Prep 2 hrs
Cook 5 mins
My friend Liz introduced me to fresh pita bread with this recipe. It's fun to make and produces such a wonderful pita. You never had it this good. Fresh is better! Can also be made ahead, stored in the freezer, and brought out to reheat. Recipe comes from Epicurious, Gourmet May 2003. Thank you all for such great reviews and suggestions! See added note at end of the recipe.
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 1⁄4 cups warm water (105 115 F)
- 2 cups bread flour or 2 cups hi-gluten flour, plus additional
- bread flour or hi-gluten flour, for kneading
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- cornmeal, for sprinkling baking sheets
- Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.).
- While yeast mixture stands, stir together flours in another bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup flour mixture into yeast mixture until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Stir in oil, salt, remaining 3/4 cup warm water, and remaining 2 1/2 cups flour mixture until a dough forms.
- Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, working in just enough additional flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and cut into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten 1 ball, then roll out into a 6 1/2- to 7-inch round on floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer round to 1 of 2 baking sheets lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Make 7 more rounds in same manner, arranging them on baking sheets. Loosely cover pitas with 2 clean kitchen towels (not terry cloth) and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
- Set oven rack in lower third of oven and remove other racks. Preheat oven to 500°F.
- Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, directly onto oven rack.(or on a screen) Bake until just puffed and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over with tongs and bake 1 minute more. Cool pitas on a cooling rack 2 minutes, then stack and wrap loosely in a kitchen towel to keep pitas warm. Bake remaining 4 pitas in same manner. Serve warm.
- Cooks' note: Pitas can be baked 1 week ahead and cooled completely, then frozen, wrapped well in foil in a sealed plastic bag. Thaw before reheating, wrapped in foil, 10 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven.
- My note: Though I have not had problems cooking these on my oven rack, you may want to consider baking yours on a screen of some sort as noted by many of the reviewers.
Made your pita bread to go along with my hummus recipe and they disappeared. Do you suppose our recipes are meeting in cyberspace and forgot to come home on time? The family loved 'em!
I've made these several times, always with delicious results. Most recently I eliminated the oil (except for the oiled bowl) and made twelve rounds.
Great! The only changes I made were to use 1/2 bread flour and 1/2 whole wheat. I also used the dough cycle in my bread machine because I'm lazy. I will make this again.