Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Homemade Pita Bread Recipe

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Fresh Pita Bread photo by Jeff Cushner

If you’ve been following my posts, you know I purchased a bread machine back in November of 2008.  Well I have been using it religiously and love the results.  This week, I tried something new and made homemade pita bread dough and it turned out great!  I used the bread machine to mix the dough and then removed the dough to finish the process by shaping the individual pitas and baking them in the oven.

Gone is the dry, cardboard, flat-looking pitas that we have all come to know and hate.  Mine were moist and puffy with a light crust.  My husband and I ate several as soon as they came out of the oven.  They were great with both butter or olive oil.

I have since actually used them as pita pockets to make sandwiches.  You can’t imagine my satisfaction eating these wonderfully tasty creations.

What amazes me still is how the same ingredients can result in totally different tastes and textures when combined in different quantities.  The only difference in this pita bread recipe from other bread recipes is that this has more oil and uses olive oil instead of canola oil.

I was so thrilled with the results that I definitely plan on making these again soon and to learn to improve on my technique.  Only about half actually produced “pockets” – made from air puffing up during the high-temperature baking process.   I think my failures were due to pressing the dough too flat before baking.

Also, I think these could also be done on a hot cast-iron skillet on the stove top.  That would create the characteristic brown spots that we’ve come to recognize.  I remember seeing a demonstration of tortilla making at a local food festival where they did this.

Pita Pocket Bread Recipe

  • 1 and 1/3 c. water (80 degrees F)
  • 8 t. olive oil
  • 4 t. sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 c. bread flour
  • 1 and 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 2 t. active dry yeast

Method:

This recipe starts up after the bread dough has been mixed and raised in the bread machine.

  1. Place on a lightly floured surface.  Divide into 10 pieces.  Shape each piece into a smooth ball.
  2. Place 5 balls on a large baking sheet.  Place the remaining 5 balls on another baking sheet.  Let rise about 20 minutes.  With fingertips, flatten each ball into a 6-inch circle.
  3. Bake at 500 degrees F for 5 minutes or until puffed and tops begin to brown.
  4. Cut each in half to form 2 pockets.

Recipe adapted from my Breadman Ultimate Automatic Bread Maker recipe book.

Karyn Zoldan
karyn

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