So I currently have an obsession with bread making on the weekends. I have the time so why not dedicate it to spending it in the kitchen. I had planned out my menu for the week and decided for the chicken gyros that I was going to serve them with the pita this time. I had all the ingredients on hand to make the pitas so I decided to give it a whirl.
Out of all the bread recipes I have made so far this dough has been my favorite to work with, it is a dream! It was very silky and smooth and rolled out beautifully. Mine weren’t perfectly circular, but I like to think that it gave them a little character ;). It was neat to watch the pita puff up in the oven, but then slowly deflate into soft pillow to eat. I don’t own a pizza stone, so I baked mine on an inverted cookie sheet. These were definitely so much better than the store bought version and whenever I have the time I will be making these at home. I may even take the ones in my freezer and make some homemade pita chips, oh the possibilities!
Yield: 8 pitas
What you’ll need:
3 cups flour, plus 1/2-3/4 cup more as needed
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar or honey
1 packet instant yeast
1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups water, roughly at room temperature
2 tbsp. olive oil, vegetable oil, butter or shortening
What you’ll do:
Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and 1 ¼ cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water. Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes. I used my mixer since I have pathetic muscles!
As the dough is mixing, continue to add flour, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and is tacky but not sticky. (I had to add a significant amount of flour, so don’t be afraid to keep adding more until you reach the right consistency.) When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the dough around so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes. When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step will allow the dough to relax so that it will be easier to shape so don’t skip it.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450°. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while it is preheating. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas. After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between ¼ – 1/8” thick – 6 inches in diameter
Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet or parchment paper and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes. Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface, I fit 3 at a time. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn’t necessary.
Source: Brown Eyed Baker