This homemade pita bread makes a soft, chewy, and delicious pita with a gorgeous pocket using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Use these to stuffed with your favorite foods such as hummus, falafel, gyros, kebabs, and more. The best part is you can make these on the stovetop or oven.
Yeast - Combine warm water, yeast, honey, and oil. Stir well and leave to rest/prove for 5 minutes until foamy.Pro-tip- instant yeast does not need to be activated but I like to ensure my yeast is good and working for me. You may choose to add all ingredients directly to the flour.
Electric mixer - In the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attachment, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and knead until all the flour is incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Pro tip - do not add flour unless necessary. First, scrape the sides of the bowl and let it all come together. You may need the additional flour for kneading, no more.
Knead by hand - Alternatively, you can combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture and combine first with a spatula or spoon. Then transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface using the flour for kneading as necessaryPro tip - Do not add more than the flour in the recipe as it will give you stiff, not soft pita.
Continue to knead for 2 to 3 minutes on a stand mixer or 3 to 4 minutes by hand until you have a soft, elastic dough. When you press the dough with your fingers - the dough should spring back.Pro tip - We want soft, light, and fluffy pita, and this is only possible when the dough is soft, elastic, yet slightly sticky
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place for about 60 to 90 minutes or until double in volume.Pro-tip - in winter you may need 90 minutes or more but in summer the dough may double in 45 minutes. If you can't attend to it at that moment. De-gas, reshape, and let double in volume again.
Shape and Roll
When the dough is double in volume transfer to a well-dusted floured surface. De-gas, reshape into a ball. Then roll into a small log.Pro-tip - at this point there is no need for additional flour. So use a light dusting as needed.
Using a dough scraper divide this log into 4 portions and then each of those portions into 3 again. This should give you 12 portions.Pro-tip - I am making 12 pita bread but you can make these bigger by dividing the dough into fewer portions.
Shape each portion into a smooth ball. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes then roll each ball into a 6-inch disc. Do not roll them too thin, as we do want some thickness for the pocket to appear. Pro tip - shaping them will ensure you have smooth pita. Resting helps the gluten relax and makes working with dough easy. Otherwise, you will find that the disc does not get larger 😜
Place all the discs on a parchment-lined baking tray, lightly dusted with flour to prevent sticking. Pro tip - the flour will prevent sticking now, but make sure to dust off excess before cooking otherwise the flour will burn on the pita and make a mess on the stove or stone.
Let rest for 30 minutes - covered with a dry towel or cheesecloth.Pro tip - this resting is important otherwise you will get flatbread, not pita. The resting will let the yeast rise giving us a soft bread-like flatbread - pita!
Cook - Stovetop
Heat a cast-iron skillet or frying pan on medium-high. Each pita will take about 2 minutes cooking 30 secs at a time on each side.1. Place the pita bread on the skillet let cook 30 secs.2. Flip once - let cook another 30 secs.3. Flip again - cook 30 seconds - the pita should now start to puff up.4. and flip again - the pita should now puff up completely - cook 30 secs or less.
Cook- Pizza stone
Heat the oven to 500°F/ 260°C Gas Mark 10 with the pizza stone for at least 20 mins Pro tip - We need a hot oven with a short cooking time otherwise the pita will become dry.
Place two to three pitas on the hot pizza stone. Bake for two minutes until puffed up.Pro tip - work with a number that you are comfortable working with. Personally, I don't put more than 3 at a time
Use the broiler if the pita is pale in color.Pro tip - do not overheat the pita with the broiler on as it can make the pita dry.
Wrap and keep warm
As soon as the pita bread is cooked or baked. Keep it wrapped in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth to keep them soft.
These will stay at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. You can freeze them for over a month.
Kneading the pita dough - Knead the dough until its' soft, elastic but not dry. You do not want a firm dough. Keeping the dough soft as I have in the video will give you a super soft pita that will melt in the mouth. I promise!
Tough pita bread - Usually, this would mean that you did not knead the dough enough. Since, kneading activates gluten which makes the pita soft, elastic and supple.
The thickness and thinness of the rolled pita bread - Pita needs to be rolled to just the right thickness. So the heat reached the center, you flip and the heat reaches the center again. This is what gives the pita that pocket. If you roll it too thin, you will make flatbread. Still delicious but a little practice is all it takes.
Flipping the pita - This is not just for fun but to keep a balance of that steam in between the two layers? Have you noticed some pita have a thick side and a thin side? Well, now you know why?
Dark brown spots - You want to cook pita on a high skillet but you don't want burnt pita. If you find the pita gets dark spots before you flip in 30 seconds? lower the heat.
No color on the pita - This simply means that the heat is too low. The problem with low heat is that the pita when cooled with gets hard.
Handle the rolled pita carefully - don't stretch the pita when moving from baking tray to skillet. This can cause a tear but will also not give you a pocket.
Wrap pita in the towel - the best way to keep them soft is to wrap them in a towel as soon as they are cooked. Hot pita right under the towel. This will cool the steam back into the pita to keep that pita soft and supple.
Pita bread can dry out easily so always keep them wrapped.
They will stay fresh wrapped in a 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).
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you