Homemade Pita Bread Recipe
This easy homemade pita bread recipe puts the store bought stuff to shame. Easy to make, and incredibly warming on a cold winter day, this recipe should be a stable in your kitchen.
A while back my husband and I went with some friends to Safta in Denver and had the most amazing meal. Marinated olives, roasted beets, cauliflower hummus…the list goes on. But one of the biggest things I loved was how our lovely server continually came out with a basket of piping hot pita bread. Soft, pillow-like piles of pita, the steam escaping as you slowly ripped it open.
We obviously used these pita breads as carriers for the amazing line up of small plates that covered our table, but I could have easily eaten only the pita for my meal. Paired with a tall glass of red, I would have left a wonderfully happy and satisfied customer.
And so it came to be, after weeks of obsessing over the memory of that delicious Safta meal, that I decided to try my hand at making some homemade pita bread from scratch in my own kitchen. I received The Lebanese Kitchen, by Salma Hage as a gift from a friend a couple of years ago and cracked it open one lazy afternoon to see if I could find a recipe for pita bread.
Sure enough, there was a recipe for homemade pita bread that looked pretty doable, with a few adjustments. Turns out, these little wonders are not at all hard to make (my 5 year old helped!) and within a few hours, we were all sitting down to a basket full of our own pillowy goodness. And, did I mention our house smelt amaaaazzzziing??
I paired the pita with some beet root hummus, another recipe from The Lebanese Kitchen, also amazing.
This easy homemade pita bread recipe uses simple ingredients and takes just an hour to rise before rolling out the dough balls and placing them in the oven. The dough is pretty easy to work with, and can easily be kneaded in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
I have to say, paired with a nice tall glass of red, sitting cozily by the fire and savoring our own warm, straight-from-the-oven pita bread was pretty alright. It may not be a fancy night out at Safta, but it was pretty darn close, and it definitely left me wonderfully happy and satisfied.
Homemade Pita Bread Recipe
(recipe adapted from the Lebanese Kitchen Cookbook)
1 Envelope dry fast-action yeast
2/3 Cup lukewarm water
1 Tablespoon honey (can substitute ½ tablespoon of sugar)
3 1/3 Cup white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 Tablespoons Salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ Cup lukewarm milk
Dissolve the yeast in 3 tablespoons of the water. Stir in the honey.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour and sea salt. Add the yeast mixture, then slowly pour in the remaining warm water the olive oil, and the warm milk. Mix until combined.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. This can be done by hand, but is much easier with a stand mixer.
Place the ball of dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel and allow to rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Tip: I like to let my bread dough rise placed in the oven, with just the oven light on. It keeps it out of the way and I find the temperature to be just right for bread doughs – especially on these colder winter days!)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Divide the dough into 6 balls and place on a baking pan. Cover the balls with a towel and allow to sit for 10 more minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball into small circle and place on a baking pan. (You really can’t go wrong here in terms of size – feel free to make smaller or larger balls as you see fit, just watch them in the oven to make sure they’re not burning.)
Brush each disc with a small amount of water and top with a very light dusting of flour.
Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until they are a beautiful golden color.
Note: Some recipes call for placing the discs of pita directly onto a hot pan or baking stone. If you do this, pay attention to your baking times, as you’ll likely need to lower them significantly.