Pita bread is a very common bread one can serve with any Greek meze, salad, or dish. Truth is that it’s not easy to find pita bread everywhere and when you want it, except in Greece of course. But if you really love it and crave it, you can make it by yourself. Pita bread recipe takes some time, of course, but any good stuff we bring to our table requires some preparation time. Here, count on two hours at least, although you won’t be busy all that time – since this bread has yeast, you will actually need to wait until yeast makes its miracle.
One thing about pita bread, if making it at home, you have to have in mind is that pitas have to be cooked at the very high heat. In other words, your oven needs to be a really powerful one in order to achieve the best result. It’s not going to be bad anyway and you can always improve it: additional grilling (grill), heating (skillet) or roasting (oven) will make it just perfect right before serving it. And don’t let me start with all the dishes and combination of food you can serve pita bread with. You can even half it horizontally when warm and fill the inside of pita with a sauce, dip, cheese, ham, anything… The most common way the Greeks serve pita bread is a plate of pita wedges.
Pita Bread Recipe
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 1/2 cup of warm water
- 4 cups of flour
- 2 -3 teaspoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Start with dissolving the yeast and sugar in ½ cup of warm water and let it sit, covered, for 15 -20 minutes. In another cup of warm water add salt and let it dissolve. When this is done, add flour in a big bowl and make a hole in the center where you’ll add both mixtures (yeast and salt). Now, have some patience since you have to knead with your hands for about 10 minutes. When the mixture starts looking like dough, add olive oil and keep kneading until the oil is mixed with the rest. Be sure to knead it well since the better the dough is kneaded the better final result is going to be. When done, form the ball of the dough, leave it in the bowl and cover it. Now you have to wait for about 1 ½ or two hours, depending on the environment. The dough has to be at the warm place in order to grow and it’s done when it doubles its size. Once that happens, you need to knead the dough for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Before you start final kneading, preheat the oven at 300 C. Now, while waiting for the oven to heat up, make pitas from the dough – take pieces of dough according to what size of pita you want, and roll them out on a surface sprinkled with flour. Flatten each piece of dough and make a shape of pita. Finally, prick each of them several times with a fork. Now, place pitas on baking sheets (previously lightly oiled) and bake them for about 5-6 minutes total at the lower rack, turning them on the other side after first couple of minutes. When done, place warm pitas between two clean dishtowels for some time. When pitas are cooled, or not eaten, they can be stored in the fridge or frozen. When using pitas later, be sure to “roast” them a little either in the oven or in the oiled frying pen, turning them over in the process.