Pita Breads are pocket like flat breads, not only are they easy to make but also versatile. Pita can be stuffed with nearly any filling desirable – often serving as the perfect lunch. Like most flat bread pita requires a few basic ingredients but the secret to making this flat bread successfully lies in the method and cooking techniques. Although you don’t need a tandoor to make perfect pita bread at home-the modern equivalent simply requires a preheated oven – I recommend at least 45 minutes before you intend cooking the pita breads.
This Pita bread recipe is one I’ve concocted through trial and error since eating my first Pita at Anat in Durban. Back then this was a treat my sister and I looked forward to after scrounging from our student pittance. Pita bread along with most Middle Eastern foods has remained my favorite foods- after all it is still both affordable and nutritious.
Some Tips for Perfect Homemade Pita Bread:
- Although most breads are best baked with strong flour, I usually make Pita bread with cake flour.
- The dough must be kneaded continuously for 7-10 minutes. Punch, press and fold the dough.
- Depending on the quantities you want to make always keep the water: flour ratio to 1 part water: 2 parts flour.
Pita Bread Recipe
Recipe By Georgia
Preparation Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 6 medium Pita breads
- 400g cake flour
- 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or sunflower oil
- 200 ml lukewarm water
1.Combine the dry ingredients. Add the oil. Add water.
2. Mix to form a soft dough. The key to soft bread lies in the mixing technique. The dough must be kneaded for at least 7-10 minutes continuously by punching and folding the dough over and over until the yeast and flour are thoroughly combined. For this reason I recommend making bread when angry!…punching dough can be quite an effective mood changer. After kneading for 10 minutes cover the dough and leave aside for 1 hour. Make sure the dough is placed indoors in a warm spot.
3. After 1 hour the dough will have doubled its size. Punch the dough down to release the trapped air in the dough. Roll into a swiss roll…just like in my Roti recipe.
4. Cut into even pieces then flatten to form discs. Roll each disc into a 6cm diameter pita breads. Cover and leave aside for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
5. After 30 minutes turn up the heat to 250 degrees Celsius then bake the pitas. Turn after 2 minutes in the oven. Turn once more after another minute or two once the pita breads have risen.
6. Remove from oven. Serve as desired. Pita can be stored in the freezer. Simply defrost overnight in the fridge or heat in the oven as needed.