When you think Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food the humble pita always comes to mind. This is a simple, easy and effortless recipe for pita bread also known as pocket bread. The result is a soft, chewy and delicious pita with a gorgeous pocket that can be stuffed with your favorites be it hummus, falafel, gyros, kebabs or even just cold cuts for a simple sandwich.
Stir well and leave to rest/prove for 5 minutes until foamy.
Place 2 cups (or half) flour in a bowl.
Add the yeast mixture.
Use a wooden spoon or spatula and mix thoroughly for a minute.
Then add the remaining flour and combine.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.
Knead for three minutes until the dough is still soft but elastic.
When you press the dough with your fingers - the dough should spring back.
Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl.
Cover with cling wrap and rest in a warm place for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
The dough should be at least double in size.
Roll pita bread
Once doubled in size transfer to a lightly floured surface again.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (first into half - then half again until you have 12 portions).
Roll each ball into a 6-inch disc.
Place on a parchment lined baking tray, lightly dusted with flour to prevent sticking.
Let rest for 30 minutes - covered with a dry towel or cheesecloth.
Cook pita bread on a skillet
After the pita bread has rested for 30 minutes.
Heat a heavy bottom skillet/fry pan.
You want the pan to be hot.
Place the pita bread on the skillet let cook 30 secs.
Flip once - let cook another 30 secs.
Flip again - cook 30 seconds - the pita should now start to puff up.
and flip again - the pita should now puff up completely - cook 30 secs or less.
Each pita will take about 2 minutes cooking 30 secs at a time on each side.
Cook pita bread on a pizza stone
Heat the oven to 250 C / 500F (hot oven) for at least 20 mins (keep the broiler setting on).
Make sure the pizza stone is really hot.
Place two to three pita bread on the hot pizza stone.
Bake for two minutes until puffed up.
Use the broiler if the pita is pale in color.
Wrap and keep warm
As soon as the pita bread is cooked or baked.
Keep it wrapped in kitchen cloth/towel or cheesecloth to keep them soft.
Pita bread can dry out easily so always keep them wrapped.
They will stay fresh wrapped in cheesecloth or towel for up to 3 days.
I prefer not to keep them in the fridge as they dry out.
You can place them in ziplock bags and freeze them for a week.
If wrapped well in aluminum foil they will stay for up to a month in the freezer.
Reheating fresh or Frozen Pita
For fresh pita - wrap in a damp paper towel and heat for 30 secs up to a minute.
For frozen pita - microwave from frozen for up to a minute - then lightly torch on an open flame for 30 secs on all sides. (this method is my most preferred as it gives soft pita just like freshly made pita).