Pita bread is in my opinion one of the best vehicles for dips. Nothing against regular bread – because this girl loves all bread, I’m in no way “bread”judice (ba dum ch)- but pita can not only dip into your dip, but you can scoop easier with pita, and get a ton of goodness on it. Personally, my favourite dips are hummus and tzatziki, which yes, is traditional for pita bread, but honestly even without pita they are still my favourite dips. I dip everything in them and often use them as spreads in wraps and as marinades and sometimes will eat hummus with a spoon. I don’t need pita for those dips but the pita is definitely a perk. And really how great is it when you get Greek food, and you get a basket of warm pita bread. Can you even imagine eating Mediterranean without it? I CAN’T.
And really what can’t pita do? Stuff that baby with veggies and sauce and meat, dip and scoop up olives and hummus, roll that thing up into a gyro, use it as utensil to pick up food (as is traditional), or even put pizza toppings on top and bake it – umm hello weekday cheat! It’s honestly no wonder that it’s been a staple of the Middle East for 4,000 years. They were definitely onto something back then, they knew they had somethin’ good goin’ on.
I won’t lie – when I’m in a pinch, and that is a lot as I’m often out and about and busy, I will buy pita bread from the store. I still think the store bought stuff is good if you can find a decent brand. This pita bread though is super duper easy to make and requires pretty minimal effort, the only thing is that it takes a couple hours because there is a bit of a waiting game for the dough to rise. But when I’m making Greek or Mediterranean food for my loved ones, and I have a bit of time to spare, the fresh pita is definitely a must. Nothing adds a pinch of extra love like homemade pita does! Making your own pita bread is definitely a way to impress your loved ones, they’ll be amazed and you can soak up all the “wow, you made pita bread? That’s amazing, you’re so talented and hardworking!”(true story).
They don’t have to know how easy this is, I won’t tell if you don’t!
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus a pinch to oil the bowl)
Makes about 10 pitas – depending how big or small you make them!
Pour yeast into 1/4 cup of the warm water; add the sugar and let stand for 10 minutes until it foams.
Combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour with the salt into a bowl. Form a well in the center and pour in yeast mixture and remaining 1 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Begin to mix with your hand, wooden spoon, or dough hook (I use a wooden spoon personally), adding remaining flour as needed. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 to 15 minutes (or use the machine and dough hook), until the dough is smooth and soft but not sticky.
Oil a large bowl and place dough in the bowl and turn to coat the entire surface of the dough with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and put the dough in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until its doubled in size. (here’s the waiting game!)
Preheat oven to 475 fht. Place a heavy baking sheet or baking stone on the lowest rack of the oven.
Roll the dough out, then fold and roll again. Do this a few times to get the air bubbles out of the dough. Divide into balls about 2 1/2 ounces each (approximately 5 tablespoons of dough) and cover with a damp towel.
Roll each ball into a circle on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a thin, full circle. The circles should be about 1/4-inch thick and about 7 inches across – you can make them bigger or smaller to your preference! (p.s. – if they don’t come out as a perfect circle…those are the ones that I call “rustic”)
Let each rolled pita rest while you roll the remaining dough balls.
Sprinkle the hot baking sheet or baking stone lightly with flour. Place a few of the circles on the stone or baking sheet (or as many as will fit comfortably, leave them some room). Bake for about 5 minutes, or until they just begin to show some color, flipping them half-way through.
Remove from the oven and cover with a clean kitchen towel until cooled and ready to chow down! These can also be frozen in ziploc bags!