How to make pita bread

Saturday night we had some friends over for a casual dinner and a bit of family board game action. When the Mums were texting about it my friend said that she had tzatziki and the makings of a greek salad so I quickly decided on slow cooked lamb and pita bread and dinner was sorted!

I’ve been enjoying the new season of Great British Bake Off which actually featured pit breads a week or so ago. Now I am no bread person, in fact, it quite scares me (much like pastry) mainly because of yeast and proving and all that kind of business that just sounds like you need to know what you are doing in the kitchen don’t you think? I’m not one to knead, I’m not one to make our own bread for the kids lunches #organic #homemade but you know what? I never knew what a pickled cucumber even WAS a few years ago and I just got a trophy for it, so it’s never too late to start.

So that means you too OK? Remember when I made tortillas and I was like it’s THIS easy? Same with gozleme. It’s EASY. And this is the same. These pita breads may not have passed Paul & Mary’s test but there were pockets, they were chewy and delicious and THE perfect wrapping for the slow cooked lamb shoulder with some greek salad, tzatziki and of course home made chips on the side. This is a perfect dinner party idea for feeding a crowd!

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Much in the same way that I find all my recipes I searched online and found this one from Half Baked Harvest that I liked the look of.

Pita Bread

1 cup warm water (the temp for a baby bath) too hot will ruin the yeast
2 teaspoons active or dry yeast
3 cups plain flour (I used a fine OO)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Into the bowl of your mixer (or just any old bowl if you are going to do this by hand) add the yeast and warm water and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast dissolves

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2. Add in the flour, salt and olive oil and turn the mixer on medium for about 8 minutes. If you are kneading by hand do it for 5-7 minutes

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3. Get another bowl and add a drizzle of oil into it (wiping out any excess with paper towel) ready for the dough to be transferred into.

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4. Take the dough out and transfer to the oiled bowl. Cover with cling wrap and put somewhere warm for 1 hour (or until doubled in size). I used the bottom oven (not turned on) under the oven where the lamb was slowly cooking.

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5. After an hour or so the dough would have grown in size. You can leave it for longer (I probably waited a few hours just because I wasn’t ready to make them just yet).

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6. When you are ready to make the pita breads punch the air out of the dough (SO satisfying) and transfer to a floured bench – it will be quite sticky so make sure you have a good covering of flour on there

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7. You’re now ready to roll and divide the dough. The recipe said it makes 8 breads but I made them smaller and got about 15 (which fed all 8 of us). I used a knife to cut the dough in half and half again and so on

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8. Roll them out into oval shapes (not too thick) and heat your pan with a little olive oil brushed on it

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9. Place the pita into the hot pan and let it cook for about 2 minutes on one side until you start to see bubbles and pockets open up and then flip and cook for another minute on the other side

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10. I cooked them an hour or so before the guests arrived and then you can just wrap them in foil and re-heat for a little bit before eating

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These were fantastic and so much better than I thought they would be. Chewy, good taste THE most perfect wrap for the lamb and salad we all devoured it!

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Pita Bread

Serves 8
Prep time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Cook time 3 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 13 minutes
Meal type Bread, Lunch, Side Dish
Website Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients

  • cup warm water (not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
  • 2 teaspoons active or dry yeast
  • 3 cups plain flour (I used fine OO)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Step 1
Into the bowl of your mixer (or just any old bowl if you are going to do this by hand) add the yeast and warm water and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast dissolves
Step 2
Add in the flour, salt and olive oil and turn the mixer on medium for about 8 minutes. If you are kneading by hand do it for 5-7 minutes
Step 3
Get another bowl and add a drizzle of oil into it (wiping out any excess with paper towel) ready for the dough to be transferred into.
Step 4
Take the dough out and transfer to the oiled bowl. Cover with cling wrap and put somewhere warm for 1 hour (or until doubled in size). I used the bottom oven (not turned on) under the oven where the lamb was slowly cooking.
Step 5
After an hour or so the dough would have grown in size. You can leave it for longer (I probably waited a few hours just because I wasn't ready to make them just yet).
Step 6
When you are ready to make the pita breads punch the air out of the dough (SO satisfying) and transfer to a floured bench - it will be quite sticky so make sure you have a good covering of flour on there
Step 7
You're now ready to roll and divide the dough. The recipe said it makes 8 breads but I made them smaller and got about 15 (which fed all 8 of us). I used a knife to cut the dough in half and half again and so on
Step 8
Roll them out into oval shapes (not too thick) and heat your pan with a little olive oil brushed on it
Step 9
Place the pita into the hot pan and let it cook for about 2 minutes on one side until you start to see bubbles and pockets open up and then flip and cook for another minute on the other side
Step 10
I cooked them an hour or so before the guests arrived and then you can just wrap them in foil and re-heat for a little bit before eating

Are you a bit scared of bread making too?
Love a bit of gyros action? Chips on top essential!

Comments

  1. I’ve never made pita bread Beth, but you’ve inspired me to give it a go!

    I’m losing my fear of yeast as I get older too. Love to bash out a warm focaccia when friends come over for a drink. And don’t I think I’m all that and a bag of chips when I top it with rosemary from the garden! 😛

    A xx

  2. Fifimumma says

    Totes giving this a go this weekend. My husband has a new charcoal Acorn BBQ and we are roasting anything that doesn’t move. This will be better than the El Paso burritos I’ve been using.

  3. I’ve got a basic dough mix ( flour, yeast, salt, warm water and a glug of olive oil ) and make all my own pita, naan, pizza dough and crusty bread in my kitchenaid, which has a dough hook. It’s so simple and cheap, and I’ve been able to gradually up the wholemeal flour so now my family are all eating mainly wholemeal without knowing it. Years ago a friend bought me a bread maker but the kitchenaid is so much easier and produces such good results, the breadmaker hasn’t been out of the cupboard in years.

    • Nicola – would you be able to share your recipe and kitchenaid technique? I’m terrified of making bread but would love to. I can’t pretend to be a domestic goddess until I’ve mastered that surely?!

      • Lena – I would be delighted to share my recipe – I think that is the nicest thing anyone has said to me this week.

        It is very similar to Beth’s although my children are bigger so the quantities are larger.

        500g flour ( I have strong bread flour and plain wholemeal flour)
        1.sachet of yeast ( I think about 1.5 tsp but I can’t be bothered with measuring that out! )
        About 1/2 tsp salt
        About 320mls of quite warm water- I just run the tap until it is hand hot
        A glug of olive oil.

        I stick the whole lot in the kitchenaid with the dough hook on , set it to the slowest speed and walk away from it for 10 minutes or so- usually in the morning so I will be hanging washing or something!

        After 10 minutes or so I go back and have a look at it. I like a consistency that isn’t too sticky to pick up so I might add a bit more flour and give it a couple more minutes. In my experience the mix can start out quite dry but then gets stickier and stickier as it mixes. When it looks about right I take it out with one floury hand and spray olive oil into the bowl with the other. Then I bash it into a rough ball, drop it back into the oiled bowl, put a clean tea towel over it and leave it somewhere warm to rise.

        If I’m making it into bread I like to shape it and leave it to rise a bit more for about half an hour before it goes in the oven but if I’m making naan or pita I would just do that as the oiled pan heats up. Like Beth I would roll pita quite thinly ( pizza a bit thicker) but for naan I would break it into balls and then just stretch it out with my hands, turning it round and round to shape it. Once it goes into an oily pan it just puffs up.

        Truly, I am no domestic goddess either – I’m not great at sticking to measurements and I have no time or tolerance for complicated things but serving homemade breads makes ordinary food more special. And once you get into the habit, it’s less hassle that buying in breads ( or realising you have forgotten to buy it in my case!)

        I hope that helps.

      • Sorry – Lenka, not Lena ( spellcheck making random decisions for me again!)

    • I have only just started to use a dough hook on a kitchen aid machine and it’s a real game changer – will give your recipe a go thanks Nicola!

      • I recently bought the pasta maker attachment after a lot of procrastinating and that is a real game changer too. It takes a few minutes to roll the pasta out but then it cooks in about three minutes.

        PS : I promise I don’t work for Kitchenaid marketing dept!

  4. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Thank you Beth I might give these a go Xx

  5. I can make no knead bread, but any other “loafy” sort of bread scares me too (and doesn’t work that well, to be truthful). HOWEVER I am the queen of pita, gozleme, foccacia, roti, chapati etc, etc – SO much better than bought ones and so easy too. I am constantly amazed at myself … and what a good feeling that is!! 🙂

  6. This pita bread is so much better for you than the bought stuff. I picked up a packet of naan bread and the expiry date was more than 12 months ahead!!! I’ve been making my own naan, pita and tortillas ever since. They are so bloody good!
    Thanks for this recipe.

  7. Yum!!! How good does this look!!! I love pita bread. Thanks for the recipe and tips. will definitely be trying this one 🙂

    http://www.mamameah.org

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