Soft & delicious homemade pita bread. These puffy little pillows are ready from start to finish in less than 1 hour & taste so much better than store bought varieties!
(This recipe was originally published on Aug 25th 2015 but has since been updated with new photographs and ingredient weights for accuracy).
I have been making my own bread for as long as I can remember but my usual pita bread recipe involves lots of kneading, resting and proving and although the end result is amazing I realize that most people don’t have the time or the patience for this. I decided that I wanted to simplify the process and come up with a Quick & Easy Homemade Pita Bread recipe that could be made from start to finish in under one hour.
The resulting pita breads are so easy to make and pretty quick as far as bread-making goes. Don’t let the fact you need to use yeast put you off. It’s not as scary as it sounds and the results are so worth the effort.
These quick and easy homemade pita breads taste so much better than store bought varieties and make a perfect accompaniment to falafel, hummus, and other dips. They also split easily so can be stuffed.
When you make these Quick & Easy Homemade Pita Breads, be sure to watch them for the five minutes that they are in the oven. They puff up dramatically within a few minutes and it is great to see this happen. If you have children helping you to make this recipe then they will love to watch them through the oven door.
When they are done and you remove them from the oven you will have little puffy pillow like pita breads. They deflate as they cool and end up resembling pita breads as you see in the store, only they taste so much better! Cover them with a clean dish towel while they cool to keep them nice and soft.
If you make these Quick & Easy Homemade Pita Breads I would love it if you could let me know how it went in the comments section below. You could even take some photos then tag me on Instagram @avirtualvegan and add the hashtag #avirtualvegan so I don’t miss them! I would love to see your pictures!
Quick & Easy Pita Bread
- 325g | 2 cups wholewheat flour , strong wholemeal in the UK
- 165g | 1 cup all purpose flour , strong white flour in the UK
- 2.5 teaspoons instant yeast , or quick yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional - see recipe notes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional - see recipe notes)
- 405mls | 1½ cups + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water , not hot and not cold
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl, making sure to keep the salt on the opposite side to the yeast.
- Add the olive oil and enough of the water to make a firm dough. I used 405 mls of water. You might not need all of it or you might need a few drops more. It depends on the flour you are using, humidity etc.
- Stir well with a spatula until the flour is absorbed and you have a shaggy dough.
- If the mixture looks a little dry add a few more drops of water very gradually.
- Scrape your mixture onto a clean and dry surface. If you think you will find kneading like this difficult then grease your surface and your hands with some olive oil. This will make it easier to handle. Try not to use more flour to knead on or add more flour during the process. If you do you risk your pita bread becoming dense and tough.
- Start kneading. If you are not experienced in kneading dough I recommend you watch a video of how to knead to help perfect your technique. You will need to knead for 7 - 10 minutes. Your dough will start out a little bit sticky but the more you knead the smoother and less sticky it will become. The dough is firm so quite hard to knead. That is normal. Keep going until it feels smooth and when it is in a ball shape and you squeeze it together on each side, it bounces slowly back to shape when you let go.
- Divide your dough into 8 pieces.
- Roll each piece out into a circle or oval shape about 3mm thick.
- Place on a lightly floured baking sheet (you will probably need 2 baking sheets ) and cover gently with clean, damp dish towels.
- Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F whilst you are waiting.
- After 30 minutes uncover your pitas and gently flip each one over. You will need to peel them off the tray but this should be pretty easy to do because of the flour underneath.
- Place into the hot oven and watch through the door (it's entertaining ;o)
- Bake for 5 - 6 minutes. They will have puffed up nicely but not be coloured at all.
- When you remove from the oven they may feel a little hard but cover with a dish towel and leave to cool and they will soften up.
These Quick & Easy Pita Breads keep well for a couple of days but can also be frozen. Place in a freezer bag and seal tightly. They do not stick together and it is easy to just pull one or two out as they are needed.
You can either let them defrost if you want to eat them cold or pop them straight in the oven from frozen on 350 for about 5 minutes or until they are warm through.
The salt in this recipe is optional. It will not affect the recipe if you omit it but it will affect the flavour a little.
The oil in this recipe is optional. If you omit it then add an extra tablespoon of water to compensate. If you are not worried about the fat content or calories then please add the oil as you will get a softer result. If you do not add the oil the recipe will work just fine but the pita bread won’t be quite as soft and will stale slightly quicker than it would if it had oil in it. Because of this if you don’t add the oil and you won’t eat them all on the day or day after they are baked then keep them in the freezer as per my note above.