Nothing compares to freshly baked, quick and easy homemade pita bread. It's soft and puffy, with a perfect pocket every single time. AND it's surprisingly so easy to make, requiring just 15 minutes of actual work. Once you make your own pita bread, you will never go back to stale and dry store-bought pitas again.
You can enjoy this Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean staple flatbread in under 2 hours, since it does need some time to rise. It takes just 5 minutes to bake pita bread in the oven or on the stovetop. Watch them puff up before your very eyes.
Ingredients in Homemade Pita Bread
Like most breads, to make pita bread you need the following staples:
- all-purpose flour
- instant yeast - ready to use right away, and takes less time to prep than using active dry yeast.
- salt - for flavour.
- sugar - helps the dough rise faster.
- olive oil - adds fat content to make the rolls fluffier and softer. Adding olive oil is not a common ingredient in other types of breads.
How to Make the Best Homemade Pita Bread
- Prepare the dough. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, instant yeast, salt and sugar and mix evenly. Add water and olive oil. Mix well with a spatula to combine until a shaggy dough ball is formed.
- Knead the dough. Transfer the dough onto a clean and lightly greased surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth, pliable and non-sticky. Cover dough with a large bowl, upside down on top, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then knead the dough again for about 2-3 minutes until the dough ball is smooth and supple. Cover and let the dough rest in a large bowl for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
- Shape and divide the dough. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a log and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or cling wrap to prevent dough from drying. Take one piece at a time and shape each piece into a smooth ball. Cover and let them rest for 30 minutes. Use a rolling pin to flatten each ball into a 6-inch circle (approximately). Set on a lightly floured surface, cover with a towel and let pitas rest for about 10 minutes.
- Cook the pitas. You can bake them in the oven or you can cook them in a pan on top of the stove.
- To bake in the oven: Preheat the baking tray inside the oven at 450 F. Bake the pita bread (4 pitas at a time) for 5 minutes.
- To cook on a pan: Brush some olive oil on a skillet and preheat on medium high heat for 3 minutes. Place one pita at a time onto the hot pan and cook for 3 minutes until the pita begins to puff up and the bottom has brown spots and blisters. Flip the pita and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Cool down. Transfer the pitas onto a wire cooling rack and allow them to cool down for 10 minutes.
FAQ and Tips for Making Pitas
- Can I use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast? Absolutely. If you use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, combine yeast, sugar and water first before adding flour and let it sit for 5 minutes to activate the dry yeast.
- How do I know if the dough is well-kneaded? A well-kneaded dough should be smooth and bounces back quickly when poked with your finger. If the indentation doesn’t bounce back right away and stays like a dimple, continue kneading for a few more minutes.
- What is the texture of the dough like? With the olive oil present in this recipe, the dough should be a bit sticky in the beginning. After a few minutes of kneading, the dough will turn smooth and not sticky. By lightly oiling your hands when kneading, it will help keep the dough from sticking to your hands at first.
- How do I store pita bread? Store the pitas for up to 3 days in an airtight sealed zip-loc bag at room temperature to prevent them from drying out. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight bag.
How to Serve Pita Bread
My favourite way to serve pita bread is in a Greek gyro pita wrap stuffed with souvlaki chicken, greek salad, and tzatziki sauce. I also like to cut the pitas into wedges and dip them into some fresh homemade hummus or baba ganoush dip. You can use these to make any kind of sandwich or wrap. Turkey pinwheels are also really great with this bread.
More Bread Recipes
- Quick Dinner Bread Rolls with Green Onions
- Easy Homemade Everything Bagels
- Homemade No Knead French Baguettes
- Easy Small Batch Ciabatta Rolls
- Garlic Naan Flatbread (coming soon!)
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.