Store bought pita bread just doesn’t compare to a warm out of the oven fresh pita. I love them because they are so versatile. You can fill them just like you would a sandwich or cut them into wedges and place them next to a bowl of hummus. They definitely take a bit of practice to master, but even the quasi failures taste so much better than what you would get out of a package.
- 3 ½ cups (16 oz) unbleached bread flour or whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. instant yeast
- 2 TB (1 oz) olive oil
- 1 ¼ cups cool water
- Add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Stir the dough together to combine then begin kneading by hand or stand mixer. If kneading by hand, lightly flour your work surface and knead the dough with smooth strokes until the dough is very smooth and elastic. This will take about 12-15 minutes of steady kneading. If kneading by machine turn the mixer on to medium speed and use the dough hook. Mix the dough until it is smooth and elastic this will take about 9-10 minutes. Frequently scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl and from the dough hook.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for about 1 hour to 1 ½ hours or until doubled in bulk.
- Place a baking stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat it to 475 degrees.
- Divide the dough into 4-8 pieces depending on how big you want your pitas. Gently round each piece into a ball and flatten into a disk. Cover the dough with oil plastic wrap and allow the dough balls to rest for 20 minutes.
- Roll out each ball with a rolling pin into a flat disk about a ¼ inch thick. If the dough keeps springing back allow it to rest for another 5 to 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax. After you have rolled out all the pieces allow them to rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
- Spritz your baking stone lightly with water and place as many pitas on it as will fit. Lower the oven temperature to 450 and bake the pitas for about 3 minutes, or till they balloon up. Quickly remove the pitas to a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly if you want to serve them warm or let them cool completely. Bake the remaining pitas the same way.