Put a little dough “pizza” in a hot oven and puff! Pocket bread!
Most yeast breads take a long time, but not so with pita. An hour and a half before you want to rip off a hunk and eat it, mix the dough, knead in the bowl, and let rise. Divide into eighths, roll out and pop them in the oven for three minutes. Ready!
Pita pockets enhance many dinners – grilled burgers, chicken or shrimp skewers, a basket of grilled veggies, or anything Indian, from dal to palak paneer (not just for take out anymore!)
This recipe is adapted from the original published by the New York Times.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips:
- Don’t use tongs to flip, they’ll puncture the pita. Just get in there and flip them over with your fingers real quick (use an oven mitt if you must).
- Thinking about pita well before dinner? Mix the dough and store it in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator, several hours or overnight. While your oven is preheating, take the dough out of the refrigerator and shape according to the recipe.
- Store any extra baked pita at room temperature in an unclosed plastic bag. They keep well for a few days.
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons dried yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1/4 cup more for kneading and dusting your work surface)
- 1/4 whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Measure warm water in a glass liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast then the sugar over the surface. Stir and let sit for ten minutes to proof.
- In large bowl, combine flours, salt, olive oil, and yeast/water mixture. Mix with wooden spoon until dough comes together. With dough still in bowl, sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of reserved flour and knead in the bowl for a minute. Let rest for 10 minutes then knead in the bowl for another minute. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until double in bulk, about one hour.
- Position oven rack in lowest rungs and set temperature to 475 degrees F. Put a pizza stone or cast iron pan on the rack to preheat.
- Lightly flour work surface, turn out dough, divide into eight pieces and shape each into a little ball. Let rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll each dough ball to about 1/4 inch thick and 6 inches diameter. Transfer 2 or three to your baking stone (or pan or use a sheet pan) and bake for two minutes. Flip each and bake for an additional minute until they look and feel "dry" but are still light in color - do not overbake. Remove pitas to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.