Homemade Pita

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November 10, 2022

3 min read

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How to make pita with a pocket at home.

Pita gains its distinctive pocket by being baked at a high temperature: air inside the dough expands quickly in the heat, creating space in the middle of the loaf. Here’s a recipe for classic pita. It’s best eaten warm, straight from the oven. Try pita with classic Israeli dips such as humus, tehina, matbucha or baba ganoush. One delicious Sephardic tradition is to eat pita with honey. No matter how you enjoy it, this simple bread is delicious. As we say in Hebrew: B'tayavon (Bon Appetit)!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes
Total time: 2 ½ hours
Yield: 12 pitas

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package dry yeast (1 scant tablespoon)
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour (about)

PREPARATION

  1. Sprinkle the yeast into a large bowl and pour the warm water on top. Stir until the yeast is dissolved; add the olive oil and salt and mix well. Add enough flour until the dough is difficult to stir.
  2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to make a firm, elastic dough. You can also use a food processor, or an electric mixer with a dough hook. Place the dough in a greased bowl and let rise, covered, for about 1 ½ hours or until doubled in bulk.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a large floured surface and cut into 12 equal sections. Using your hands, form each section into a ball about the size of a ping-pong ball. Cover with a towel and set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Flour the work surface lightly. Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball to a disk 6 inches in diameter. The dough will be very elastic, so roll firmsly, adding a little more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough. Cover the circles and let rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500℉, lining one rack with baking tiles or a baking stone. (If you do not have either, heat a baking sheet.) If you have a bread paddle, dust it with flour and transfer 2 of the rounds to it, then slide them onto the hot tiles or stone, keeping the remaining balls covered. Otherwise, gently pick up the disks with your fingers and toss them onto the tiles. Bake for 3 minutes. Remove the pitas with tongs or a spatula. Repeat with remaining rounds.
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