Written Recipe by Chef John on AllRecipes.com
Video by Samitavi (@samitavihealthy on Instagram) Samitavi.com
Making homemade pita bread is a simple and rewarding process that results in soft, fluffy, and delicious bread that is far superior to the dry and bland store-bought pitas.
Warm water (90 to 100 degrees F/32 to 38 degrees C)
- Place yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and add 1 cup warm water and 1 cup flour. Whisk together, then let sit until mixture bubbles and foams, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, followed by 1 3/4 cups flour. Mix at low speed, using a dough hook attachment, until dough is soft, supple, and slightly sticky. If dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add up to 1/4 cup more flour, a little at a time.
- Knead dough with machine on low speed until slightly springy and still soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and form into a ball.
- Wipe inside of bowl with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil. Turn dough around in bowl to cover with a thin film of oil; cover bowl with foil and let sit until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Remove dough from bowl and place onto a floured work surface. Lightly pat into a flat shape about 1-inch thick. Use a knife to cut dough into 8 equal pieces.
- Form each piece into a small round ball with a smooth top, pulling dough from the sides and tucking the ends underneath the bottom.
- Cover dough balls with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the dough balls to a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the tops with flour. One at a time, gently pat the dough with your fingers, forming a flat, round bread about 1/4-inch thick. Let the shaped dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Brush a cast iron skillet with remaining 3/4 teaspoon olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Lay dough into the hot skillet; cook until puffy and the bottom has brown spots and blisters, about 3 minutes. Flip, cook 2 more minutes, and flip back onto original side to cook for about 30 more seconds. Pita bread will begin to puff up and fill with hot air. Stack cooked breads on a plate; when cool enough to handle, slice breads in half and open the pocket inside for stuffing.