Homemade Pita Bread
Until you try making this pita bread, you never realize just how easy it is. It's so much fun watching them puff up in the oven. You can make your choice of flour – you can go with white flour alone, or mix healthier types (whole spelt flour or wholegrain wheat flour, lentil flour, etc.) The dough can also be used to make pizza or thin pan pita bread, if you like.
Ingredients (makes about 15 small pitas):
5 cups flour (I used 3 cups dark wholegrain flour and 2 cups white pizza flour)
500 ml (16 oz) warm water
1/3 tbsp olive oil (or less)
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dry yeast
Optional: Dry oregano or za'atar* leaves
*Za'atar is a Middle Eastern herb from the oregano family
+ Dissolve the sugar and salt in the warm water, and pour into large bowl. Add the oil, the flour, the herbs (if you like) and finally, the yeast. Mix and knead into a firm flexible dough. Don't be alarmed if it's too sticky, this changes according to the type of flour used, and you may add flour until the dough is easy to work with (but not too dry). Don't knead too much, only as much as is necessary.
+ Cover bowl with cling wrap and set aside. Let rise for at least an hour at room temperature, or up to one night in the refrigerator.
+ Heat over to maximum (at least 450°F)
+ Remove dough from bowl and place on large surface that has been covered with a generous layer of flour. Use rolling pin to roll into a smooth and even thin sheet, about 3-4 mm thick (again, don't overwork the dough). Use a large glass, a ring, or a pancake ring to cut circles (take into account that the dough is elastic and tends to shrink a bit). Place on flat floured surface.
+ Collect the remainders into a ball of dough, place in bowl covered in cling wrap for a few minutes, roll again and cut additional pitas.
+ Place the pitas in preheated oven, and bake for 5-10 minutes until they swell (you can see the "pocket" forming) and brown slightly. Remove from oven and cover with towel to prevent drying. Once they've cooled, they can be frozen.