Pita bread. Its one of those things when I started blogging that I never imagined I’d make myself. But now its one of those things I can’t imagine ever buying again! Homemade bread is always better than store bought, but seriously — fresh, piping hot pita bread can’t be beat! The directions say let cool?? Yea, that’s a suggestion not a requirement. Burning your mouth on hot out of the oven pita bread is worth it
Seriously though the thing I love best about Pita bread is that the dough is ridiculously easy to throw together, and personal favorite part is that they’re done in under 5 minutes! I’m impatient. Regular bread, however delicious, takes forever! Pita bread provides more instant gratification which is good for those of us who are impatient
These make great pizza crusts as well! Follow the freezer tip and pull a couple out when you’re hungry for pizza, top them off with your favorite fresh pizza toppings and bake for ~15 minutes at 375°F and you’ve got a delicious quick dinner. You can even freeze them preassembled and simply bake them straight out of the freezer! One of our favorite quick and easy weeknight dinners!
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Yields: 8 (6 inch) pita loaves
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/4 cups warm water (105–115°F)
1 1/2 cups bread flour or high-gluten flour, plus additional for kneading
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheets
Combine yeast, honey, and 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (Discard if mixture doesn’t foam. Start over with new yeast.)
While yeast mixture stands, stir wheat flour and bread flour together in another bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup flour mixture into yeast mixture until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Stir in oil, salt, remaining 3/4 cup warm water, and remaining 2 1/2 cups flour mixture until a dough forms.
Knead dough on a floured surface; working in just enough additional flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough and cut into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten 1 ball, then roll out into a 6 1/2- to 7-inch round on floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer round a baking sheet lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Repeat process for remaining 7 pieces, arranging each round on baking sheets. Loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Set oven rack in middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 500°F.
Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, directly onto oven rack. Bake until just puffed and pale golden, about 2-3 minutes. Turn over with tongs and bake an additional minute. Cool pitas on a cooling rack 2 minutes, then stack and wrap loosely in a kitchen towel to keep pitas warm. Repeat with remaining pitas. Serve warm.
Freezer Tip: Pitas can be baked 1 week ahead and cooled completely, then frozen, wrapped well in foil in a sealed plastic bag. Thaw before reheating, wrapped in foil, 10 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven.
Source: Adapted from Gourmet, May 2003