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Pita Bread


I love foods that puff when you cook them.  Give me a great souffle, a perfectly risen cake, or one of these extremely yummy little pitas, and I am a happy girl.

I haven’t done a bread recipe on here in a while, and pitas have been on my to-cook list for months.  So when I found myself with some leftover yeast after making a batch of soft pretzels [2], I figured it was as good a time as any to give these a try.

What totally cracked me up about this recipe is that it demonstrated how completely uneven my oven’s temperature is.  The pitas in the center were puffed and lovely, as you can see.  The ones on the right side of the oven were slightly less puffy, but still formed decent pockets and turned nicely golden on top.

The pitas on the left side of the oven were flat, white, and barely cooked through.

That oven is going to be my failsafe excuse for any and all baking disasters from now on.  Remember my sunken cinnamon cake [3]?  Definitely the oven’s fault.  These poor little pitas, that never had their chance to puff.

Ok, I’m done.  These were great, and super easy.  Give them a try!


Pita Bread

2 1/4 cups flour, plus more for kneading
1 cup warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp canola oil

In a small bowl, mix yeast, warm water and sugar, set aside for ten minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt, canola oil, and water/yeast mixture together until incorporated.  Turn the (sticky) dough out onto a floured surface and knead in small amounts of flour until the dough is smooth and not sticky anymore (about 5-10 minutes).

Divide the ball of dough into six portions (I use a pastry scraper to do this evenly).  Roll each portion into a ball and place on a greased baking sheet covered with saran wrap for about an hour, or until they’ve about doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Once the dough has doubled, punch down each of the balls to flatten them.  With your fingers, press them out to your desired thinness for the pitas (mine were a little thick, but I like them a bit doughy).  Don’t pick the pitas up off the baking sheet, just press their centers out until they’re thin enough for you.

Bake the pitas for about 12 minutes, or until they’ve puffed and turned golden on top.  Eat them within a day or two, or freeze the cooked pitas and toast them on low heat to reheat — no need to defrost.

Makes six large pitas.