we didn’t have pita bread around the house growing up, but i had a friend who always brought sandwiches on it to school. we were only about 6 or 7 at the time, so when i asked what he was eating, i swore i heard “peter bread.” for years i seriously thought it was called peter bread. and even though it’s not actually named after me, i’ve grown to love it over the years.
the dough is a cinch to make, and you can just keep a big bowl of it in the fridge and bake up batches whenever you’re in need of a sandwich to take to school or work. pita bread pretty much goes with anything, but fits especially well with middle eastern dishes. side note: i had my first falafel just over a year ago. why was i not told about them sooner?
the thinner you roll out the dough, the puffier your pitas get once they heat the heat. no matter how many times i make them, i have to sit right in front of the oven and watch them blow up. it’s pure magic. they work very well on the baking stones, but a baking sheet works just as well. alternatively, you can bake your pitas right on the stovetop on a skillet. they don’t always puff quite as much as in the oven but are still soft, delicate and delicious.
as a quick snack, i usually pair a pita up with a parsley and red onion salad with a little greek yogurt. also i like that if you open up the pita it looks like the jaw of a shark. awesome!
makes 4 large pitas or 16 individual pitas. from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. you can easily halve the recipe if needed.
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
6 1/2 cups flour
cornmeal for pizza peel
1. add yeast and salt to the water in a large bowl. mix in the flour until uniformly moist. there’s no need to knead. cover with a loose lid or towel and let rise for about 2 hours. at this point you can bake or store in the fridge (the dough is easier to work with after a few hours in the fridge).
2. 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 500F with a baking stone if you have one. just before baking, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a piece (size is up to you). dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball. using your hands and rolling pin, roll the dough out into a thin round (about 1/8″ thick).
3. slide the dough directly onto the baking stone or place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly browned and puffed. when you pull them out of the oven, wrap the pitas in a clean dish towl and set on a cooling rack to keep them soft.