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What Is Pita?
Pita is a leavened Middle Eastern flatbread known for its puffy inner pocket—though there are also pocketless versions, such as the kind used for Greek souvlaki. Pita has a short proof time and is a fairly wet dough; the steam from its water content is what helps to inflate the bread when baked at a high temperature.
What Flour Is Best for Making Pita?
You can use all-purpose flour, or give your pita an earthy, nutty flavor by adding whole wheat to the mix.
3 Ways to Use Pita Bread
- With dip: Slice fresh pitas into triangles for easy dipping, or toast them in a 350ºF oven to make pita chips. Serve with baba ganoush, hummus, and assorted mezze.
- As a sandwich: Stuff a pita with anything from falafel and shredded carrot salad with Mediterranean tzatziki to turkey, avocado, and sprouts—or use it as a wrap.
- As a flatbread: Cook your pita on the grill, then top with caramelized onions, herb salad, and feta.
How to Make Pita on the Stovetop
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. When hot, add the pita dough balls and cook just until bubbles begin to form on the first side, about 30 seconds, then flip and cook for 2 more minutes on the second side. Then flip again and cook for another 2 on the first side. Keep finished pitas under a clean dish towel or napkin while you cook the rest.
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Easy, Homemade Pita Recipe
Prep Time2 hr 30 min
Total Time2 hr 35 min
If you don’t get the puff you’re looking for, it’s likely because the oven or pan was not hot enough. Be sure to thoroughly preheat no matter which method you use.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (instant yeast is okay, too)
- Whisk together the flours and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Place the warm water in a large, separate bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let sit for five minutes, until frothy.
- Add the flour mixture to the water and mix thoroughly, until the dough is shaggy and comes together.
- Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface dusted with a little flour, then knead for at least 5 minutes, until dough becomes smooth. (Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and knead on low.)
- Grease a large bowl with a thin coating of olive oil, and transfer the kneaded dough, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, up to 2 hours (depending on the temperature of your kitchen).
- Preheat your oven (along with whichever baking surface you’ll be using, whether a pizza stone or a baking sheet) to 450ºF.
- Turn out the proofed dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into as many equal dough balls you’d like to make; if you’re using it for wraps, make them a little bigger. Shape them into even circles with a rolling pin, about ¼-inch thick.
- Carefully add pitas to preheated baking sheet/stone and bake for about 4 minutes. Keep an eye on them—when they puff up, they’re done!