Learn how to make the best pita bread recipe in the oven or on the stovetop with just 5 simple ingredients. This homemade pita recipe tastes authentic and is soft and puffy with the perfect pocket inside!
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The Easiest Homemade Pita Bread
There’s something about homemade bread that just can’t be beat. It’s super fresh and tastes absolutely delicious. This homemade pita bread is a favorite, as well as our naan bread, breadsticks, french bread and rosemary focaccia.
Homemade hummus and pita bread with fresh veggies is one of my favorite snacks. I was craving some last week, so I decided to make my own and it turned out so good! It was surprisingly very easy to make!
This recipe can be made 2 ways – in the oven or on the stove. I’ve found cooking it on the stove is easier, however it results in a more chewy pita bread. If you want a true authentic pita, I recommend cooking in the oven and lightly misting the dough with water just before it goes in. This will help the dough puff up and become crispy, light and airy.
Pita Bread Ingredients
What I love about this recipe is that it only takes 5 ingredients to make! If you’ve never worked with yeast before, don’t be intimidated. It’s super simple and straightforward to proof the yeast. I typically use active dry yeast in most of my bread recipes, so I just buy a big jar so that I always have it on hand.
- Active dry yeast
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Kosher or sea salt
- Olive oil
- Whole wheat flour: Adds flavor and color to the pita! Substitute half the amount of flour for whole wheat flour. You may need to add more water to make your dough smooth.
- Seasonings: While not traditional, dried herbs like rosemary, thyme or oregano can add some flavor to compliment the dish you are serving pita alongside.
How to Make Pita Bread
There are 2 ways to make this homemade pita bread recipe from scratch. You can either make it in the oven or on the stove. Cooking it in the oven will result in a more airy and crispy bread, while the stove top method will result in a thicker, chewy texture.
- Make yeast mixture and let sit. Combine warm water, active dry yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup flour and let sit for 10 minutes, or until it has puffed up.
- Knead the dough, then let rise. Mix in olive oil and salt, then stir in remaining flour. Once it’s hard to stir, begin to knead with your hands (can also use electric mixer with dough hook). Continue kneading for 3-5 minutes, then form dough into ball and lightly cover with oil. Place in a bowl and cover with clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Divide into 8 pieces and let rise again. Punch down the dough and divide into eight pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and cover with a damp paper towel for 10-15 minutes.
- Roll into circles. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out one piece of dough at a time into a circle about 1/8″ thick.
How to Cook in Oven
Place a pizza stone or cast iron skillet on the 2nd to bottom rack. Preheat oven to 475°F. When oven is hot, add 1-2 rolled out circles onto the pan. Close and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bread has puffed up with large bubbles. Flip and cook 1 more minute.
Brush 1/2 teaspoon oil onto a large cast iron skillet and heat over medium-heat. Once the pan is hot, place rolled out dough on top and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Once it has puffed up with large bubbles, flip and cook for 1 more minute. Remove to a plate and cover with a towel.
- Preheat baking stone or cast-iron: The dough coming into contact with the hot surface traps steam inside the pita and causes it to puff up.
- Fresh ingredients: Always ensure your flour and yeast are not expired.
- Flour your counter: If your dough sticks to the counter and tears while rolling, it may cause steam to escape while baking and puff properly.
- Pita size: Aim for 4-6 inches in width as larger pita sizes are harder to get perfectly flat.
- Keep warm: Once the bread is cooked, store in a tortilla warmer or in a warm towel until ready to serve.
Pita Bread Serving Suggestions
Homemade pita tastes great as a side to many dishes including my chicken tikka masala recipe. Here are some other ways I love to serve it:
- With dips: Pita bread tastes amazing served on a big Mezze platter with hummus or dill dip. We also love to dip in lemon tahini dressing!
- Salads: Mediterranean salad or cucumber tomato salad.
- Wrap: Make an authentic Greek wrap, such as a chicken gyro with tzatziki sauce.
- Pita pocket: Slice in half and stuff the pocket with your favorite fillings, such as chicken salad.
- Pizza: We love to make pita pizzas! Add your favorite toppings and bake in oven until crispy and melted, about 5-8 minutes.
- Pita chips: Homemade pita chips are so yummy! Check out this easy homemade pita chips recipe.
If you pita did not get puffy while baking your oven or skillet were not hot enough. You may want to check your oven temp with a thermometer.
You must cover the pita bread with a damp towel after rolling the dough balls into disks to prevent drying as well as cover it with a dry towel after it is cooked.
You might not have rolled it out thin enough. Aim for your dough to be rolled out to only 1/8 inch thick.
Yes, this should work and is a great solution if you would like a no knead option! You will need to use instant yeast as that is best for bread machines and then add ingredients in this order, salt, sugar, flour, yeast, water. Salt will activate the yeast, so layering it this way prevents that. Set the machine to dough setting and when done, let it proof for around 20-30 minutes right in the machine. Then shape and proceed with preferred cooking option!
Both pita and naan are leavened with yeast and appear similar but there are differences! Pita bread is circular and thin while naan has a thicker oval-shape. Naan is also typically made with dairy components such as yogurt and eggs which gives it a softer and more dense texture. Pita bread on the other hand doesn’t contain any dairy so it is slightly crispier and light.Flatbread is a term given to any type of bread that is flat, so that will include both pita and naan!
Storage and Freezer Instructions
This bread is best served warm and fresh. If there is extra, you can save it in an airtight container or bag at room temperature for 1-2 days. It also freezes well too.
Place in a zip top freezer bag with a piece of parchment in between each piece (so that they don’t stick together). Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, simply reheat in a damp towel.
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Pita Bread Recipe
- Combine the warm water, active dry yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup flour and let sit for 10 minutes, or until it has puffed up.
- Mix in the olive oil and salt. Then stir in the remaining flour. Once it becomes to hard to stir, start to knead with your hands. You may also use an electric mixer with a dough hook. Knead for 3-5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and lightly cover with oil. Place in a bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm place, or until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and divide the dough into eight pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and then cover with a damp paper towel for 10 minutes.
- Roll out one piece of dough at a time on a lightly floured surface. Roll or press into an circle about 1/8" thick.
Cooking in oven:
- Place a pizza stone or cast iron skillet on the 2nd to bottom rack. Preheat oven to 475°F. Once the oven is hot, add 1-2 rolled out circles onto the pan. Close the oven and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until it has puffed up with large bubbles. Flip and cook an additional minute.
Cooking on stove:
- Brush about 1/2 teaspoon oil onto a large cast iron skillet. Heat over medium heat. Place rolled out dough onto the pan once it's hot and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Once it has puffed up with large bubbles, flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove to a plate and cover with a towel.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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