During one of our outings last year, we visited a Mediterranean fast food place and it was there that I tasted my first pita bread. Needless to say I was immediately hooked. Loved the flavors and the healthy vegetables that were put into the pita pockets and I had to try it out at home.
So I spoke to one of my friends about it and asked her if she had the recipe for the yummy Mediterranean food. She very excitedly shared with me her mother-in-law’s recipes and also pointed me out to the link for pita bread. The bread became a weekend project and to my shock not even one pita puffed up during the first attempt. Well, I could not give up totally and I made a second batch immediately and watched it with my fingers crossed. Voila, they puffed up beautifully and I was all smiles.
The main reason why the first batch did not puff up was because the dough did not have enough moisture. I did not use enough water and made it pretty tight like the poori dough. Use 1 cup of water and if you find the dough tight use the remaining 1/4 cup water. Depending on the flour you may need another 1/4 cup of water. For me 1.25 cups worked perfectly.
I don’t see a whole bunch of difference between pita bread and plain naan except for the shape
1. Moisture in the dough is important.
2. Always keep the balls or rolled out circles covered.
3. After removing a batch of pita allow the oven to heat up to the required temperature again. Heat is important.
4. (Update) - Do not worry too much if they don’t puff up. Some of mine in the first batch had big bubbles on one side and we just cut it open with the knife to create a pocket. Even otherwise you could just place the filling on it and have it like a taco.
Recipe from FreshLoaf.
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
1.25 cups water
8 – 12 pita breads depending on size.
Mix the flours together and add sugar to it.
Add yeast. (If using active dry yeast, you may have to add warm water and sugar to proof up the yeast. Follow package instructions and then add the yeast mix to the flour)
Add water and make a dough.
The dough will be sticky.
Kneading will make the dough soft and less sticky. Around 10 minutes of kneading is needed.
Place covered in a warm place for about 1.5 hours for the dough to rise.
Dough has doubled in size.
Punch it down.
Pinch a portion of the dough and make balls. Cover the balls and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475F with a pizza stone if you have one. Otherwise use a baking sheet.
Take a ball and roll into a circle.
Ready for baking. Keep them covered as we do not want them to dry out.
Into the oven. See how they puff up. They took about 3 minutes roughly to puff up.
Soft pita bread out of the oven.
See the pocket waiting to be filled with yummy stuff.
Pita bread stuffed with homemade falafel. Filling and tasty dinner.
Sending to Valentine Fest.
Sending to Bake Fest #4 hosted by Anusha.
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