I posted a pita recipe a few years ago, but in the intervening years my pita game has improved, and as pita has been one of the latest hard-to-find grocery items, I figured it would be a good time to revamp my pita making methodologies. Pita are surprisingly easy to make once you get the technique down. The dough is fairly basic and requires only one long rise, so you can crank these out in under two hours, which for bread baking, is almost as quick as it gets! The key to obtaining a nice pita pocket from your home kitchen is a hot, 500 F (260 C), convection oven and copious amounts of parchment paper.
Recipe makes 6 (130 g) or 8 (100 g) pitas.
- 20 g Sourdough Starter (this is optional! I like to add it in for flavor, but if you don’t have any on hand you can just skip it)
- 15 g Yeast
- 20 g Olive Oil
- pinch of Sugar
- 290 g Water (warm)
- 15 g Salt
- 500 g Flour
- Combine the starter, yeast, olive oil, sugar, water, and 100 g of Flour.
- Set it aside for about 10 minutes as the yeast activates. It should bubble.
- Gradually add in the remaining flour and salt.
- Knead until the dough has a nice bounce to it. This is a fairly dry dough so I find it easiest to knead by machine, but it can be done by hand – with a lot of determination.
- Cover the dough and set it aside to rise until doubled. (~ a hour)
- About 10 minutes before you start shaping the dough preheat the oven to 500 F (260 C).
- Divide the dough out into equal pieces – 6 (130 g) balls or 8 (100 g) balls. If this is your first time making pita I would recommend going with the larger size. The larger the pita the larger the margin of success and the easier it is to roll out.
- Roll each ball of dough out into a circle that’s about a 1/4 inch thick.
- Place the pita circles onto a sheet of parchment. I can usually fit two pitas on every sheet of parchment. You’re going to use a baking sheet to transfer the pita into the oven, so keep that in mind while you are loading up your parchment sheets.
- Allow the pita to rise for ~ 15 minutes.
- Once the oven is at 500 F and the convection fan is on, take an inverted or lip-less baking sheet, and slide the pita covered parchment on to it.
- Open the oven, and quickly slide the parchment paper off of the baking sheet and directly onto the oven rack.
- Close the oven, and allow the pita to bake for about 3 minutes. The pita should puff up into a lovely little pillow.
- Gently flip the pita and bake it for another minute or two.
- Slide the baking parchment back onto the baking sheet to remove the pita from the oven.
- Wait a minute or two, for the oven to reheat, before repeating the process with the remaining pita.
- Cover the cooked pita with a kitchen towel to keep them warm and from drying out.