Now you can enjoy delicious, soft pita right at home! This specialty bread is super easy to make, and comes together in only 5 minutes. Made in one bowl with simple pantry staple ingredients and fresh herbs, this is our go to pita bread recipe! Use these pitas for making snackable pita crisps and the famous pita schnitzel.
Pita and Hummus basically define Israeli food. When I think of fresh pita I remember my first trip to Tel Aviv and lunch with a million “salatim”(different little bowls of salads), fried eggplant, French fries and shwarma all in one spread.
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So while you can easily pick up a bag of fresh pita, it is simple, fun, and cheaper to make it at home!
How to Make a Pita Pocket
Traditional Pita bread has an airy pocket in the centre.
To create the famous pita pocket, a round piece of dough is placed on a very hot surface in the oven and the dry heat cooks the top and bottom at the same time. Pressure builds in the centre and pushes the pita outwards(creating a pocket), and the pocket stays put and doesn’t burst because the exteriors are already set.
It is the coolest process to watch and only takes a couple of minutes!
Is it better to pan fry or bake pita in the oven?
This recipe is a base pita bread recipe, and you can cook it in a variety of ways. I have included instructions for pan frying the dough and the oven baked method( which produces an airy pocket). It’s really up to personal preference!
Pan Fried Pros(and a con)
Pan fried pita produces a more flatbread-like pita.
I originally only fried my pita dough. Lazy me thinks it’s just quicker to heat up a pan and throw the dough in than turn on the oven. This option is great if you want to use the bread for dipping into hummus or a dish like saucy Middle Eastern Fish.
You can also use pan fried pitas like a taco shell. Simply fold them in half(they are very pliable) and fill with Kebabs and fresh vegetables.
The one negative I find about pan frying the dough is that you can only make one pita at a time(unless you have a long griddle).
Oven Baked Pros
Recently, I discovered the wonders of baking pita in the oven! This is definitely the most loved method for making pita and produces the type of pita sold all over the country- in falafel stores and restaurants alike.
Baking the dough is super fun(I usually sit on my kitchen stool and just watch every pita puff up), and gives each round an airy pocket. Simply make a slit on one side of the pita and stuff with..you name it!
How to Pan Fry Pita
To pan fry the dough you will need a frying pan that gets very hot(such as a cast iron skillet), a comal, or a griddle.
- Heat up your chosen pan until very hot.
- Carefully place a round, rolled out, ready-to-cook pita in the pan. There is no need for oil!
- Let the pita cook for about 3 minutes on the first side, until golden, and then flip.
- Cook the second side for an additional 2 minutes, until golden. Remove, place on a serving plate, and cover with a dish towel to keep in the moisture.
How to Bake Pita
I finally invested in a Baking Steel, which is a very heavy piece of steel that you preheat in the oven before using as a base for breads and pizza. The steel evenly distributes heat and stays extremely hot even when the oven door is open and cold air gets let in.
It is perfect for getting a beautiful pitas! You can also use a cast iron skillet(the larger one is better so you can make a couple at a time) or pizza stone.
HACK: My favorite hack for baking bread when you don’t have a baking stone, steel, or pan is to use a baking sheet turned upside down! Place it in the oven to preheat and pop on the pitas directly to the hot surface.
In this recipe we infuse the dough with fresh basil and rosemary. It adds a light but lovely flavor!
these ceramics for salt and pepper are from 1220 Ceramics, handmade in Israel
How to Use Pita Bread
Do I even need to tell you?!
Step by Step Process:
First we throw everything into the mixer bowl..yes, everything!
Then we mix the dough using the dough hook on medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky!
Cover the dough, straight in the bowl and let it rise for one hour.
Next you’re going to portion off the dough. I use a handy kitchen scale here but you can eyeball it! It’s okay if the pitas arent the exact same size.
How many pitas does this recipe make?
This recipe makes 12 regular sized pitas and 24 mini pitas.
For the regular pita, the weight should be 100 grams each and for the mini pita 50 grams each.
Place all the pieces on to a floured surface. I use a Non-Stick Silpat Baking Mat. for easy cleanup and less mess.
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Fresh Basil and Rosemary Pita
- 4 Tbs olive oil
- 4 cups + 4 Tbs flour
- 1 Tbs instant yeast
- 1 Tbs white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 Tbs fresh basil minced
- 1 tsp dried rosemary chopped
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place 2 Tbs of olive oil.
- Add in flour, yeast, sugar, salt,water, basil, and rosemary.
- Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky!! Do not add flour!
- Oil a seperate bowl and oil your hands as well. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and let it rise for about an hour, until doubled in size.
- Sprinkle your work surface with flour. I like to use a non stick mat or piece of parchment paper. Divide the dough into about 25 pieces, each 40 grams.
- Press each piece out into a small circle.
- Heat up remaining 2 Tbs of olive oil in a pan and gently place in pitas to cook on high heat until browned on each side. I fit 3 pitas at a time and had two pans going.
- Serve warm, and keep in an airtight container.