Learn how to make a soft, chewy, and delicious Greek pita. Use these to dip into hummus, gyros, and kebabs. The best part is that they can be done in the oven or on the stovetop.
I love to recreate Greek or Mediterranean foods like smooth and creamy hummus or a chicken gyro, and once you make your own pita bread, you will not want to grab the store-bought pita bread. But this bread goes well with a lot of different Greek dishes.
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Why you’ll love this pita bread recipe
- easier than you think Sometimes you’re told that making your own pita bread is difficult, but to be honest, it couldn’t be easier. With a few tips and suggestions, you will have a perfect pita.
- Freeze for later! This recipe makes around 12 pitas, depending on size, so I like to freeze some extra for when I want them at the last minute. Allow them to come to room temperature, and they are delicious all over again.
- Pantry staples This recipe only requires basic pantry ingredients that you probably already have on hand or are easy to find in the supermarket. (all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, yeast, olive oil, and water!)
To make the pita bread, there are few ingredients; they are in most pantry’s, but if not, they are easy to find in your local grocery store. The only ingredient that sometimes scares people is yeast, which is very easy to work with.
- Flour I like to use bread flour because it gives you a chewier pita texture. You can also use a mixture of 50% bread flour and 50% all-purpose flour.
- Instant dry yeast you can use 1 packet or 2-1/4 tsp of dry instant yeast. If you’re using fresh yeast you will need around 21 grams.
- Water the temperature of the water is important when it comes to making any kind of yeast bread, you want warm water but not too hot usually about 110˚F to 115˚F.
- Sugar You need a form of sugar to activate the yeast. I like to use granulated sugar, but you can use an alternative sweetener like honey or agave syrup.
- Salt we use fine sea salt. As with any bread, salt is critical for a great tasting bread
- Olive oil adding olive oil or any other type of oil (coconut or avocado, vegetable oil helps to keep the dough from drying out.
How to make homemade pita bread
- Combine lukewarm water, yeast, sugar, and oil. Stir well until combined and set aside for 5 minutes.
- In a stand-up mixer Add the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and combine until the flour is incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to knead on medium speed for 15–18 minutes until you have a soft, elastic dough that pulls away from the edges of the bowl.
- Rise place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm place for about 60-90 minutes or until doubled in volume.
- Divide dough Once the dough has doubled in volume, transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Punch the dough down so it can release the air that has built up, and then reshape it into a small log and cut it into 4 portions, and then cut each of those into 3 again. In the end, you want to end up with 12 portions.
- Roll each portion into a small ball and then allow it to rest for 5–10 minutes. Then, using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6-inch disc. You don’t want to roll them too thin, as we do want some thickness to the pita. The thinner it is, the more likely it is to puff up, and you want these to be thicker and more fluffy.
- Proof place all the discs on a baking sheet with parchment paper lightly dusted with flour this will prevent it from sticking. Allow the dough to rest one last time for 30 minutes.
- Heat a cast iron skillet, griddle, or frying pan on high heat
- Heat a cast iron skillet, griddle, or frying pan on high heat or preheat an oven to 475°F and place the pizza stone in the oven.
- Oven When the oven has come up to temperature, place 1-2 rolled-out round discs onto the pan. Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the bread has puffed up, then flip over and cook for another minute.
- Stovetop brush ½ tsp of oil onto a large cast iron skillet or cast iron grill. Once the pan is hot, place a rolled-out disc on top and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Once it has puffed up, flip it over for one more minute. Remove and place on a plate covered by a towel.
Tips for homemade pita bread
- Knead by hand You can knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 10-20 minutes. You know the dough is where you want it to be when you press the dough with your fingers and the dough springs back.
- Proofing In the winter, you may need more time for your dough to rise than it might in the summer. In the winter months, I like to heat my oven to the lowest temperature, and then once it reaches, say, 200 F, I shut it off and place my dough into the oven, allowing it to rise in a warmer environment.
- Rest is important otherwise you will end up with flatbread and not a nice and fluffy pita still delicious just not what we are trying to accomplish here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between pita, naan, and flatbread?
Both pita bread and naan are leavened using yeast, but the difference is that traditional naan is made with yogurt and an egg. Both are generally soft in texture, but a pita will have a packet inside, and a naan will.
Why is my pita bread dense?
If your pita bread is dense, it might be because you didn’t roll the dough out thin enough. Make sure to roll it out as evenly as possible. If you’re having issues with it puffing up, your oven may not be hot enough.
How does the pita have a pocket?
During cooking, steam causes the dough to rise up from the bottom toward the middle, creating a pocket in the pita. The opposite side of the bread experiences the same process when it is flipped. The puffed-up bread flattens down after cooling, leaving a pocket in the center. Hence where you get the name pita pocket.
Easy Greek Pita Bread
- 1 cast iron pan or griddle
- 1-1/4 cup warm water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2-1/4 tsp instant dry yeast or 1 packet
- 3 cups all-purpose flour or 50% bread flour and 50% all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, dissolve sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle in yeast and let stand until mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 cup flour, olive oil, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon. Slowly add the remaining flour until a shaggy dough is formed. Knead for 10 minutes in the stand mixer until the dough comes together and is smooth.
- Cover the dough with a moist kitchen towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm, dark place, until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch the dough down and separate dough into 12 round pieces by pinching off some of the dough. Use your hands to tuck the sides and roll into an even ball, covering the pieces with a moist kitchen towel as you work. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough as evenly as possible. This is important to ensure that the pita puffs up. Transfer the rolled-out pita onto small squares of parchment paper floured lightly.
- Preheat oven to 550°F (or to the highest temperature it will go) with the baking sheet inside the oven. While the oven is heating, allow the pita rounds to rest for about 30 minutes.
- Flip the rolled-out pita onto the heated baking sheet. Bake on the bottom rack of your oven until lightly golden brown and puffed, about 3-5 minutes. Wrap them in a clean kitchen towel as soon as they come out of the oven.