Pita Bread. Bake The Fun And Easy Way!

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The Side of All Greek Appetisers and Mains

pita bread with rosemary leaves

There is no more straightforward recipe to bake nor yummier than pita bread! With origins going back to the Middle East’s first farming settlements, pita can be considered a prehistoric bread type. 

Our ancestors used to bake this flatbread directly on the fire. Later, the stone ovens came into use. Today, we bake in the oven or fry it in little oil, depending on how much time and effort we put into preparing.

In time, the method has changed, as has the name. Apparently, as its use spread through the Mediterranean, it became pizza in Italy, for instance.

I always associate pita with Greek meals, perhaps because I always had it on the table with any meal I ordered in my travels to the fabulous country of ancient mythology. I had it with moussaka and hummus, with Greek salad and tzatziki, baked peppers and you name it! It goes with everything, from appetisers to mains. 

At our house, we bake pitta bread nearly every other weekend. I get a hand from a very enthusiastic little helper who is the main beneficiary of the product as well, in the form of school box sandwiches. Sliced bread is so out of fashion; it does not even have pockets! Good enough rationale to get us boxing the dough!

The truth is, pita is so yummy, easy and fun to make and versatile, it would be a shame not to bake it at home. Besides, it is much better than the packed pittas you can buy in supermarkets since you know exactly what you used to make it.

Before you get started, a few facts about flour:

rye field ancient flours
Image: Hans Braxmeier, Pixabay
  • Humans have milled it for tens of thousands of years.
  • The oldest type of wheat is einkorn (“single grain” in German)
  • It is NOT white; the flour goes through a bleaching process (with chlorine gas or benzoyl peroxide) to become white.
  • It is high in carbohydrates (approximately 76g/100g flour), therefore a no-no for Keto diets.
  • The main difference between refined and unrefined grains is that the more flour is processed, the easier it is metabolised into glucose in your body, meaning it transforms in sugar (blood sugar).
  • Hemp flour is the lowest in carbs (1.4g/100g) and highest in fibres (47g/100g), pumpkin seed flour is the highest in proteins (54g/100g) but also the most caloric flour (427kcal/100g).
  • Almond or coconut flour are great healthy substitutes in baking. Still, they are highly absorbent, so you will need to adjust the quantities of liquid ingredients and also the raising agents you use in the recipe.

Ingredients for pita bread:

Flour (I mix organic spelt and white in equal quantities)

Tepid water

Dried yeast

Olive oil

A pinch of salt

I like to keep things healthy, so I do not add any sugar at all, even though some prefer it. 

Optional: 

Finely chopped rosemary

Chia seeds 

Honestly, I stopped following the quantities long ago. With time and practice, you will know what consistency you need for the dough and add the ingredients as you need them. 

pita bread dough

Instructions:

First, prepare a pre-dough – similar to biga for Italian ciabatta. Mix the yeast with some white flour, add the tepid water and let it rest for about half an hour until it raises. 

Next, add the rest of the flour, salt and oil (the optionals, as well) and mix well. The dough will be sticky, but resist adding too much flour to manage it easier. It is better to oil your hands instead and keep the dough soft and elastic. Let it rise again for another half an hour to an hour.

Preheat the oven at 190-200°C. 

Place baking paper on the tray(s).   

Spread some white flour onto the working top and divide the dough into small spheres. Usually, I get about twelve pitas using the quantities above. This can and will vary, depending on how big or small you want them.

Using a floured roller pin, make round (-ish) forms of each dough ball, about half a centimetre thick. They will raise at high temperature and form a pocket that makes pita bread perfect for filling with whatever you desire and making sandwiches.

dough roller pin

Place the pitas distanced on the tray and bake for about ten minutes. Pita bread bakes quickly and at high temperature; watch they don’t burn!

If the colour changes slightly (it does not have to become dark brown!), it means they should be ready. You can break one to check, but have mercy on your fingers and don’t injure yourself!

Let the pitas cool before use. 

Our first tray always disappears miraculously the minute the pitas cool a little, even if the intention is to freeze them for future use.

Frozen, they last for two-three months. You are lucky if they will last this long; it does not happen at our house!

I hope you enjoyed reading; now it’s time to start baking your pita bread! 

Bon appetite!

pita bread in basket

Pita Bread

Pita bread was the humankind's first type of bread since times immemorial. This is a simple recipe, easy to make and healthy at the same time!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Resting time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Greek
Servings 12 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g white flour
  • 250 g spelt flour
  • 300 ml water tepid
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • a pinch of salt (rock/sea)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds optional
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary optional

Instructions
 

  • Mix the dried yeast with some white flour, add the tepid water and let it rest for about half an hour until it raises. 
  • Add the rest of the flour, salt, oil and the optionals and mix well. The dough will be sticky, but resist adding too much flour to manage it easier. It is better to oil your hands instead and keep the dough soft and elastic.
    pita bread dough
  • Let the dough rest again for another half an hour to an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/374°F/gas mark 5. Place parchment paper on a baking tray.
  • When the dough has raised, spread some white flour on the worktop and divide the dough into small spheres.
  • Flour the roller pin and flatten the balls into 1 cm thick round shapes. The pitas will raise at high temperature forming a pocket that makes them perfect for filling with whatever you desire and making sandwiches.
  • Place the pitas distanced on the tray and bake for about ten minutes. I usually bake two trays.
  • Pitas bake quickly and at high temperature, so you will have to keep an eye on them to avoid burning. If the colour changes slightly (it does not have to become dark brown!), it means they should be ready.
  • Cool before use.
    ready pita bread

Notes

Pitas are OK to use fresh for up to three days or freeze for up to three months.
Keyword easy recipe, Pita bread, side for dips or fillings

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Please share the love by saving it to your baking boards; it will help this blog grow and post more yummy recipes for you to try. Thank you!


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Vagabond Around the World

Working as a journalist during university was pretty exciting. But landing a cruise ship job barely a year in my new graduate career was something else! Overnight, I moved from an already exhilarating job to an even better one. One that would allow me to wake up every morning in a different country. What more can a twenty-something wish for? The fact that I was fluent in a few languages helped. It made it easier to obtain the position I was seeking at the Shore Excursions department. Apart from dispatching tours in the morning and selling tickets in the evening, I would spend nearly every day on different trips. I did this a few years, spending half a year onboard and about two months at home. I enjoyed it immensely. I met fascinating people from all over the Globe and collected memories to last me a lifetime. Not to mention that I received a salary for seeing all those magnificent places the Earth has to offer! In an ideal world, everybody should live as they want. For me, that would translate into travel, then travel some more and keep travelling!

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10 Responses

  1. Leah says:

    This sounds delicious! I never did the whole sourdough thing everyone was doing at the beginning of quarantine but I can see myself making some pita bread! Thanks for sharing!

  2. jeannie says:

    I love pita bread and its perfect with Hummus! now makes me wanna make my own for snacks 🙂

  3. Kalu says:

    Pita bread is my favorite. THanks for the recipe.

  4. These look so good! I’ve made Naan, but never pita. Looks like a new thing to put on my baking bucket list!

  5. Whaaatttt… You make your own pita bread? That’s so cool! I buy mine from the grocery. I just wish I have an oven already! I’m pinning this though… But I’m curious, what do you usually eat pita with?

    • I was buying organic pitas from Waitrose, of all the fancy shops until the day I found a pack with mouldy pitas they still sold for money! I never bought them again! I mentioned what I eat it with and what I use it for, read again;-) And make your own when you get the oven, it is easy and fun!

  6. Cassie says:

    These look delicious! I love having pita bread with hummus as a snack, so this recipe is perfect. I have also made pita chips by throwing in a Trader Joe’s pita bread into the oven with a sprinkle of their chili lime seasoning. That seasoning makes everything better! If you baked them a little longer, do you think they could also turn out well as pita chips? Thanks for sharing!

  7. Alyssa says:

    Those Pita bread look great! It’s been a while since I’ve made pitas, so I’m looking forward to trying out this recipe. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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