pita bread

$0.78 recipe / $0.10 serving

Oh the fascinating world of flat breads… Although the ingredients for this pita are different from naan, the execution is almost exactly the same. The only difference here is that you bake them in a super hot oven instead of in a skillet on the stove top.

The extra hot oven (500 degrees) creates a pocket of steam inside the bread that leaves a very convenient cavity once cooled. Stuff the bread full of your favorite sandwich fillings and you’ve got a quick lunch that’s good to go.

I used a little bit of whole wheat flour in my recipe but feel free to use all regular if you wish. The only change I’d make if making these again is to divide the dough into 6 rounds rather than 8 to yield a thicker pocket. But, hey, who needs all that thick bread anyway. What you stuff inside of it is the real prize.

Pita Bread

Pita pockets

4.8 from 5 reviews
pita bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $0.78
Cost Per Serving: $0.10
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1⅛th cup warm water $0.00
  • 1½ tsp yeast $0.15
  • 1½ tsp sugar $0.03
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.10
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour $0.08
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour $0.37
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the warm water, sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes or until a foam develops on top. Once a foam develops on top, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of flour (half whole wheat in my case) and the salt. Stir them so they are evenly combined. Add the small bowl of liquid to the bowl with the flour. Stir to combine.
  3. Continue mixing in flour until it forms a loose ball that you can no longer stir with a spoon. Turn the ball of dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead in more flour until a soft and pliable (but not sticky) ball forms. You should have used around 3 cups of flour total and kneaded the dough for at least 3 minutes.
  4. Place the ball of dough in an oiled bowl, cover loosely and let sit to rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Punch down the risen dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Stretch the dough into a log and cut it into 8 (or 6) equal sized pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a smooth ball and then roll it out into a flat, 6 inch diameter circle.
  6. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and let the dough circles rest as the oven comes up to temp. Place a damp cloth over the dough circles so they do not dry out. When the oven is hot enough, place the dough circles on a wire rack (a couple at a time) and place the rack in the oven. Watch the circles puff up as they bake. When the circle has completely inflated but not yet turned brown you can remove it from the oven and put in the next batch. If you let the pitas cook until golden brown they will be crispier and may retain the inflated shape as they cool.
  7. As you remove the pitas from the oven, stack them on a plate and cover with a damp cloth. The trapped steam will soften them as they cool. Once completely cooled, store the pitas in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

 

wheat pita bread

Step By Step Photos

frothy yeast and flourCombine the water, yeast and sugar in one bowl and one cup of flour plus the salt in a larger bowl.

frothy yeast olive oilWhen the yeast water becomes frothy, add the olive oil.

combine wet and dryPour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour and salt. Stir to combine then continue adding flour until it forms a loose ball that you can no longer stir with a spoon.

kneaded doughTurn the dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead in flour until it forms a soft, pliable, not sticky ball. Use approximately 3 cups of flour total and knead for at least 3 minutes.

dough logLet the dough rise until double then punch down and stretch into a log.

cut doughCut the dough into 8 pieces.

roll out doughForm each piece of dough into a ball and then roll it out into a 6 inch circle.

ready to bakePreheat the oven to 500 degrees and let the dough rest as the oven warms. When it’s hot and ready, place a couple dough circles on a wire rack. Place the rack in the oven and watch them inflate…

pita bake 1pita bake 2pita bake 3Very fun to watch… Pull the pitas out and put in the next batch (be careful with the hot rack). Stack the cooked pitas on a plate and cover with a damp cloth as they cool.

home made wheat pita

This really was a fun project but I’ll admit, I think the naan is still my go-to flat bread. The flavor of the naan is so much more complex because of the yogurt and it’s texture is so pillowy soft… Mmmm.

That being said, I’m not going to have a hard time eating these pitas. I had actually bought a pack of pita last week ($1.99 per pack of 6, $0.33 each) and the home made has a much better flavor and texture. The fresh pita made the store bought taste and feel like cardboard. Ick.

One thing that I do love about pita bread is it’s unique ability to help me scoop large quantities of hummus into my mouth. Something about the pocket shape… it just forms the perfect hummus shovel :)

78 Comments

  1. Laura K. says:

    They are better when you let the yeast get really frothy in the beginning which takes more than five minutes. I give the initial rise a little bit longer to get really puffy and I keep the bowl in a warm sunny area of my house. After dividing into eight pieces I let the individual balls sit and rise for an extra hour or so. I tried making the recipe with six pieces but they didn’t rise, eight is better because they are thinner. When it’s time to bake them, I think a light dusting of flour on top makes them look pretty after you cook them and I put a piece of aluminum foil on the rack to prevent any sticking or falling through the holes.

  2. Maggie says:

    I made this for the first time yesterday- delicious, even after messing up a little bit (I forgot the olive oil, and had a little disaster after rolling them out). I typically like naan better than pita, but I really, really enjoyed this, which surprised me.

    I actually used this pita to make pita chips… Yum! Another winner from budget bytes, delicious, easy, and inexpensive. Thanks!

  3. Just made these, they turned out fantastic!

  4. Karen says:

    While not my first time making pita, these turned out beautifully. Mine took about 2:30-3:00 minutes to puff. I did think it could have used some more salt, but still very good. Served with the chicken shawarma.

  5. Taslimah says:

    I have looking at the website for a while now and I am a loving what I see. I just adore the step by step pictures. Pita and I have not been getting along….. until now. I have defeated the pita with your help. It rose beautifully in the oven and I threw my hands up in triumph. No more store bought pita. I used all white whole wheat flour and I rolled in flax seeds. Yeah!!!

  6. Taylor says:

    I just made these last night and I couldn’t get the pita to be thick enough. I divided the dough into 6 pieces and the bubble was always too thin on top so I couldn’t really stuff anything in it.

    Is there a trick I need to know? Or maybe I rolled them too thin.

  7. Any idea if the ingredients for this would translate to making pocketless pita for gyros? I know that the cooking process is different -usually done on a stove top- but have been unable to find a recipe for them that I have liked.

  8. Alyssa S. says:

    So I’m new to the whole bread making process process and yeast. Are the steps the same no matter which yeast you use? I know there is the instant yeast and the stuff you have to like prep… Like I said, I’m new to this and help would be appreciated! :)

    • I’m glad to help! Yes, you want to use the same steps no matter what kind of yeast you use. In generally, the bread making process will determine which type of yeast can be used, rather than the type of yeast determining the process. That may sound confusing, so think about it this way: In a recipe that instructs you to mix the yeast with water you can use either active dry or instant yeast, but in a recipe that has you adding the dry yeast to flour, you can only use instant yeast. I hope that helps!

      Here’s a little bit of further reading on Yeast Varieties.

  9. Brandon says:

    My girlfriend and I were going to attempt to make some hummus and decided to try this to go with it. This turned out amazing. I never thought how easy it would be to make pita

  10. Aimee says:

    After comparing this and your naan bread recipe I was wondering, is there a difference in your recipes between yeast and dry active yeast? I can’t wait to make both of these.

    • For the naan and pita you can use active dry or instant yeast, it won’t matter because there is a “proofing” step for both recipes (where you mix the yeast with warm water). If you’re making a “no knead” bread recipe, you’ll need to make sure to get instant or bread machine yeast. That type of yeast doesn’t need to be mixed with water first.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for a long time. Finally made them tonight and yum! I’m planning to send a pita for my 5 year old’s lunch tomorrow. He is asleep, hope he likes it!

  12. This recipe was awesome! I am really new to bread baking and this was a great recipe to start with. I made some part wheat, part white pitas and some all white pitas; both were super tasty and MUCH better than store-bought.

  13. I just made these today, and they turned out pretty great! I used about 1 cup of whole wheat flour and the rest all purpose. Mine didn’t inflate quite as nicely, most likely because for some completely stupid reason my oven doesn’t heat up past 480 degrees. It’s a brand new oven, too. Huge design flaw, if you ask me. They inflated enough to create a decent pocket though, and they taste great!

  14. Sarah – hmmm, well, the only suggestion that I can make blindly, is to make sure that the oven is nice and hot before you pop them in there. That sudden burst of heat is what usually causes the big steam pocket inside. Also, roll them out just before they go in the oven. I hope they work for you in the future!

  15. I guess I’m the only person to fail at these. My pockets won’t puff! D: I’m not sure why.

  16. Well, I’m going to have to acquire a cooling rack, the spaces on my oven racks are a bit too wide. They came out pretty good but I’m new to this oven and I’m getting the feeling that it runs a bit on the hot side so I’ll have to try this on a bit lower temp when I feel like making more in a few days.

  17. Jenny says:

    This was the first bread recipe I haven’t ruined! Thank you so much for giving me the confidence w/ your clear instructions and photos. These taste so good and are so easy to do first thing in the morning that I’ve been making them a couple times a week, replacing our usual two loaves of storebought bread a week. The money it’s saving us over time has been a big helpl :)

  18. Lindsay – it’s the sudden expansion (from the heat) of the air and water into steam. Why it ends up making a perfect pocket, I do not know :)

  19. I made these yesterday and they were so good. This may be a dorky question but what makes the the dough puff up in the oven?

  20. Abby – I haven’t tried it with all whole wheat flour, but usually you can use a 50/50 mix of all-purpose and whole wheat without much of a texture change. So, try 1.5 cups of all-purpose and 1.5 cups of whole wheat. But remember, you don’t add all of the flour at once, so start with the whole wheat flour and add all-purpose until it reaches the appropriate consistency.

  21. Can you use all wheat flour for this recipe? (And some of your other bread recipes?) If there a “ratio” for substitution?

  22. Pinkypink – I haven’t actually frozen these, but yeast breads in general freeze very, very well. Just make sure they are completely cooled before freezing so you don’t get any large condensation ice crystals.

  23. Pita bread is a staple in my household, but around here 6 pitas are $3.50. I am also bad with meal planning, so I go by easy, quick dinners, so my question is have you tried freezing them? any ideas as to make them bulk and storing?

  24. Anonymous says:

    I did it! So, I must say this was an ADVENTURE. The dough was super quick to make up. My oven naturally runs 50 degrees too hot, so I turned it to 450. Rolled out my first two pitas. Popped ‘em in. In 4 minutes they were almost burnt to a crisp! One I salvaged but the other was gonzo. I turned the oven down to 400 and that seemed to help a lot. My oven does not have a window so I can say that 2-3 minutes they were puffed up and ready to come out. And Beth, you are SO RIGHT. Store bought pita tastes like utter cardboard compared to these! I’m so excited to try it with your falafel recipe :D
    -Mehgan

  25. Oh My Gosh, I finally got around to making these, and I am hooked. SO much better than store bought. I threw everything in the bread maker on the dough cycle, and they puffed up perfectly in the oven. This is going in my favorite go-to recipe index.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hi there! I love your blog and had great success with this recipe and your naan recipe as well. I didn’t have a chance to try it when I made my pita, but do you think it would freeze well?

    Thanks!
    Myra

  27. Reagan:

    If you don’t have a Whole Foods nearby, you can order whole wheat pastry flour online from Bob’s Redmill. Or if you have another kind of whole foods type store (I’m blessed living in wine country in California, to have Trader Joe’s, WF, and a couple other organic markets all within 10-20 minutes of me), I like to buy from the bulk foods section. I also get wheat gluten from the bulk section [1/3 of the price!] and substitute in 1/3 to a 1/2 cup of gluten into my AP flour to make bread flour — probably overdoing it, but it makes awesome bread.

    http://www.bobsredmill.com/whole-wheat_pastry-flour.html?&cat=5 everything from a 24oz bag to a case of 5lb bags, at reasonable prices.

  28. Just made them, omg AMAZING! and so easy that even I, who cannot bake a potato, made these perfectly! can’t wait to try the Naan.

  29. I baked them right in the middle :)

  30. and…are they baked at the bottom, middle, or top of the oven? thanks!

  31. Miriam – I didn’t preheat the rack… maybe your oven runs a little cooler than mine? I would try increasing the temp 25-50 degrees next time. When it’s nice and hot in there the air expands rapidly and that’s what causes the pocket to form. I hope it works out better next time!

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Are we supposed to preheat the wire rack? Mine didn’t enflate at all…just puffed a bit.

  34. Darth_elle says:

    Made them yesterday evening, and they turned out fabulous! My husband was speechless (but that might have been because he was too busy munching to really say anything!!). Thank you for this great recipe.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Perfect! What a great recipe. I love watching them bake, it is like magic.
    Tracy.

  36. May – It’s okay. Believe me, we’ve ALL done that ;D …many, many times in my case.

  37. May – You should begin with one cup of flour, but end up using about 3 cups total. You just need to start with one cup to get that smooth mixture (your pancake mix :) ) Then you add a little at a time until you can no longer stir with a spoon, then turn it out onto a floured surface and continue to knead in more. I hope that helps!

  38. Nevermind, read it closer. I… am silly.

  39. I’ve made this pita bread before and I’m having a problem lately. I use 1 1/8 cup of water to 1 cup of flour and it’s like pancake mix so I can’t make a dough… May I ask for some advice?

  40. Made these a couple days ago. I did make 8 instead of 6. Pocket isn’t TOO big but big enough to stuff with tons and I do mean tons of veggies and a spread of hummus. My husband can’t keep his hands off them! I’m going to have to make a 2nd batch! Thank you!

  41. For the second time in as many weeks, I’ve made this pita bread and served it with falafel — so, so good. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  42. Haha, thank you! I tried this yesterday and while most of mine didn’t puff up, it was still so, SO good! I experimented between peeking and leaving it alone.

    I have to say, you are the one that has made me overcome my fear of bread baking and it has become a game changer. The Walking Dead premier was Sunday and I mentioned the word pizza and my boyfriend lit up and was like, “WERE YOU THINKING PIZZA NIGHT TOO?!” I wasn’t, but then I whipped up your dough and bam, sausage and bell pepper pizza night. The pizzas I’ve made with your recipes have been more memorable than every pizza slice I’ve ever had. It’s just… it’s just mad I tell you! You, are awesome.

    Thank you, thank you thank you!

  43. May – I honestly can’t remember and I didn’t write down the actual time because it was short and I assumed that it would vary quite a bit from oven to oven. It happens pretty quick, though! In less than 10 minutes!

  44. My stove is wonderful, but old, and doesn’t have a window. How long would you suggest the inflation takes/when I should peak?

  45. At the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, I’m gonna admit this was the coolest food I’ve ever made. Seriously, watching those babies puff up was so awesome. Even my husband came and sat in front of the oven and watched the science-ness take place.

    As soon as I get to a Whole Foods (because there isn’t one in my ENTIRE state…) I’m going to try making these with whole wheat pastry flour!

  46. Ashley, lately I like to use instant (or bread machine) yeast because you don’t have to proof it in warm water for it to work. That way, I can use it for my no-knead recipes and regular recipes like the honey wheat sandwich bread. With active yeast you have to do the proofing step. I end up doing the proofing step with instant yeast for recipes that list it, but at least I don’t have to keep two types of yeast around (the no-knead breads don’t have a proofing step). I hope that wasn’t confusing! :)

  47. Beth,

    what kind of yeast do you use for baking? I’ve been reading about active yeast vs. other kinds, and am wanting to make this recipe as well as your honey wheat sandwich bread. Thanks :)

  48. Bread flour will definitely make a nice, chewy bread. If I had both on hand, I’d use the bread flour. If I had AP on hand but had to go buy bread flour, I’d just use the AP. To me it’s not a *huge* difference.

  49. I am making these today…what is your thought on bread flour vs. all purpose

  50. Stephanie says:

    I just made a loaf! YUM! The top of my loaf is a little crispy, I probably should have moved the oven rack down a little. Next time! I’ve already had 2 pieces with some good butter. YUM!!!!

  51. Just tried this and they’re awesome! I’ve struggled with bread, but this worked perfectly…now blending up some homemade hummus to go with them. I couldn’t believe they were cooked all the way through from being in the oven so short a time. Can’t wait to try the naan!

  52. Angela P says:

    they worked..they really, really, worked! I don’t know why I feel surprised at that… bread things can be a bit of a challenge sometimes though huh, so maybe that’s why :-). So, because this recipe is SO awesome and I had success with it, I will definitely be making lots of other things you have here. LOVE your website!

  53. whst a cool blog you have here!!

  54. Made these last night for the first time and served with fafafels, thank you for “easy as” directions. Going to try my hand at Naan bread tonight.

  55. Anonymous says:

    It is unreal how clean your oven is.

  56. A pizza stone should work quite well because there is so much radiant heat coming off of it that it is just like being exposed to the hot air in the oven when they’re on a wire rack. I say go for it!

  57. Anonymous says:

    How about a pizza stone? I usually use that for naan and was worried the pitas wouldn’t “puff” if I used it.

  58. Just finished making these. So easy thanks to your awesome directions!

  59. Shana – I’m SO glad that you tried them on a baking sheet and it worked!! … and that you posted it so everyone who doesn’t have a wire rack will know :D Thanks!

  60. Jessa says:

    Shana,

    I will have to give that a go! Thanks!

    Jessa

  61. Jessa,

    I will bow to Beth as the master, but I did just bake my pitas on a cookie sheet :) I set the timer for 3 or 4 minutes and hovered. If they weren’t ready then, I reset the timer for 2 minutes. As soon as the pitas started puffing up I took them out. My pitas came out tasting exactly like they should. I’ve tried to make pitas before and they’ve flopped.

    What I loved about this recipe was that it was so cheap! All I bought were tomatoes and cucumbers.

    Shana
    shanasmeals.blogspot.com

  62. Jessa says:

    My falaefel came out fantastic, but my pitas did not fare so well! :(

    Putting them on the oven rack, a couple kept sliding through…and I don’t think we let them rise enough. Aaaand they got a little browned, and so were a bit tough. Also, I didn’t have olive oil, so I used vegetable oil instead – not sure that had any effect, but to be safe, next time I’ll get olive oil. (I usually keep it around, but I ran out!)

    I’m going to give it another shot next week. I’m determined to make good pitas! And the falafel were fantastic, even without putting them in pitas!

  63. Oops,

    Sorry, Beth, this was supposed to be addressed to you :P

  64. Jessa,

    I LOVED this recipe. It was pretty easy. I rose the dough in the morning and placed it in the fridge while out and about. The pitas were really, really good. I had a little trouble with my falafel, but I think it was because I baked them and didn’t use cumin (was out of oil and cumin.) I’ll try again another time.

    I ate it with sliced tomato and cucumber topped with tahini. Yum!

    Thanks for your yummy recipes,

    Shana

    shanasmeals.blogspot.com

  65. Jessa says:

    Thanks, Beth! I got a food processor as a graduation present, and I wanted to make falafel and pitas! Think I’ll make them for dinner tomorrow.

  66. Jessa- If you don’t have a wire rack you can actually scoot them directly onto the wire shelf in the oven. The reason you don’t want to do them in a pan or on a baking sheet is because there needs to be really hot hair touching both sides of the bread for it to heat up fast enough and create the pocket of steam inside. A baking sheet would suck too much heat from the bottom and a pan on the stove top would only heat one side.

  67. Jessa says:

    What if you don’t have a wire rack? Does it come out just as good if you do it on a pan on the stovetop, or on a baking sheet? If you do it on a baking sheet, do you want to spray it with nonstick spray?

  68. Jeeez, your step-by-step pictures make me hungrier and hungrier. I love what you do here.

  69. Dee – you can try it although breads made with 100% whole wheat tend to be heavier and denser. If that doesn’t work out, I’d suggest doing 50/50. Also, I know people sometimes add extra wheat gluten when using all whole wheat flour to help get some of that “loft” back but I’ve never used it so I’m not sure how much you’d need.

  70. This recipe can be done in a pan on medium high heat. remember to wipe the pan clean after every couple of pitas.

  71. Would this being okay using ALL whole wheat flour? I always prefer whole wheat pita :)

  72. Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m completely ignorant to all things Hanukkah :( Sorry!

  73. I find it highly ironic that you posted this the day AFTER Hanukkah. :D

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