For the longest time I hated pita bread. It was always dry and didn’t have much taste to it. My husband and I used it for sandwiches, breakfast pockets, even a weird variation of tacos, and we were always pretty disappointed with the outcome. A few months ago we were at a community festival and, like usual, there were a ton of food vendors set up. Out of everything I had to choose from, nothing looked quite as good as the gyros the local Greek Orthodox church were putting together. I wanted one, but the pita bread stopped me in my tracks. The meat and vegetables looked so enticing, everything smelled heavenly, but I just knew the bread would ruin it. After a small internal conflict I ordered mine with a fork. I figured I could eat the filling and throw out the bread, no problem. Imagine my surprise when the bread was the most amazing thing I had eaten in as long as I could remember. It was chewy, light, airy, and full of flavor. It changed how I felt about pita forever.
Clearly, I had been doing it all wrong, and homemade pita had flown under my radar for too long. I tried a couple recipes before finding this one, but it was worth the wait. So, without further ado: Homemade Pita Bread!
one package of dry yeast
half a cup of warm water
one teaspoon of granulated sugar
one tablespoon of honey
four to four and a half cups of all-purpose flour
two tablespoons of olive oil
one teaspoon of salt
three tablespoons of dry milk
one and a half cups of lukewarm water
PREPARING YOUR DOUGH.
First, proof your yeast by mixing it with the half a cup of warm water, sugar, and honey. It is ready once it foams up.
add the flour, salt, and powdered milk. Make sure that you mix them all together. Drizzle your olive oil on top.
Then, use your hands to mix the oil with your dry ingredients until it is completely blended.
Make a well in the center of your powder. Add the yeast mixture and one cup of the lukewarm water.
Next, using the hook attachment on your stand mixer, begin the mixing process.
Once mixed, take the dough out of bowl and place it on a floured surface.
Knead the dough with your hands, slowly incorporating the half a cup of lukewarm water that is left. Continue through this process until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
Use a few drops of olive oil to coat the inside of a bowl. Place the dough inside, and cover the bowl with a damp towel. Let it rise.
Once your dough has risen punch it down, and divide it into 10 even portions. Place these portions on a floured surface, cover with a damp towel, and let rest for 15 minutes.
Next, roll out each portion into a circle using a rolling pin, place the dough circles on a dry towel covering a smooth surface, and then cover the dough with a damp towel. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
TIME TO BAKE!
You will need to preheat your oven to the highest setting it can handle. Make sure you also move the oven rack to the oven floor, and place cooking sheet on rack to preheat as well.
Carefully place your dough on the cooking sheet.
Bake for three to five minutes, and once they puff up use a spatula to flip to the opposite side. The second side will only require a minute or two, and then it is ready to come out.
Once you pull them out of the oven wrap them in a clean, dry towel until completely cooled down.
Serve immediately or place in storage bags after they have cooled down. Pita will stay good for up to four days at room temperature, and a month in the freezer. Warm them up on a stove top when you are ready to chow down!
There you have it! It is a long one, but once you taste this pita bread you will forget all of that.
Next Wednesday I will be throwing a delicious steak gyro recipe up on the blog. What better way to celebrate a new love for pita bread, right? Don’t miss it!