Pita is a round pocket bread widely consumed in Middle Eastern cuisine. The “pocket” in the pita bread is created by steam witch puffs up the dough and it is used to scoop sauces and dips such as hummus and to wrap kebabs, köfte or falafel.
For the pita bread to puff up, it needs to be baked just for 2 or 3 minutes (only on one side) at a very high temperature: at least 230°C.
I have an authentic Lebanese recipe so I warn you, it takes time and patience to make the perfect Lebanese pita bread.
For 4 servings/ 12 pita bread you need:
- 500 gr. wheat flour;
- 8 gr. dried yeast;
- 2 tbs olive oil;
- 300 ml lukewarm water;
- 1 tsp salt.
- a pinch of sugar.
In a bowl, mix the dried yeast with a pinch of sugar and 200 ml of lukewarm water. Set aside for 10 minutes in a warm place or at room temperature
In 10 minutes the mixture should rise and make bubbles. Add 100 gr. of flour and 1 tbs of olive oil. Mix well (you don’t need any lumps in your mixture), cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Now it’s time to complete the dough. Add 100 ml of lukewarm water, the rest of the flour (400 gr) and the salt. Mix together and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Brush the dough with 1 tbs olive oil, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rise for 1 hour and a half (at room temperature).
Now, divide the dough in 12 parts, cover with a damp cloth (or a plastic film) and let it stand for 15 minutes.
With a rolling pin flatten each ball into a 2-3 mm thick sheet. Sprinkle flour on the surface, cover with a damp cloth and let it stand for another 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven at 230°C. Put parchment paper into your oven tray. Sprinkle with water and bake one pita at a time, no more than 2-3 minutes (depending on your type of oven)!
Do not flip the pita on the other side, this type of pita bread is baked only on one side.
Don’t let them stand too long in the oven because you will have a crunchy biscuit instead of a pita bread.
When the steam puff up your bread it’s time to get it out of the oven!
As you get them out of the oven cover them in a cloth to stay warm.
You can serve them with any dip or they can be wrapped around any kind of meat: köfte, kebaps, falafel.
I’ve served them with homemade hummus, adana kebap, pickled olives, onion salad with sumac, tabbouleh and roasted pepper salad.
This is a recipe that takes a lot of time and patience but the result will not be disappointing.