Recipe: Pita Bread

This pocket bread, popular in Greece, Lebanon, and many Arab countries, is great for filled sandwiches or with dips.

Yield 6-12 pitas . . . .Time 2 hours
Tools
  • bowl
  • whisk
  • wooden spoon or mixer with dough hook
  • 2 dish towels, clean and slightly damp
  • rolling pin
  • cookie sheet
  • paper bag
Ingredients
  • 1 c lukewarm water
  • 1 t yeast
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 c flour
  • 1 T oil
Directions Combine the water and yeast in the bowl and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy.

Add sugar and stir until dissolved.

Add 3 c flour, 1 c at a time, and incorporate it with the whisk. When it is too thick to whisk, switch to a wooden spoon, a mixer with a dough hook, or your hands.

Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth, adding up to c more flour until the dough is no longer sticky.

Wash, dry, and then lightly oil the bowl. Put the dough in and turn it to coat with oil. Cover with towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled.

Punch down the dough and transfer to heavily floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes and then divide into 6-12 equal pieces.

Knead each piece of dough for a few minutes, then roll out into a very thin circle. Let each pita rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 260'C / 500'F / Gas mark 10. Place cookie sheet in oven for a minute or two, until warm.

Brush cookie sheet with oil or sprinkle with cornmeal. Arrange pita bread so that they are not touching.

For soft pita bread:

Bake until puffy and light brown, about 6-8 minutes. Wrap the pitas together in a towel, place in the paper bag, close it up, and let sit for 15 minutes.

For crispy pita bread:

Bake 10-12 minutes and let cool on a rack.

Notes Adapted from Molly Katzen's New Moosewood Cookbook.