Pita bread with pocket - ready to stuff with whatever you wish

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

edward36

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Mar 3, 2014
307
73
Sydney, Australia
Hey guys!

Pita bread ... I've seen at least 20 different versions just across the middle east, and I am not talking about the naan, chapati, armenian lavash and another quadrizillion versions of a flatbread.... However, growing up in Israel, pita in my view is only that thick flatbread with pocket, which I can stuff with anything I like, be it falafel, gyros or shakshouka (now if you don't know what that is - will post a recipe quite soon!)...

So here is that recipe, that works every time... The yield is about 10 pitas, and trust me, it looks way more complicated than it really is!
- 5 cups (625 g) strong flour (bakers one, with high gluten)
- 1.5 cups (360 g) water
- 4 tsp (12 g) active dry yeast
- 2 tsp (10 g) sugar / honey (honey's better)
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp (8 g) salt

My strong suggestion is to use a stand mixer, unless you're after a good gym - the dough is going to be really tough, and that's cool... Give this dough a good kneading - 7-8 minutes to the very least. However, make sure not to overknead - if the gluten is destroyed, that's it!

Shape the dough in a ball, put it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and proof until doubled in size, about 1 hour or a bit more. Then turn it over onto the surface, knock back (degas) and divide into 10-12 balls. Dough yield is 2.5 lb (~1 kg), so 10 will give you rather large pita, I usually go for 12 pieces... Let the dough balls rest on the workbench, covered with kitchen towel, for about 15-20 minutes, sort of "calm down".

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to the absolute maximum heat it can go to and place an oven tray in the middle of the oven, upside down (trust me, gonna be easier). Let it preheat so when you will start baking it's really hot.

Note: If you have a pizza stone - use it, but then you'll need to start preheating the oven well ahead of the time. The rest is the same.

Now, when the oven is nice and hot, take each ball, roll it into a disk of about 1/4" (bit less than 1 cm) thickness and set aside... I usually work in batches of 4, that's what my oven tray can take in one go. So, you open the oven, throw those dough disks right on that tray, close the door and watch them puffing. That will take about 2-3 minutes maximum, and your pitas will become nice air filled balloons. That's the time to pull them out. Then you do another round of 4 disks and so on until all the pitas are baked.

And now to the top secret part... The way to keep pitas nice , soft and fluffy is to let them cool in between two kitchen towels. This will not let them dry out... So get a big tray lined with one kitchen towel, and when baking, once you take the pita out of the oven - off it goes onto that tray and immediately under the cover of another towel. That's how you let them cool completely, and then you can pack and freeze them. Reheated in microwave they come back to the original state.
Ah and sure you can enjoy them warm.

1486852863326.jpg

1487501303331.jpg
1486978335894.jpg
1510920881195.jpg
1515920774062.jpg
 
Last edited:

forktender

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jun 10, 2008
3,121
2,328
NORCAL
Love this recipe, it's a for sure thing for me to try out although I will be converting the recipe over to use my sourdough starter because commercial yeasts tear up my guts these days. We are big fans of falafel and gyros in my house and have been having problems finding pita pocket bread out here for the last few years because everyone is into the naan and other versions of flatbreads as of lately.

Thanks a bunch Eddie I will let you know how it works out when I make them.

Thanks a bunch.
Dan:emoji_thumbsup::emoji_thumbsup::emoji_thumbsup:
 
  • Like
Reactions: edward36

BandCollector

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
My strong suggestion is to use a stand mixer, unless you're after a good gym - the dough is going to be really tough, and that's cool... Give this dough a good kneading - 7-8 minutes to the very least. However, make sure not to overknead - if the gluten is destroyed, that's it!

edward36 edward36 ,

When you said "Give this dough a good kneading-7-8 minutes to the very least" Did you mean allow the stand mixer to mix the dough with a dough hook for the 7-8 minutes or actually knead the dough on the counter by hand (traditional kneading) for the 7-8 minutes after it has been mixed?

I confuse easily,

John
 
  • Like
Reactions: edward36

edward36

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Thread starter
Mar 3, 2014
307
73
Sydney, Australia
edward36 edward36 ,

When you said "Give this dough a good kneading-7-8 minutes to the very least" Did you mean allow the stand mixer to mix the dough with a dough hook for the 7-8 minutes or actually knead the dough on the counter by hand (traditional kneading) for the 7-8 minutes after it has been mixed?

I confuse easily,

John
Hi John,

That's the time for machine kneading... once the machine has finished, you only need to shape the dough into a ball on the work surface. No need for further hand kneading.

However, if you want to do it by hand end to end - that's gonna take 15-20 minutes of hard work :) ...
 

Hot Threads