Good pita bread is soft, fluffy, and even cloud-like - the ultimate comfort food - and an essential part of the Israeli eating experience. There is nothing better than opening up a warm pita, right from the oven, and stuffing or drizzling whatever your heart desires! From shawarma, falafel, eggplant, tahini and so much more, pita is a delicious vehicle or amazing just on its own.
The pita you might find in grocery stores is a far cry from how it really should taste, but now you can make it in the comfort of your own home - we promise you won’t look back.
1 cup water measuring 105–110°F
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp. kosher salt
Mix water, oil, sugar, yeast, salt, and whole wheat flour with a wooden spoon until combined and smooth. Stir in all-purpose flour until the mixture comes together into a mass.
Using clean hands, knead the dough in the bowl for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and very elastic, adding small amounts of extra flour if dough is extremely sticky - the dough should feel tacky, though.
*Alternatively, knead dough at low speed in a stand mixer using a dough hook attachment for about 8 minutes, until very elastic and smooth.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball.
Lightly oil a clean mixing bowl and place the dough inside, then rub the top of the dough with oiled hands.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for one hour, or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, place a baking stone or baking sheet on the top oven rack and preheat oven to 500°F. Line a plate with a large, clean kitchen towel and set aside.
After dough has risen, punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Cut into 6 equal pieces (~100 g each) for large pita or 12 for mini pita (~50 g each).
Form each dough section into a ball.
Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll each piece of dough into either a ~7-inch or ~3.5-inch circle, no more than 1/4 inch thick, taking care not to tear dough, and keeping the thickness even all around.
Place dough disks on a lightly floured surface, cover with a damp towel, and let sit until slightly puffy, about 20 minutes.
Working with as many pitas as will fit on the stone at once, pick up each pita and place onto the stone top side down. Immediately close the oven door and bake until pitas have puffed and are slightly golden around the edges, about 3 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake.
Place baked pitas onto towel-lined plate and wrap with the overhanging towel. Repeat with any remaining pitas.
Photo credit: Serious Eats