Pita bread is one of the most common breads eaten across the Mediterranean region. It is a round, pocket bread that is created by steam, which puffs up the dough. Once the bread cools, a pocket is created. Pita bread is a type of flatbread that has been around since ancient times. It is used to help scoop up various dips such as hummus or baba ghannoush. It is also used in sandwiches such as falafel or shawirma. I decided to bake whole wheat pitas today as I wanted a healthier alternative to the usual pita bread. Whole wheat pitas have a nuttier flavor and offer more vitamins Below is the recipe.
Makes: 9-12 pitas
- 2 teaspoons of dry yeast or 1 package of dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups water and 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- olive oil
1. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of water. Add sugar and stir. Let sit for ~15 minutes or until water is frothy.
2. Add flour and salt into a large bowl and mix.
3. Make a depression in the middle of the flour and pour yeast into the depression.
4. Add 1 cup and 1 tablespoon water. Mix together.
5. Remove from the bowl and begin to knead the dough. I find that one of the easiest ways to knead is to flatten out the dough and then roll part of it over one side. Flip it 90 degrees and repeat. Do this until the dough feels mixed well (usually about 15 minutes or until your hands are tired).
6. Coat a tray with olive oil and place the mixed dough into the tray. Form the dough into a ball form and roll it around the oil.
7. Cover the dough with a moist towel and let it sit in a warm place for ~2 hours (or until it has doubled in size).
8. Remove the towel and confirm that is has doubled in size. Remove from tray and place on a flat surface. Pat it down to remove all of the trapped gas. Roll out the ball into a large rope.
9. Pinch off about 9-12 pieces.
10. Roll the pieces into a ball. Cover them with a towel and allow them to rest for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500F. If you have a baking stone, preheat it as well. If you do not have a baking stone, place a cookie sheet upside down in the oven. You should bake your pitas on these.
11. After the dough has relaxed, remove the towel. Spread flour onto the work area and use a rolling pin or your hands to roll out the dough into a pita shape. It should be about 5 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. If it does not stretch correctly, cover the dough with a towel.
12. Open the oven and place the pitas (as many as you can fit) directly onto your baking surface. They should bake and become puffy after about 3-4 minutes. If you want crispier pitas, keep them in the oven longer.
13. Remove from the oven and enjoy