I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for over 2 months now. But with the time I would need to put aside combined with the hot days that took over part of the summer, I just couldn’t bring myself to do. But thanks to a healthy dose of insomnia, followed by waking up at 6:30 in the morning, I rolled my zombie-like ass out of bed and made me some pita.
And I’m glad I did. If you’ve never had homemade pita bread, you are doing yourself a disservice. Store bought pita is a sham compared to the chewy goodness of fresh from the oven pita bread. And you get to deflate it, which is like a little added bonus for all your hard work.
I made a couple changes to the original recipe I found at The Way The Cookie Crumbles. I didn’t mix everything at once, instead treating the yeast as I would any other baking project. I mixed the yeast, sugar, water, and oil together and let it rest for 15 minutes, allowing the yeast to activate. After the time was up, I then added salt to the mixture and slowly poured that into the rotating mixer. I just like to make sure the yeast activates properly before going any further. No point in getting to step 5, if part 1 wasn’t successful.
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 (17.5 ounces) cups unbleached flour
1. Mix sugar, yeast, water and olive oil. Let rest 15 minutes. Add flour, salt to standing mixer. Turn machine to low and slowly add liquid. When dough comes together, increase speed to medium (setting number 4 on a KitchenAid mixer) and mix until dough is smooth, supple, and elastic, stopping machine two or three times to scrape dough from hook if necessary, about 10 minutes. Initially, the dough will be quite stiff. It will soften and stretch as you continue kneading. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface; knead to form smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.
2. Place dough in very lightly oiled bowl, rubbing dough around bowl to lightly coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, about 1½ hours.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
4. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Let rest 10 minutes.
5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each ball to form an oval, 9 inches long and ¼ inches thick. Cover with a dish towel and proof until slightly risen, about 20 minutes.
6. Dust two baking sheets with flour and preheat in the oven for 5 minutes. Place the dough ovals on the hot baking sheets and return immediately to the oven. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until puffy. Wrap in a clean, dry cloth to keep the crusts soft and to prevent drying out.