Israeli Pita Bread (Parve)

Freshly baked pita breads
A basket of freshly baked pita breads. © Miri Rotkovitz
    2 hrs 5 mins
Ratings

"Warm pita, hummus and Israeli salad reminds me of eating outside on a peaceful summer evening in Israel," says Giora Shimoni, who offers this recipe so you can make your own fresh pita breads (pitot in Hebrew). Serve them warm from the oven with Israeli Hummus, Baba Ganoush, and Israeli Salad

Miri's Recipe Testing Notes and Tips:

If you divide the dough into 20 pieces, your pitot will be on the smaller side. If you prefer larger breads, divide into 10 or 15 pieces. 

In this recipe, the pitot get a second rise on their baking sheets before a quick stint in a very hot oven. This technique can yield pitot that don't puff to create pockets (though they are delicious nonetheless.) If you want stuffable pockets for falafel or other sandwiches, consider baking on a preheated baking stone or sheet instead.   

The original recipe called for a second rise and baking on ungreased baking sheets, however I found some of my pitot got stuck or burned on the bottom when I followed this advice. I had much better success baking on parchment lined sheets. You can also use silicone baking liner, such as Silpat.   

What You'll Need

  • 2 packages (1/2-ounce/4-1/2 teaspoons/42g TOTAL) dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour

How to Make It

1. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar and lukewarm water. Let stand for 10 minutes in a warm place, until the yeast bloom and the mixture is foamy. 

2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add to the yeast mixture and stir well until you have a shaggy dough. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes.  

3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and leave to rise in a warm place for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in volume.

4. Punch down the dough. Knead a few times, then divide into 20 small balls.

5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (make sure yours is oven safe to 500° F) or silicone liners. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a thin disc. Place pitot on the prepared baking sheets, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

7. Preheat the oven to 500° F (260°C). Place the baking sheets on the bottom racks of the oven. Bake until the pitot puff up, about 5 to 7 minutes. Keep an eye on them -- they can burn quickly. 
Serve warm. Once completely cool, extra pita can be stored in food storage bags in the refrigerator or freezer.