Perfect Pita Bread (and Some Happy News)

I don’t know what it is about bread that I love so much…I think it’s everything: the taste, the texture, the aroma (fresh bread makes me swoon…does anyone else get think they should make a bakery-smelling perfume or something?).

When I was in Egypt, I practically lived off fresh pita bread. Most of the time I wouldn’t even eat it with anything– just plain pita bread, fresh and warm, straight from the bakery It was heavenly. So you can imagine my horror when I came back to America last summer and couldn’t find fresh pita bread anywhere (and I don’t live in the middle of nowhere, either… I’m certain that there are at least 4 McDonald’s within a 2-mile radius from where I am).

Eventually I discovered the store-bought packaged pita breads and decided to give them a try…and you know what I realized? Store-bought packaged pita breads are a disgrace to pita breads. They should be banned. Outlawed. Exiled.

…I’m very passionate about my bread.

So, I decided to scour the web in search of a perfect pita bread recipe…and after 4 different recipes, this is the one I’m going to stick with. It’s practically flawless for homemade bread.

(and I’d like to thank my yeast for complying with me this time).

Bye-bye, prepackaged pita bread! You won’t be missed.

Pita Bread Recipe (adapted from Allrecipe.com’s Syrian Bread…although I think it’s more of a general “Arab” bread, not only Syrian)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or instant…I have directions below for both).

Directions

For INSTANT YEAST (the way I made it):

  1. Sift together all the dry ingredients (the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast).
  2. Add lukewarm water (about 130 degrees F)
  3. Mix well, then add oil.
  4. Knead, cover, and let rest for about 10 minutes (preferably in a warm area).
  5. Knead again, and roll into 8 balls (or 4 larger balls if you like bigger pita breads).
  6. Cover with a damp towel and let rest in a warm area (you can even place in the oven at a low temperature, like 140 degrees or so) until doubled in size. (I would say about 45 minutes).
  7. Roll dough into thin flat circles, about 8 inches in diameter. Cook two at a time on preheated baking sheets or a baking stone until puffed up and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Repeat for remaining loaves.

NOTE: I think these can be baked two ways: in an oven, or over a skillet on the stove. Try both and see what works best for you!

For ACTIVE DRY YEAST:

  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough cycle; press Start.
  2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
  3. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and form into rounds. Cover the rounds with a damp cloth and let rest.
  4. Roll dough into thin flat circles, about 8 inches in diameter. Cook two at a time on preheated baking sheets or a baking stone until puffed up and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Repeat for remaining loaves.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEWS & UPDATES:

  1. I won a cookie giveaway by The Wannabe Chef! I’m so excited, I’ve never won anything by random in my life. Also, you guys should check out his awesome blog. Yes, I said his. He’s a guy food blogger! And a university student. And I think part-Italian (I’m kinda jealous). He makes really healthy/mouth-watering food, too. And cooks way more than I do. Pretty much awesomeness all around.
  2. Thank you to everyone who’s been leaving feedback here or on my Facebook wall or telling their friends about my blog! I get so pleasantly surprised when I get notifications telling me someone commented or subscribed by email…thank you guys! You make my day! :)

To prove my gratitude, I made a smiley face out of these oatmeal raisin cookies (these cookies are amazing, by the way. recipe will come soon) for you!

I put the second picture for reference because the first one looks slightly discombobulated.

Love you guys!

NOTE: I think these can be baked two ways: in an oven, or over a skillet on the stove. Try both and see what works best for you!
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38 Responses to Perfect Pita Bread (and Some Happy News)

  1. Evan Thomas says:

    That bread is mouth watering. No store bought bread could be freshly baked; it’s just not possible.
    Thank you for that shout out! I’m only 1/4 Italian, but I like to think that 25% includes my head, mouth, and stomach.

  2. Em says:

    looks delicious! and love the smiley face at the end :)

  3. Lindsay says:

    These pitas look delicious. I haven’t had much luck with yeast, but I’m inspired to try again!

  4. Faith says:

    You are a girl after my own heart — I would LOVE bakery-scented perfume! :) And we share a true love of bread too…mmm! Your pita bread is gorgeous!

    Yay, congrats on winning the giveaway!

  5. These look great! I’ve had some fail experiences making naan…I’ll have to bookmark this recipe and give it a try. Congrats on winning the giveaway!

  6. bakebooks says:

    Thank you so much for coming to my blog! I responded that I know what Food Network Challenge is! I just didn’t know what it was called ;) – I love that show – they always do cakes!

    Congrats on your win too :)

  7. Tine says:

    Thanks for watching my blog!
    I quickly rolled trough yours, superb recipes!
    Those pecan pie bites! Njam…!

  8. Simply Life says:

    I LOVE making my own pita bread and this looks like a great recipe for it! thanks for sharing!

  9. Liz says:

    Oh, YUM! The grocery store pita bread around here is so stale and nasty. I will use your recipe the next time I get a hankering for some. THANK YOU!!!

  10. oneordinaryday says:

    I love warming up pita bread for garlic hummus, but alas, I use store- bought. :P If you say it’s a disgrace, then perhaps the pita bread on my “to bake soon” list should be bumped up. I’m really wanting a whole wheat version though. Have you found one of those?

    • I actually wanted to make this recipe whole-wheat but didn’t have any whole-wheat flour on hand. I will try this recipe again with whole wheat and let you know how it turns out.
      And I would definitely recommend bumping up the pita bread on your to-do list :)

  11. Mika says:

    Hi!!! ..you have a really cute blog…
    I love pita breads but I have never baked it…I trust your recipe, if you say that is good I will not look for something else…
    Why don’t you post more recipes from Egypt?
    I know you raised in America, but maybe you can share something of your original country with us…I’m very curious about it…

  12. Megan says:

    I used to eat pita bread all the time when I was in Greece. My husband is going to be super excited I stumbled across your blog, because he lives on this stuff. So excited to start making my own pita bread!

  13. Kathy says:

    My grandmother always made pita weekly, my grandfather would deliver it to us before we left for school, still warm. I do a lot of bread baking, absolutely love working with yeast but have never tried pita…I really don’t know why. You have inspired me.

  14. Stevie says:

    I totally know what your’re talking about when it comes to bread! I could have it all the time and happily give up rice, potatoes, possibly even pasta, though that would be tough, to eat good bread all the time. When I was a child, my family and I lived in Geneva, Switzerland for a year. I have extremely fond memories of going into boulangeries where my mother would buy freshly baked bread in large round boules. These were heavenly! It’s not quite the same in San Francisco though there are some excellent loaves to be had here too.

    I love the name for your blog! Wish we’d been more creative when we started ours.

    • Hahaha I don’t know if I’d be able to give up pasta but bread is definitely my favorite! And thank you so much…I’d been thinking of a name for a few days and it just came to me :)

  15. Deeba @ PAB says:

    Bookmarked… hello home made pita bread! I’m so making these soon…

  16. crustabakes says:

    This really screams homemade goodness! Fresh pita breads. i love the sound of that!

  17. Homemade pita bread is the best. Once you make it, you’ll never go back to store bought. BTW–I always make mine with 100% white whole wheat, and it turns out lovely every time. :)

  18. Clare says:

    You are so right, the pita bread you get in shops is terrible, like eating cardboard and is nothing like the real thing. I recently made a flatbread that was very similar to your recipe and it turned out really well, except that the surface was quite firm and crisp (in a good way – they had a lovely texture). When I was in the Middle East the pitas were always white and soft. Any idea why mine are so different? Is it the oven? Any tips?

    Oh, and I love your blog! Especially the cartoon of you with the smiling rolling pin!

    • Thank you so much!
      I’m certainly not an expert but I think it all comes down to 2 things: 1) the yeast and 2) the temperature you bake it in. If your yeast didn’t rise properly while you were proofing it, then the bread will definitely not rise properly in the oven. Make sure your yeast is fresh and that your bread doubled in size while you were proofing it.
      The second reason could be the temperature you bake it in. I found that putting it in the top rack makes it puff up much more than the bottom rack since the heat is reaching it more efficiently. Also, instead of baking, you could try heating it up in a skillet on the stove and I think it will puff it greatly.
      Hope I helped a little :)

  19. Victoria says:

    Congrats on all your new followers! You know I’m one of them :) I love pita bread too! As an Armenian, I’ve grown up with pita bread in the house at all times! We actually call it Syrian bread even though we aren’t Syrian, and it really is more Arabic in general as you said. I’ve never made this bread from scratch though, and will have to try it out one of these days :)

  20. Lauren says:

    Mmm…I love pita bread! I’ve never thought about making it from scratch before, but this looks so simple. I’ll definitely have to try it soon.

  21. kylemendes says:

    mmm pita bread. I enjoy making this to see how much inflation I can get in each pocket. Great post!

  22. Pingback: Homemade Flour Tortillas | Miss Anthropist's Kitchen

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