Why homemade pita bread is superior
Warm, lightly salted rounds of pita, full of steam waiting to be released with every bite. That’s perfection. Fresh, homemade pita bread is something you need to experience, and you’ll be shocked at how easy it is to make. My version is very simple and doesn’t require olive oil, just four basic ingredients you will most definitely have at home. Traditional pita bread, or Khubez has just a touch of olive oil, and if you want you can add 1-2 tablespoons to this recipe, and adjust the flour as needed.
How to make pita bread
The process is very simple, and I’ve mentioned 2 cooking methods below, both stovetop. When I was working on this recipe years ago, I decided to shape the pita bread and let it rise after. It actually works! This helps is getting that perfect puff you want in pita bread when it cooks, but you need to handle the pitas carefully once they’ve risen. It is this reason that made me try another method which works just as well. This method is more classical in its approach. You mix the dough and let it rise before portioning and rolling out. I like both methods, and switch between them. If you’re making this the first time I would suggest using method 2 that is listed in the recipe below.
Some things to look out for
Since this pita bread has just four ingredients, you need to make sure you get them right. Make sure your yeast is not expired. A good way to check is to add a small amount to some warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes and see if it activates and starts to froth. If it doesn’t froth or bubble up, you need new yeast. Another tip when you’re using salt and yeast together, make sure you add the yeast first and let it mix into the other ingredients before adding the salt. Salt kills yeast, as opposed to sugar that feeds it.
Pita bread dough is versatile
Once you have this dough down, you can use it for so many Palestinian and Lebanese variations. Joudie Kalla has multiple recipes using a basic pita bread dough to make things like Khubez Taboon and Khubez bil Za’atar. You can buy her book here. Besides these amazing variations, just having fresh pita bread is something you will enjoy more than you know.
Homemade Pita Bread
- 1 cup warm water
- 7 g instant yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cups flour plus extra for kneading
- 1 tsp salt
- In a medium bowl add the yeast and sugar to the water, mix and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Then add in the flour and the salt and mix until a patchy dough forms. Knead the dough, sprinkling in more flour as needed, until a smooth dough if formed.
- Method 1: Divide the dough into 10-12 portions and shape into balls. Rest for a couple minutes, then roll out into ovals, about 1/6 inch thin. Place on a lightly floured surface, cover and let them rise for at least one hour, it may take more time. They should have doubled in thickness.
- Method 2: Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. Once risen, divide into 10-12 portions and shape into balls. Roll out on a lightly floured surface so the dough doesn't stick. Roll out thin, about 1/6 of an inch.
- Heat a cast iron pan on a medium high flame. Once hot reduce the flame to medium and carefully transfer 1-2 pitas at a time to the hot pan. Let them cook on one side until bubbles form on the top. This should take a minute. If it takes longer your pan isn't hot enough. Once bubbles form, carefully flip the pitas using a spatula. Cook for about 2 minutes, then flip over again to let the other side toast. It should start puffing up almost immediately. If the pita doesn't puff up on it's own, lightly press it with your spatula or with a kitchen towel and it should puff.
Did you try this delicious homemade pita bread?
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