Prep 1 hr 45 mins
Cook 18 mins
This recipe is adapted from a Greek cookbook called "The Olive and the Caper," that I checked out of the library. A note in the book says that half whole wheat flour can be used in place of half the all-purpose flour (but I don't substitute that much). This IS a tasty pita recipe - much better than store-bought. Note: Prep time includes rise time, but once you get past that, they only take about 5 minutes to bake.
- 2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees F)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 6 cups all-purpose flour (I use 2 cups whole wheat and 4 cups all-purpose)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- cooking spray
- Stir together 1 cup of water and sugar in a small bowl, until sugar has dissolved completely (I use a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup). Sprinkle the yeast over the top and set aside until bubbly, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the 1/3 cup oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining cup water.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until crumbly, then knead in the bowl until the dough can be scooped into a ball.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes.
- Lightly coat a bowl with cooking spray (I scrape the mixing bowl out and, without washing, spray it with cooking spray), place the dough in, spray the top of the dough with cooking spray, and place in a warm, draft-free area to rise.
- Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide the dough in 12 portions. On a lightly floured work surface, or between two sheets of wax paper, roll out each portion to make an 8- to 9-inch round about 1/8-inch thick.
- Set the dough rounds aside and, without stacking them, cover them with a damp cloth so they dont dry out. Let them rest for 10 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- When you are ready to bake them, place as many dough rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, without overlapping (I could fit 3).
- Place the sheet in the oven, on the middle rack, and bake until the pitas are puffed, about 3 minutes.
- Check the oven and rotate the baking sheet if the pitas are cooking unevenly. Continue baking until the pitas begin to turn golden on the bottom but are NOT crisp, about 2 more minutes (I bake them for 4 1/2 minutes total).
- Carefully remove pitas and stack with lint-free towels inbetween, until all the pitas are cooked.
- Serve immediately or cool completely and wrap in plastic wrap. Pitas will keep at room temperature (in an airtight bag (like a ziploc) for up to 3 days or can be frozen for 2 months.