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

4.5 from 6 reviews
pita bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $0.78
Cost Per Serving: $0.10
Serves: 8
  • 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
  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 :)


  1. Becky says:

    I used maybe 2 3/4 cups of flour total, half whole wheat, and made 8 small pitas. Let them rise 45 minutes and then 45 minutes again after dividing the dough. My oven does not have a window but I made 2 at a time for 2-3 minutes at 500 degrees and they turned isn’t burn but they also didn’t puff up at all. I think I rolled them too thin, but they taste good.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Just made these, they turned out fantastic!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!!!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 :)

  19. 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 :)

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

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

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

  25. 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

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