As someone who grew up in Indonesia, I never came across pita bread until I came to the States in the summer of 2011. I don’t think I liked it much the first time; I was a little thrown off by the flat, circular, pocket-bread that it is. However, time passed and I grew to love it! I love how I can put anything on top of it, treating the pita bread like crackers while still having the feel of bread. I also love how I can eat it with any kind of dips as a snack (I associate snacking with dipping—probably not the most accurate), and still count it as a meal.

Despite all the wonders that pita bread is and can create, I never thought of making it from scratch. For some reason, I put pita bread under the category of “things that should just be bought at the grocery store.” And then the kitchn—the most fabulous website ever—gave me the recipe of pita bread that seemed very easy. And it worked! I changed a couple of things though: I switched all-purpose flour to white whole wheat and decrease the amount of flour used. The pita bread that comes out is very fluffy and chewy, with that nutty undertone from the white whole wheat flour. Doesn’t that just sound wonderful?

 

VL Pita Bread

Pita Bread
Makes 4 big rounds

Ingredients:
1 c. lukewarm water (not hot or boiling)
2 tsp. active dry or instant yeast
2½ c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt

Directions:
1 .     Mix the water and yeast together, and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until yeast is dissolved (will look like miso soup). Add 2¼ cups of the flour and stir it until it forms a shaggy dough.
2.      Pull the dough out onto a surface, and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes while slowly working in the rest of the flour. It is better to use too little flour than too much. The dough should end up being smooth and elastic.
3.      Cover the dough with the mixing bowl, and let it rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours or until it doubles in bulk.
4.      Gently deflate the dough and divide it into four equal pieces. Shape them into flat balls, and then roll out each piece of dough to form a thin disc.
5.      Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with a cookie sheet inside. When the oven is heated, carefully put the disc-shaped dough on your hand, one at a time, and flip it onto the hot cookie sheet in the oven. Bake for about 3 minutes.

Note:

  • Make sure that both the cookie sheet and the oven are hot enough! This is what makes sure the pita bread will puff up. However, pitas that don’t puff up are delicious too, so no worries if it doesn’t work out the first time!

– Veronica