Try this easy homemade pita bread. It’s so simple and quick to make, and delicious hot straight from the oven. The texture of this bread is light and soft, making it perfect for your favorite sandwich filling. Make them in any size you want. Then create fresh pocket sandwiches or make delicious hot sandwiches using your sandwich press.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- This recipe makes a soft, fluffy and flexible pita bread.
- It’s fun to watch the pita puff up as it bakes.
- It tastes so much better than store bought and, it’s cheaper to make too!
Step By Step Instructions
Making Pita Bread Dough
All the ingredients are placed in the bread machine basket, the machine is then set to the dough cycle and started.
The only hands-on work that I will do is stand there with a spatula and scrape down the sides of the bread tin, making sure everything is worked into the dough. After about 10 minutes of kneading, I will go back and check the dough. If it looks dry, I will add an additional one to two teaspoons of water.
The dough should be soft, but not wet. It should not stick to the sides of the bread machine basket, or your hands when you press it.
Proving The Dough
The bread machine has a 30-minute kneading cycle, and then a one-hour proving time. I will always let it knead for the full 30 minutes. Then, depending on how quickly I want the bread, I may leave it to prove in the bread machine for 30-minutes, or the full one hour.
Tip: The instructions for this recipe are for a bread machine however, the dough can be kneaded by hand or in a stand mixer. Allow the kneaded dough to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size, then follow the rest of the recipe.
Before rolling the dough into flat discs, use your kitchen scales to weigh out even amounts of dough. This will ensure that all the pocket bread you make, will be roughly the same size and weight.
You will get 16 homemade pita breads from this recipe, measuring approximately 14 cm (5.5”) in diameter. For us, this is the ideal portion size, and it also fits into a pop-up toaster for quick reheating.
I usually get around 960 grams of dough, and I make 16 balls of dough weighing 60 grams each.
Roll the dough to a thickness of about 2-4mm (⅛” – ¼”). If it’s thinner than that, it will be difficult for a pocket to form between the dough, and if it’s too thick it won’t form because it’s too “heavy” making it difficult for steam to push the pocket open.
You will also want to make sure that the dough is evenly rolled. You don’t want to have any patches that are too thick or thin. If you do have unevenly rolled dough the pocket may not fully form.
Tip: You shouldn't need to flour the bench or the rolling pin. But, if your dough has turned out a little sticky, use a light dusting of flour.
One key factor in getting your pita bread to puff is a hot oven. It should be at least 200°C preferable 230°C (440°F) and use a spray bottle to mist the pitas, at least 5-6 good squirts before closing the oven door.
The combination of a high temperature and humidity created by misting the oven will ensure even and consistent puffing of the bread.
To Use A Baking Stone or Not
Many recipes ask to use a baking stone. This stone is heated in the oven, then the pita dough is placed on it, and cooked. I don’t have a baking stone, instead, I use an upturned cake rack (see picture below) to cook my pita pockets and they turn out fine.
Using a cake rack will allow hot air to circulate around the dough, which is what is needed to help form the pocket inside the bread.
When using a cake rack turn it upside down so the “legs” are facing up. By having the “legs” facing up they won’t get caught on the oven rack, making it easier to remove the rack from the hot oven.
Bake two to three pita pockets at a time in a pre-heated oven on an upturned cake rack. If your oven temperature is correct you should see them start to rise and puff after about 2 minutes.
They won’t puff up all at once - well at least they don’t for me. My oven has a hot spot so, the pita bread at the back-right corner always starts to puff first, followed by the back-left corner and lastly the one in the front.
After about 4 – 6 minutes it’s time to remove them and bake another batch.
If you find that some of them haven’t puffed don’t be tempted to cook them longer than the 6 minutes. They will be overcooked and become dry and not soft and flexible as they should be.
The pita bread should be puffed and mostly white in color with a slight golden tinge here and there, mainly around the edges.
Remove from the oven when cooked, stacking the pita bread and wrapping them in a clean towel as you continue to bake the rest of the bread. The pita bread will flatten as is cools.
About The Flours
I have used two flours in this recipe, bread flour (or strong flour, or bakers’ flour) and wholemeal flour. However, I have also made the recipe many times by replacing the wholemeal with rye flour and when I don’t have either of these, I will use bakers’ flour.
If you are going to eat the pita bread soon after baking these can be kept fresh, soft, and warm by stacking and wrapping in a clean towel as they come out of the oven.
If you are not going to eat them straight away. Allow the stacked pita bread to cool to room temperature. Then place a piece of baking paper between each pita, this will stop them from sticking to each other and tightly wrap in plastic food wrap.
The pitas can then be kept at room temperature for a few days or frozen for longer storage.
If you are using this homemade pita bread soon after baking and, they have puff up in the oven and still warm. Cut a small section from one end (or cut the bread down the middle) and you will find that the two layers are already separated ready for filling.
If the pita bread is cold or has been left stacked for a while the pocket tends to stick.
So, the best way to open a pita pocket is to heat them in a pop-up toaster, warm them until they start to puff up. Once they have puffed remove them from the toaster and allow them to sit on a cake rack for a minute or two before cutting and using.
I know that this method will open up the pita pockets without tearing for my homemade pita bread and, I am fairly sure it will also work for store-bought pita.
Tip: If your homemade pita bread did not puff in the oven, it might be difficult to open up and create a pocket without tearing. Instead, use them to make pita wraps or pita pizzas.
Check out our Pita Bread Ideas page for suggestions on what to make with pita bread. You will find ideas and recipes for making pita bread sandwiches, pizzas, quesadillas, and chips.
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Easy Homemade Pita Bread
- 300 grams water at room temperature
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 60 grams salted butter at room temperature
- 375 grams white bread flour (also known as bakers flour/strong flour)
- 150 grams wholemeal flour or rye flour or white bread flour
- 50 grams milk powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons dry instant - dried baker’s yeast
- Place all the ingredients into your bread machine’s baking pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Insert the pan into the bread machine. Select the dough cycle.
- When the machine has completed the kneading cycle, leave the dough bread machine to rest, for at least 30 - 60 minutes.
Pre heat oven to 230°C (450°F)
- Place the dough on to a work bench. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and shape into balls.Tip: Weigh the dough for even sized pieces.
- Use a rolling pin to roll each ball into flat discs, about 2mm (⅛”) thick and 14cm (5.5”) in diameter.
- Place two to three pitas on an up-turned cake rack, place in the oven and use a water spray bottle to mist the inside of the oven before closing the door. Bake for 4-6 minutes. Note: The misting and the high heat will help the pocket form inside the pita bread.
- Remove from the oven when they have puffed and are still white in colour. Stack and wrap in a clean towel to keep warm and soft.
This post for Homemade Pita Bread was first published June 27, 2018. Updated on April 24, 2020 with more information, recipe improvements and new images.