Prep 3 hrs
Cook 15 mins
I learned to make pita bread using this recipe from my friend's copy of Nita Mehta's Lebanese cookbook. When I moved, I had to beg her for the recipe because other recipes that I found online were not so tasty or easy. Not only is the stovetop/griddle method of cooking pitas easy, but it is so fun and satisfying to see them balloon up to make pita pockets!
- 2 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1⁄2 cup water, lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 -2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Mix 1/2 cup lukewarm water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Mix the yeast into the warm sugar-water mixture. Cover and keep in a warm place for 5-10 minutes. If the yeast has not formed a creamy foam after this time, you should try again with new yeast.
- In a large bowl, mix the flours, proved yeast, oil and salt. Add 1/2 cup water, and then continue adding in small amounts until dough is proper consistency. Mix well and knead to form a dough.
- Put a tablespoon or so of olive oil in the bottom of the bowl and return the dough to the bowl, turning to oil it evenly. Cover the bowl and leave to rise for 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and move it to a floured surface and knead briefly. Place the dough, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. (Note: I have found that the longer the dough is in the refrigerator the higher the chance that it becomes somewhat dry).
- Bring the dough to room temperature and divide it into 8-10 balls. Flour your hands, and roll the dough on a floured surface. Roll each ball of dough into about an 8 inch circle. (Note: avoid creasing the dough during this process - they will prevent the pita from ballooning).
- Heat a large pan or griddle, and place the pita on the hot griddle. Cook for 15-20 seconds before turning the bread over gently. Cook for another minute or until big bubbles appear.
- Turn the bread again. Use a kitchen cloth to press on those areas where bubbles have formed to push air into the flat areas. Cook until the pita balloons. (Note: due to a number of different factors, your pitas will not always balloon. Every time I have made them, I have had a higher and higher success rate, though!).
- Remove pita and repeat with the remaining dough balls.
- Enjoy! Pitas are delicious warm as a side, can be made into a pita pocket sandwich, or with some tzatziki or hummus.
I had some problems with this recipe, I followed it to the letter but only had 2 of them puff up. That said I'm sure it was my technique that caused the problem. The directions didn't say how thick to make the rounds so I think I probably made mine to thin to puff up so next time I'll try to adjust that. The taste was fine, we made them to go with Palestinian Chicken I will try again to see if I can improve my odds with success.