bottom?

    Reply

  28. Michelle on February 24, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Sana,

    The top of my pita always seems to be thinner than the bottom, so I’m not sure how to correct. But, when I buy them from the store, they seem to be that way too, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I’m glad you liked them!

    Reply

  29. Hot Polka Dot on March 4, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Oh the possibilities. I love how enormous the pocket is inside. I will try these as soon as I can. Thanks!

    Reply

  30. Abby on April 29, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I tried this recipe and made 2 batches. The first one following the directions and the second one with half whole wheat flour half regular. The whole wheat was quite tasty. You should try it!

    Reply

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  34. Faviola Loney on August 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Uau! Este pode ser em particular, um dos mais interessantes blogs que tenho conhecido sobre este assunto. Verdadeiramente excelente!. Eu sou também uma especialista neste tópico, assim posso compreender o seu esforço para manter um site destas caracterísitcas. Parabéns!

    Reply

  35. Breanne on August 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I just made these, and they’re delicious. I’m so proud that I made my own pita rather than buy it at the store! I started the dough last night, and then got too busy to finish the pitas. I pulled it out of the fridge this morning and went to work. I didn’t let it rise the 2nd time as you did, because it had already done it’s second rise in the fridge. Mine aren’t as puffy as yours, but they’re still tasty. I’m using them to make Kofta Kabobs for dinner tonight!

    Reply

  36. Faye on January 8, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I’m always intimidated by making bread but this recipe looks so good I have to give it a try. I would love to be able to make my own pita. I don’t care for store bought. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

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  38. Chrissy Mama on April 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I’m on your list, receiving your blog notice each week or so.

    THanks.

    chris

    Reply

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  42. DILSHAD on November 22, 2012 at 10:21 am

    COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME HOW MANY TEASPOONS/TABLESPOONS IS 1 PACKET OF YEAST? ALSO, WHAT IS THE EQUIVALENT MEASUREMENT OF FRESH YEAST TO DRY YEAST AND VICE VERSA. THANKS.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      1 packet of yeast is 2.25 teaspoons. I would check the packet for fresh equivalents, but usually you could do 1 cake yeast for 1 packet of dried.

      Reply

  43. Andrea on January 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Well you’ve done it again. Another great recipe! Another great success! Won’t be buying shop bought again. Accidentally used bread flour but that didn’t seem to affect the outcome. Thanks

    Reply

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  46. Teresa on August 19, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    WOW!!! I’ve just made those, and they are just perfect!!! Also, half of the flour i used was whole wheat flour. They are delicious, and the dough is soo easy to work! Some of my pitas didn’t puff out or not completely while on the oven, is it because they needed to grow a little bit more before baking?
    Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 22nd, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Hi Teresa, That’s definitely possible. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s difficult for me to be able to give a certain reason as to why something didn’t go quite right given all of the different variables that can affect any given recipe.

      Reply

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