Last week I realized that despite referencing pita and hummus several times on this blog (most prominently when I made Falafel) I’ve never actually posted the recipes I use. An impromptu picnic we had on Saturday gave me the perfect opportunity to make some fluffy pita bread. I also made poblano pepper hummus, which I’ll be posting about next week.
This was the third time I’ve made pita and by far the most successful. Making these is an interesting balancing act between cooking them quickly but also being patient when necessary. Sometimes it will take a minute or two for them to start puffing up but if you’ve done things right they’ll get there.
Another thing to watch out for is rolling the dough to thin. It should be about 1/4 of an inch thick. Much thinner and you’ll just end up with flatbread (still delicious) and too thick and the pita won’t rise. Out of the 12 pita I made 10 puffed up, so I was quite happy.
You can make these on the stovetop (best in a cast iron pan) or on a stone in the oven. I’ve tried and had success with both although personally I prefer the stove method. I think it’s easier to control by having it right in front of you as it cooks versus having to keep ducking into the oven. Also, our oven doesn’t have a window so I can’t keep an eye on things cooking in it.
You can make 8 or 12 from this recipe, depending on how big you’d like the pitas to be. I made 12 pitas that were each about 6 inches wide. Enjoy!
- 3 C AP flour
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1¼ C water (plus extra if needed)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine all ingredients and knead for 6-7 minutes. The dough shouldn't stick to the bowl and be very soft and smooth. Add extra flour or water as necessary to get this consistency.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Depending on your schedule you can either let it rise at room temperature for 1½ hours or in the refrigerator (anywhere from 8 hours to 3 days).
- Cut the dough into 8 or 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and then flatten into a disk. Place on a floured surface and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
- After the rest period roll out each piece into a circle ¼ inch thick. Spray with water and let rest uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Preheat a lightly oiled cast iron pan to medium high. Cook pitas for about 30 seconds then flip and cook for another minute.
- When large bubbles start to appear on the edges flip the dough again. It will start to balloon, cook until the pita is completely filled with air.