I love all things homemade and this recipe for Easy Homemade Pita Bread is no different. Pita bread is readily available in grocery stores, but have you ever tried baking your own?
Homemade pita tastes so delicious straight from the oven, you will never go back to store-bought.
Pita bread is really simple to prepare. Now with the Fast Acting Instant Yeast available in stores, the rising time is actually cut in half.
So this entire recipe takes just 1 hour from start to finish!
This is a great substitute for regular bread. Pitas are actually circular bread that puffs up when baked. They are slit at the top and stuffed with any filling you love.
I usually cut through the bread completely, spread on some hummus, fill it with stir-fried vegetables, cheese and feta and then grill it on a pan until all the feta and cheese melts into the veg. It is simply heavenly.
Tips for making the perfect pita
- Kneading the dough is an important part of making pita or any type of bread using yeast. Kneading the dough well is important as this activates the yeast and helps stretch the gluten in the flour so that the bread can rise well. Stretch the dough by pushing the front half away with the heel of your palm, while holding the back of the dough with the other hand. Then fold the stretched part of the dough back on itself, give it a quarter turn and repeat for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- After the dough has been kneaded, it is placed in a lightly oiled bowl. Keep the bowl in a warm place for about 30 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size. Try not to leave the dough longer than 30 minutes before shaping it.
- After the dough has risen for 30 minutes, knock it down and knead it for 2 minutes. Then shape it as you like. In this case, for the pita, roll it into 6 inch disks, about 2 cm thick. Leave the rolled and shaped pita on the baking tray for 10 minutes before placing in the preheated oven.
Making the pita bread
Start making the pita by sifting 5 cups of all purpose flour into a large bowl. Add 30 ml/ 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons /5ml of salt, Mix all together then add 10g instant dry yeast and combine all together.
Add 2 Tablespoons of oil to 500ml of lukewarm water. Make sure that the water is not too hot or too cold. To get the perfect temperature I mix 250 ml boiling water from the kettle to 250ml cold tap water to get 500ml of perfect temperature lukewarm water.
Add the oil and water mixture to the flour and bring it together. It may feel like this is a lot of water in the beginning, but as you knead, the water is incorporated in the dough and it turns out perfectly soft. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes.
Lightly oil a bowl and place the kneaded dough into the bowl. leave in a warm place to rise for 20 to 30 minutes.
Knead lightly again for 2 minutes and roll out the dough into 6 inch disks about 1 cm thick. Leave on the baking sheet for 15 minutes to rise again while you preheat the oven to 180°C.
After it has risen for 15 minutes, bake the pita bread for 10-12 minutes.
Once baked remove from the oven, allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then slit the top of the pita to make a pocket. alternately, you could cut the pita all the way through, spread with hummus or mayo and veggies or any filling of your choice.
Grill on a pan for a minute on each side and serve.
Baked Pita bread can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Hummus is a great spread for pita...try my easy recipe here
Still hungry for more?