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The only 6 simple steps you need to know to make Pita Bread at home like a BOSS!!!
Once you make this soft and chewy homemade Pita Bread that puffs like a Balloon creating beautiful pockets for your falafels, veggie fillings and hummus, you would never even look at the store-bought pita bread anymore.
I understand some of you reading this post might not be aware of thesepita pocket bread. And for them let us quickly see
What is a Pita Bread?
Pita is a type of flatbread from the Meditteranean region.
What a Naan is to us, Indians - Pita is the same to the Arabians. This Pita bread is also often referred to as Arabic Bread, Syrian Bread or Greek Pita Bread.
Even though thepita bread dough is similar to other flatbreads like pizza dough or a naan dough few ingredients and techniques used while making pita bread is what gives it the unique puff (pocket) making it ideal for fillings, wraps or sandwiches.
Stay with me because that is exactly what I am going to walk you through this detailed post on how to make pita bread from scratch covering all the tips and especially HIGHLIGHTING all the mistakes that I made so that you do not make one. 😀
Before we begin making thebest pita bread recipe, it is important to know the Pita Bread Ingredients because making a good dough is the key to making soft pita bread.
So,What is a pita bread made of?
6 basic ingredients - Flour, Yeast, Water, Salt, Sugar and just a bit of Oil. That's just all the basic ingredients you need to makepita bread dough recipe
Any type of flour can be used to make this bread. You can choose to use 100% All purpose flour or make a whole wheat pita bread, totally up to you.
Today we will be making this Lebanesebread using All-purpose Flour or Maida.
However, I have added just a touch of Whole Wheat or Atta to make thispita dough recipe.
Why do we need to add Whole Wheat Flour?
You might wonder for the reason and if I were you even I would have given a thought about the same.
Well, one of the main reason to add whole wheat or atta is to give that stability to the dough.
You might have observed whenever we try to roll a naan or kulcha made of maida, it often shrinks back to the original size and sometimes becomes difficult to roll too. Rolling is one of the important steps that help to get that perfect puffy pita bread.
And this is exactly where our good old Atta or Whole Wheat comes handy. Due to the addition of that little flour, it makes our job of rolling much much easier.
Choose to use active dry, fresh or instant variety, any kind of yeast would work as long as it has not crossed the expiry date.
If you are using the active dry kind variety, you might be knowing the drill which is to activate the yeast before proceeding with the recipe.
Since I am using the instant variety of yeast I would skip this step and directly add everything to the flour mixture.
It is important to maintain the temperature of the water.
Too hot you would end up killing the yeast, too cold you won't be able to activate the yeast in the first place.
The optimum temperature of water to make this perfect pita bread is preferably around 90 to 100-degree Fahrenheit.
You can consider salt, sugar and oil as just helpers in this recipe.
Now that you know that you just need a couple of basic ingredients that you probably have it even at this point of time, all you need to do is just get up and start baking this bread along with me right now!!
Because as promised in my Best Buttercream Frosting 101 post, this year I want to try and push and motivate you guys to start baking and start believing in the mantra that,
"anything homemade is always better, healthier and tastier."
And if you are intimidated by the world of bread baking then this is one of those perfectbasic pita bread recipe to start your journey of bread baking.
Some of you might be subconsciously thinking as to,
How can she confidently say this?
That is because if you have ever made chapati at your home or even watched your Mum making one you can easily master making pita bread.
Even if you have not done either of the above things you will still crack the recipe because I am going to share the mistakes that I did in my first attempt so that you do not do it.
Yes, I could not make the bread puff up in my first attempt so I made this once again noting down all the mistakes and experience and in my second attempt each of my bread, I mean literally all the 10 breads puffed up on the tawa seeing which I danced up on the kitchen grounds 😉
That was a pathetic rhyming.. blah... anyways it is like a child's expression a million dollar brightness when you literally see your labour of love coming out so well.
Here are my 6 steps to help you master the art of making the best ever Pita's
Pita is a yeast-leavened flatbread which means it has to undergo the usual stages of bread making - Kneading, First Proofing, Shaping, Second Proofing and Cooking.
That brings us to the first step. Also every now and then I would be referring the art of making pitas to our good old grandma style of making a chapati because I guess with a connection to something that we eat on a regular basis it becomes easier to understand.
Step 1: Kneading the Pita Dough
First and foremost make sure that the liquid that is water, in this case, is at the optimum temperature which is 90 to 100-degree Fahrenheit in this case. (Yes in each and every bread dough the temperature of watervaries)
Secondly, if you are using the active dry yeast make sure to activate it first before proceeding with the recipe.
Since I am using the instant variety, let's just mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl - 2 types of Flour, Salt and Sugar.
Always mix the yeast with water that helps in even distribution of yeast in the dough.
Now add the liquid, and just combine everything using a wooden spatula and in the later stages just combine everything to a blob of sticky mass using your clean hands.
It is going to be super sticky but do not be tempted to add flour now.
Once you see no dry bits of flour just transfer the dough to the worktop and sprinkle some plain flour on top.
Start kneading the dough.
As it is just a handful of dough, I mean the quantity is so less I am using my hands to knead the dough.
If you are using a stand mixer, straight away knead the dough for 8 mins and proceed with the next step.
And if you are kneading it using hands, stick along I have some mighty tips to share with you.
Firstly if you are new to bread baking I highly recommend you to watch this video on how to knead dough, this step would really help you understand the right way to stretch the dough while bread making.
The bread dough is going to be super sticky, but that is absolutely fine just keep on kneading. In just about 3 to 4 mins you will observe that the dough has started to come together and your hands are getting cleaner.
Keep kneading, just sprinkle little flour only if needed. I used about 2 tbsp of flour while kneading the dough. You will notice that the dough is becoming less sticky while you continue to knead, as the gluten develops and the flour becomes more hydrated from the liquid.
In about 8 mins you will observe that your hands are all clean, the dough has become super soft and is not as sticky as the way you started with but it is still tacky.
And yes that is an important part - the dough has to be tacky and has some moisture.
Why is it important to get a tacky dough?
The major characteristic of a pita dough is its puff. The big pockets that it creates while baking is what makes it a different kind of flatbread. This is what enables us to make those deliciouspita bread fillings that we binge upon guiltlessly.
But how do you get the pockets?
I believe now you figured the inter-linking. Yes, absolutely the moisture in the dough is the reason.
What happens is in the hot oven or on top of the hot stove, the outside of the bread quickly sets whereas the heat converts the moisture into steam and this steam is pushed outwards (commonly termed as oven spring in culinary terms) causing the push in the bread to create the puff.
And since the outside of the bread is already set by the heat the push of the steam creates a pocket in the bread leaving a soft and chewy end product for us to enjoy.
How to test whether the dough is tacky enough?
It is simple when you try to press the finger onto the dough immediately you feel the softness of the dough, but when you try to remove the finger from the dough you should feel some resistance.
Allow this dough for first proofing - 2 hours.
I know proof all my bread dough in the Instant Pot by following this guide on How to Proof Dough in the Instant Pot? Following that method, the instant pot proofing time for this recipe would be 1 hour.
Step 2: Shaping and Rolling the dough.
After the first proofing just deflate the dough and divide it into 10 equal parts. I just eyeballed here and divided it evenly.
Take the dough,give it a round shape by tucking the sides beneath and place it on your worktop. Flatten it by pressing the centre down. Cover with a tea towel and proceed with the next one.
Similarly, give a round shape to all the other 9 dough and place it adjacent to the previous one.
Starting with the first dough that you shaped just roll it out evenly into a circle with a 4 to 6-inch diameter.
Points to note while rolling:
- The dough should be rolled thin. Thinner the dough the more it will puff. The concept is similar to the one while making a phulka.
- It should be rolled out to an even thickness about 1/4 inch. Uneven rolling can cause a certain area to puff whereas the other might not.
- The dough should be rolled without any tears or cracks.
The concept is you want the dough to be thin so that the sides once set quickly, the heat can immediately cause the moisture to convert to steam and start the push in the centreexpanding the pocket before the dough becomes too rigid.
If there are tears or cracks while baking or cooking the bread, the steam would get an exit point and would escape from there instead of doing its job of expanding to create a pocket. You might have seen this while making a chapati, if you get a hole the phulka just won't puff as all the steam just escapes.
Step 3: Placing and Second Proofing
Once you roll the dough, it is essential to place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or worktop dusted with flour and then covered with tea towel.
That is because when you keep them for second proofing they seem to get wet a bit and when you try to lift them sometimes it tends to stick to the surface and you would end up tearing it a bit so in order to avoid this better to keep it on a parchment paper so that it is easier to place it on a baking stone or stove top afterwards.
After you roll out all the dough to thin disc keep it for second proofing - 30 mins, so that the gluten has time to rest before baking.
Step 4: Baking the Pitas
The one thing that you have to take care while baking it in the oven or on the stove top is that the medium should be extremely HOT!!
You need that hot conditions to quickly create steam which would eventually create the pockets. If the oven temperature is too low, steam won't puff the pitas, and you'll end up with thick pita bread.
Preheat the oven to max temperature with the baking stone inside so that the stone is also hot when you place the pitas. Within a matter of 3 to 5 mins you will observe the pitas puffing up.
Making pitas on stove top:
You have to use an iron skillet to maintain the high heat level. I would not recommend using a non-stick.
Make sure that the skillet is hot otherwise the pitas won't puff.
So cook the pitas on both sides until they start puffing.
Step 5: The right way of cooking or baking the pita bread
Yes, you read it right. There is a right way of cooking the pitas.
From the above step, you got to know that the importance of heat, but the placement of the pitas is also equally important.
So right before baking or cooking the bread, you have to flip the pitas face down on the stove top or on the baking stone.
Which means the top rolled part would hit the heat first just like how we make an everyday roti or paratha.
The reason for this is that even though we keep the dough covered the top becomes dry comparatively so when we put that part on the stove top first it becomes easier to flip. And once flipped the moisture then helps to push the dough into pockets.
Step 6: Grandma's way of keeping the rotis aka pitas
I believe this final step is a no brainer step. We Indians have been practising this for ages now.
To keep the pitas warm and soft we need to enclose them or wrap them up using a tea towel as soon as they come out of stovetop or oven. This helps to keep the pitas soft for a long time because, the tea towels aids in capturing the right amount of moisture letting the pitas breathe at the same time.
Follow these 6 simple steps and I can assure you that most of your pitas would definitely puff.
Yes, I am not saying all but mostly because sometimes the pitas just don't want to puff.
There is nothing like a freshwarm pita bread!!
For the Pitas That Just Won't Puff:
Don't get disheartened if the pitas won't puff. The first time I tried making pitas at home none of it puffed. But I am glad that it didn't because that's how I learned the science of making perfect pita bread.
Even if the pitas don't puff, these pocketless Pita Bread still turns out to be so so so soft and chewy and delicious and can still be used as a wrap or simply dipping in hummus. Or use it as a base for making pizzas; Pita Bread Pizza tastes amazing or just make pita chips or crisps out of it. Stay tuned that is what I am going to be sharing next week with you all.
So yeah keep all that in mind and please note the
5 Common mistakes to avoid while making pitaflatbread recipe:
- Knead the dough to the right consistency. Do not be tempted to add excess flour.
- Do not skip the wheat flour Just a little while kneading, makes a lot of difference.
- Take your time to roll the dough. Don't lose patience or be in a hurry. Just relax. Switch on music and roll it thin.
- Flip the pitas carefully so that you do not tear or make a hole causing the steam to escape.
- Make sure that the oven or stovetop is EXTREMELY HOT
Storing the Dough
After the first proofing, the pita bread dough can be refrigerated for about a week and used as and when needed just like the way we do with our regular chapati dough.
Just pinch out the required dough to make 1 or 2 or the required amount of pitas and store the remaining in an airtight container for about a week.
You can also freeze the rolled out dough by placing a parchment paper between each disc for around 1-2 months.
Or partially cook them say 30 sec on each side and then freeze them with parchment paper between each disc,then wrapped in foil and plastic wrap. Defrost, then toast in the skillet as per recipe.
And here is the detailed instructions to make thisquick and easy pita bread recipe
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How to make Pita Bread at home
Once you make this soft and chewy homemade Pita Bread that puffs like a Balloon creating beautiful pockets for your falafels, veggie fillings and hummus, you would never even look at the store-bought pita bread anymore.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Proofing Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 pitas
Author Sushma Iyer
- 2 cups All purpose Flour plus 1/2 cup for dusting
- 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Olive OIl
- 2 tsp Yeast (refer notes)
- 1 cup Warm Water
Combine all-purpose flour, wheat flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir to mix.
Add the yeast to warm water and stir to dissolve completely. Pour this in the mixing bowl along with olive oil and then combine everything into a sticky mass.
Transfer to your worktop dust with additional flour and knead for 8-10 mins until you get a soft and tacky dough. (Refer the detailed instructions from the above paragraphs)
Lightly oil the same mixing bowl. Transfer the dough into it, coat it with olive oil from all sides to refrain it from drying and then allow it for first proofing -2 hours.
After 2 hours lightly deflate the gas and divide the dough into 10 equal parts. Tuck the sides in of it and give it a round shape. Press in the centre and cover with a tea towel. Repeat the process until you shape all of them into roundels.
Take the first dough that you shaped and roll it thinly and evenly to 6 inches in diameter. Place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cover with a tea towel.
Once you have rolled out all the roundels allow it for second proofing - 30 mins.
Preheat the oven to 230 degree Celsius with the baking stone inside. Right before baking flip the rolled out dough on to the stone and bake for 4-5 mins until it is nicely puffed up.
To make it on a stovetop make sure that the skillet is hot. Flip the rolled out dough and place it on the hot skillet. After about 20 sec flip the dough and you will observe that the dough puffs up like a balloon in minute's time. Flip it over again and cook on both sides.
Wrap it in a tea towel as soon as it comes out of the oven or skillet to keep it soft.
Pita bread tastes best when still warm.
- Since I have used the Instant Variety of Yeast I just dissolved it in water and proceeded with the recipe. However, if you are using the active dry yeast then make sure to activate it before proceeding with the recipe.
- The ideal temperature of water for this recipe is around 90 to 100 degree Fahrenheit.
- Do not be tempted to add more flour while kneading, the dough has to be soft and tacky, not dry.
- Make sure to roll the dough thin. Also, flip the dough right before baking or cooking it.
- Wrap the pita bread in a tea towel to keep it warm and soft. The bread tastes amazing when still warm and fresh.
- Serve the pita pockets with fillings of your choice like falafel, hummus, veggie fillings or tzatziki.
Do not worry if your pita doesn't puff up in the first attempt. It would still taste amazingly soft. Serve it with the dip of your choice and use it as a pizza base or make it into pita chips the recipe is coming up next.
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I hope that this post ona simple pita bread recipe was informative and you got to know all the tips and tricks of making a perfect puffy pita bread.
If you are wondering what to serve with pita bread - Here is what we had for lunch the other day: Pita bread with hummus, falafel, balela salad, fresh greens and tzatziki sauce.
Comment below and let me know what are you going to serve pita bread with?
You should also check this post on the Secret Bakery (DOMINOS) style Pizza from scratch.
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I will see you soon with yet another post.
10 minutes in the oven heated at 350 degrees F is enough to get the pitas thoroughly heated. Tip: When reheating pita in the oven without aluminum foil, brush it with some olive oil from both sides and season it. Doing this will make the bread taste even better.Why isn't my pita puffing up? ›
If the oven temperature is too low, steam won't puff the pitas, and you'll end up with duds. Turn the oven as high as it will go, and preheat the oven with a baking steel or stone,* which retains heat, thus aiding in the creation of steam.How do I make my pita not fall apart? ›
Instead of cutting the bread directly in half, trim a 1 ½" opening from the top. Flip that trimmed piece over and tuck it into the bottom of the pocket before filling it with whatever you happened to be craving. You're basically giving your pita a kevlar vest.How does pita bread get its pocket? ›
Most pitas are baked at high temperatures (450 F to 475 F). The water in the dough turns into steam and causes the pita to puff up to form a pocket. When removed from the oven, the layers of baked dough remain separated inside the deflated pita, allowing the bread to be opened to form a pocket.How do you keep homemade pita soft? ›
You can store pita breads on the counter or in the fridge. If you leave them at room temperature, allow them to breathe so that they don't trap moisture and grow mold. When refrigerating, seal them tightly so that they don't dry out.How wet should pita dough be? ›
The dough ball should not be too soupy or dry (somewhere in between is best). It should look a lot like store-bought pizza dough, but just a little stickier. If the dough is too wet, add a little more flour to compensate (about 2 tablespoons at a time). Knead until the dough ball passes the window pane test.Why is my pita bread dough not rising? ›
To fix dough that won't rise, try placing the dough on the lowest rack in your oven along with a baking pan filled with boiling water. Close the oven door and let the dough rise. Increasing the temperature and moisture can help activate the yeast in the dough so it rises. You can also try adding more yeast.Why is my pita bread so chewy? ›
The thing that makes bread chewy is gluten. The easiest way to make chewier bread would probably be to use flour with a higher gluten content.Why is pita bread healthy? ›
Therefore, the health benefits are innumerable. It is rich in fibre, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Pita bread can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. The fibre content in whole grain pita bread is very high and aids digestion.What makes pita unique? ›
The major characteristic of a pita dough is its puff. The big pockets that it creates while baking is what makes it a different kind of flatbread.
Most pita are baked at high temperatures (450–475 °F (232–246 °C)), which turns the water in the dough into steam, thus causing the pita to puff up and form a pocket. When removed from the oven, the layers of baked dough remain separated inside the deflated pita, which allows the bread to be opened to form a pocket.What flour is pita bread made of? ›
Flour – we love a combination of mostly all-purpose flour to keep the pita very soft, with a little whole wheat flour to add flavor and color. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – use extra virgin for the best flavor. Salt – we use fine sea salt. As with any bread, salt is critical for a great tasting bread.What is pita in English? ›
: a thin flat bread that can be separated easily into two layers to form a pocket.Can you refrigerate pita bread dough? ›
Storing the Dough: Once it has risen, the pita dough can be kept refrigerated until it is needed. You can also bake one or two pitas at a time, saving the rest of the dough in the fridge. The dough will keep refrigerated for about a week. Pitas That Won't Puff: Sometimes you get pitas that won't puff.Does pita bread have eggs? ›
A flatbread made from a simple mixture of flour, water, yeast, and salt. Though often vegan, some varieties may add milk, eggs, or honey for flavor.Why do pitas puff up? ›
The reasoning is pretty simple- it's in the science of the puff. When the pita is placed in a very hot oven, the heat coming at it from every angle begins to cook the outside of the dough. At the same time, moisture builds up in the middle of the dough, eventually causing a big puff of steam.How do you make bread rise higher? ›
Adding 2 tablespoons instant dry milk powder per loaf of bread will help your bread rise higher, stay soft, and hold the moisture longer. That means it won't get stale as quickly. Dry milk powder creates a more golden brown crust and improves nutrition, too.Does letting bread rise longer make it fluffier? ›
For a fluffy bread texture, the key is to let the bread rise long enough. Now, you may be wondering “how long does it take for bread to rise?” The short answer is that it depends on the temperature of your kitchen. For bread to rise, yeast must be activated, and yeast is very sensitive to temperature.What does adding oil to bread dough do? ›
Fats work as tenderizers in breads by coating some of the proteins that form gluten, preventing them from hydrating and linking up to form large networks that would lead to toughness.What makes pita bread different? ›
Believed to be much older, pita has fewer ingredients — just flour, salt, water, and yeast — and originates in the Middle East, spreading to the eastern Mediterranean and wheat-eating areas of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Arabic bread is popular in many countries and is known by the following names: khobz, shami, mafrood, burr, bairuti, Lebanese, pita, and pocket. It is a round two-layered flatbread.Do you cut pita bread before or after heating? ›
Heat the pita until it's soft. Make a small slit in one end with a serrated knife. Then insert fingers and work open the rest of it.How do you steam a pita at home? ›
To steam the pita breads, fill a medium to large wok with 2 cups of water. Allow the water to come to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Place a bamboo basket (lined with baking paper and sprayed with olive oil) over the wok and steam the pita breads for 10 mins.How do you spice up store bought pita bread? ›
Brush pita breads with olive oil, then rub them vigorously with the smashed garlic cloves. Sprinkle the bread with salt, pepper and a bit of paprika for color. Place the pita bread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the bread is nice and crispy.Is pita bread healthier than bread? ›
Side-by-side, bread contains a little more fiber and slightly fewer carbs than a pita, making it a somewhat more nutritious option. Pitas are lower in sodium than bread, so that it may be the best option for those eating a low-salt diet.Is pita bread good for weight loss? ›
Pita bread can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. The fibre content in whole grain pita bread is very high and aids digestion. Pita bread is a fulfilling food that increases satiety, which is good for weight loss.Is pitta bread fattening? ›
The same serving of pita bread is very low in fat, with only 1 gram being present. There are also doses of iron and calcium in such a serving of pita bread. The distinct downside of pita bread is the enormous content of sodium. The same serving size of 60 grams subjects your body to 322 milligrams of salt.What spice is good for bread? ›
Black Pepper – Many recipes use black pepper in order to improve the taste of the bread. Caraway Seeds – Caraway seeds are used to bread recipes such as Rye Bread. Chives – Chives are used in recipes such as Potato Bread, Cheddar Cheese & Chives Bread, etc. Cilantro – Cilantro is another herb that tastes better fresh.How much pita bread should I eat a day? ›
It's recommended to consume up to one loaf and a half of pita bread per day. Limit this amount to 1 loaf when your meal contains other sources of carbohydrates such as rice, pasta and bulgur.Does pita bread raise blood sugar? ›
Is Pita Bread OK for Diabetics? Pita bread is great for diabetic patients, especially those made from whole grain. Whole-grain pita bread has low carb and high fiber content. Bread is not suitable for diabetic people as they have high carbohydrates.
Whole grain bread is the healthiest pick for weight. It provides you with the nutrition of several whole grains like oats, barley, corn and others.Does bread burn belly fat? ›
In one study, people on a lower-calorie diet that included whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, lost more belly fat than those who ate only refined grains, such as white bread and white rice. Whole grains provide more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than refined. But overdoing whole wheat bread can add pounds, too.Is pita healthier than Naan? ›
Simply put, naan is more nutrient-dense than pita or white bread. While it may contain more carbs and sugars, it earns its reputation as a healthy alternative with its relatively generous amounts of protein and fiber.Can you freeze pita bread? ›
Refrigerating will cause them to stale more quickly, but you can freeze pita to use as needed. Place a square of parchment between each pita before freezing so they don't stick to each other and seal them in an air-tight bag for up to three months.Is hummus and pita good for weight loss? ›
Hummus is a great source of fiber and protein, which may promote weight loss. Surveys have shown that people who consume chickpeas or hummus regularly are less likely to be obese, plus have a lower BMI and smaller waist circumference.