Who’d have thunk of making your own pita bread? Like croissants, they seem like they would be insanely complicated to make, and why bother when there’s perfectly decent commercial versions available. Unlike croissants though, pitas are actually quite simple, astonishingly so in fact. It’s the baking method which counts here rather than the ingredients, which look like a plain white bread recipe. And once you taste these, you won’t want to go back to store-bought pitas ever again.
3 cups white flour
2 teaspoons yeast (slightly less than one packet)
1 cup warm water (microwaved for 30 seconds)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. If using instant yeast, combine all ingredients together. If using regular yeast, combine yeast, salt, sugar and warm water first and let sit for five minutes, then mix in the flour.
2. Knead vigorously for 10 minutes by hand, or 5 minutes in a stand mixer with dough hook. Let dough sit, covered, for an hour. It may not double in bulk, but it will grow.
3. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Form 4 of the pieces into balls and flatten them to form circles about 4-5 inches in diameter. Arrange as many as will fit on a cookie sheet. Keep the other pieces covered while you work. Let the dough circles sit for 15 minutes.
4. Re-arrange the racks in your oven so that one rack is as close to the oven floor as you can make it, and the other one is in the middle. When that’s done, preheat your oven to 500F or 260C.
5. Bake the pitas for 5 minutes on the bottom oven rack. They should have puffed up. Transfer to middle rack and bake an additional 1-2 minutes.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the second batch of pitas.
Serve with whatever you like. They make incredibly good toasted sandwiches and pizza crusts.