Cost Per Serving:
Pita breads are easy to make and so much more delicious than the store-bought variety. This recipe is inspired from the pita bread in "Flatbreads & Flavors: A Baker's Atlas" by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid which is a real treasure when it comes to finding good flatbread recipes.
We used 100% whole wheat flour and it turned out delicious. However if you prefer, you could substitute half of the whole wheat for regular white flour. One thing to remember though is, when you bake 100% whole wheat breads, it's very important that the flour is fresh, otherwise the bread can easily end up tasting rancid and dense. Therefore it's always a good idea to store your whole wheat flour in the freezer. We also kneaded this dough by hand, however you could certainly use the machine if you prefer.
These pita breads are great to eat with lots of different fillings and they make perfect picnic food. We particular like to eat them with fried falafel balls, lettuce and tahini sauce for authentic Middle Eastern falafel sandwiches.
16 pita breads
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 5 cups fresh whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Pour the water, yeast and three cups of flour into a mixing bowl and combine. Stir with a wooden spoon for about one minute to get the gluten to develop. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes or up to 2 hours and develop.
At this point add the salt and the olive oil and stir together. Add two cups of more flour, a little bit at a time and stir until you have a rough dough. Scrape the dough out onto a floured counter and knead for eight to ten minutes by hand. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour. It should be easy to work with.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours. You could also refrigerate the dough at this point (or even right after you transfer the dough to the bowl since it will rise slowly in the refrigerator anyway.)
Heat oven to 450 degrees, and make sure you have a large baking stone or unglazed tiles in the oven as it heats up.
Divide the dough in half, set one half around (if the dough was refrigerated, make sure it comes back to room temperature before doing this step.) Divide half the dough in eight equal pieces. Roll each out to a circle, about 8 to 9 inches in diameter. Cover the rolled-out doughs until baking.
Bake two breads at a time for 2-3 minutes right on the stone until they have ballooned. Wrap baked breads in kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft.
These breads don't really store that well out in room temperature, so either eat them within a few hours, or freeze.