Pita bread is a yeast-leavened flatbread. The Greek version has no pocket while the pocket pita is also known as Arabic or Syrian Bread. The pocket is caused by extremely high heat that evaporates the water in the bread causing steam, this creates a pocket or a pita that will puff up.
Two Types of Pita Bread
I use Pizza Dough (Hand Tossed Pizza Dough) or the recipe below for the Pita. Which is Pizza dough using a small amount of JAH Poly Flour and more yeast to act faster. I find this breaks down the larger air bubbles created by the yeast which results in a very good Pita bread.
If you want Pockets and a Drier Pita like you find in the stores. I cook them in the oven on a Hot Pizza Stone. The oven heat is a lot hotter and dries out the bread overall and faster. This is the same as the store-bought Pita Breads. They get stacked slightly overlapping as to not steam while cooling.
Once they are puffed leave them in there for about a minute before pulling them out. Once they are completely cooled, cover with a plastic bag.
For Soft and Chewy I Cook them on the Stove Top on medium-high heat and then stack them directly on top of each other. Flipping the stack once in a while. This causes the Hot Pita Bread to steam the others that it is in contact with resulting in Soft & Chewy Pita Bread. Once they have cooled down but still warm, wrap them in a plastic bag.
In order to get pockets, there has to be a good amount of Heat that in effect steams the water, creating a pocket. Doing this in the oven is easier than stovetop. In the Oven, almost all will create a pocket. On the Stovetop it’s hit or miss because you have to regulate the heat.
You prepare these the same way as you do Tortillas. So I won’t go into detail but the basics are as follows.
I use Hand Tossed Pizza Dough or the recipe below which incorporates JAH Poly Flour for the best Pita Bread I have come up with. Then shape the dough balls into 90 g. I find this weight works best. You could go larger for puffier.
On a floured surface, flatten and roll out thin to the pot lid size to cut the circular Dough, about an 8-inch diameter or slightly larger.
Shake off excess flour and cook using the stove or stove top.
For Dryer Pitas, stack them slightly overlapping and for softer and chewier, stack them directly on top of each other. In effect steaming them while they cool down.
Serving Pita Bread
For recipes like Donairs, Souvlaki or other sandwich wraps I sometimes steam the bread or Fry the bread over the meat before serving.
You can freeze these easily. When ready to use just cook them again to bring to temp and return the texture as it was fresh again. If somehow you end up with really dry pitas. Brush with water and cook to return the freshness and texture. You also use this tip for breads. Doing this causes you to get the bread back just like it was fresh.
- Dough Mixer
- 4 C Flour – more if needed and rolling.
- 2 C Warm Water
- 3 Tbl Sugar
- 1 Tbl Kosher Salt
- 1 Tbl Yeast
- 1/2 C JAH Poly Flour
- Mix Water, Sugar, Yeast & 2 C Flour with a Whisk. Cover with Plastic and Place into the Oven. Turn the oven on for 20-30 seconds and then turn the oven off. Leave for about 30 minutes.
- Add 2 C Flour, Salt & JAH Poly Flour if using. Mix 3 minutes on low and 5 minutes on a higher gear. Add more Flour to get a slightly sticky dough if needed. Cover with Plastic and place into the oven. Turn the oven on for 20-30 seconds and then turn the oven off. Leave until Doubled.
- Weigh and Shape into 90 g dough balls and let rest 20 minutes or so covered.
- On a heavily floured surface, Flatten out all of the Dough Balls with the palm of your hand. Then roll the dough to a circle thinly and cut out with pot lid to get a perfect circle. Shake off any excess flour and set aside covered. If the dough sticks to the roller coat the dough in more flour.
- Either Bake in the oven the highest it will go on a Pizza Stone or Cook Stove Top on medium to high heat until it starts to create a bunch of tiny air pockets, flip and cook the other side.