Why buy packaged pita bread from the store when you can learn how to make pita bread from scratch? This soft flat bread is common in Middle Eastern cuisine. Make the pita bread with part whole wheat flour and fill the pocket with falafel (fried bean patties), sprouts, or other sandwich fillings for a delicious, healthy lunch on the go.
To make pita bread, you will need:
- three c. flour (combination of white and whole wheat)
- two tsp. kosher salt
- one tbsp. honey
- two tsp. instant yeast
- two tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c. water
- two mixing bowls
- wooden spoon
- cooking spray
- tea towel
- rolling pin
- baking stone or baking sheet
How to make pita bread:
- Combine flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add honey, oil and 1 1/4 c. water.
- Stir dough with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball. If the dough is too dry and some flour remains loose, add up to 1/4 c. more water.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about ten minutes, until it is elastic.
- Place the dough in a mixing bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place to rise, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Punch the dough to remove air.
- Divide the dough into eight equal balls. Cover with a tea towel for about twenty minutes.
- Roll out each ball into a circle, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
- Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven on a baking sheet or preheated baking stone until the pitas are light brown and puffy (about three to five minutes).
- To knead bread dough, push the dough away from you with the heel of your palm, then fold it back towards you. Turn 25 degrees and repeat until the dough has an elastic consistency.
- If you don't care about the pita bread having a pocket, you can fry them instead of baking them. Fry in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for two to three minutes per side. This will produce a hearty, chewy pita rather than the soft, baked variety.