You might think - 'Oh I don't have time for that!' but trust me this is super easy to make. After having made these now for about 6 months I would never go back to buying store bought pitas!
I found that the best taste comes from allowing the dough to sit overnight to proof or even longer - whatever suits your lifestyle. I
have even halved the recipe - except use the same amount of dry yeast!
The results are just as good - but the batch is
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
1-2 teaspoons salt
240 mls/16 ounces water
7 grams/.25 ounce yeast
800-940 grams/27.5-32.5 ounces flour (1 cup of flour = 145 grams/5 ounces)
For this recipe do not use any stainless steel utensils, that means no metal spoons, bowls, measuring cups, or the like. I've found using them leaves a metallic taste in the dough - not sure why but am passing on the tip.
Mix together using a wooden spoon in a glass or pottery/crockery bowl - the warm water, yeast, sugar and two cups of the flour. Cover the sponge with plastic wrap and then leave for at least 8 hours if not a bit longer. This is the basic sponge for the pitas.
Heat the oven to 500 degrees F or 260 C. In a food processor place the salt and the rest of the flour - I put in 3 1/2 cups and then slowly add more as it is mixing. I then let it mix for 3-5 minutes - depending on the feel of it. If you do this by hand then you'll just be kneading it till it forms a smooth elastic ball - about 5-10 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes. I then grab a small handful and roll it into a ball and then flatten it all the while rolling it in flour. I then roll it out to the familiar shape.
Don't worry they won't look the same as the kind you see in the store. If you like them crispy then roll them out thin, if you like a more doughy
texture then leave them rather thick. I then take the dough and pat off the excess flour - but not all of it.
If you have a pizza stone place it on the bottom of the oven - if not then use baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Have a rack in the middle of the oven. Place your pitas directly onto the pizza stone when the oven is fully heated. If using baking sheets then place them on the bottom of the oven. Close the door and leave it closed for 1 1/2 minutes - do not peek!! The dough needs this
certain time to form the pocket. After this time you can move the pitas to the rack and continue to cook until your desired colour is achieved. I like mine a bit darker than others - but everyone can decide this on their own. The usual time is 3-7 minutes depending on how thick you have made them. They will puff up and look like little pillows - be careful as this is steam!
Remove when cooked and allow to cool slightly - then enjoy them while they are warm. You can also add herbs to the recipe if you like as well.
I've tried some pureed garlic, parsley, cilantro (coriander), all with good results. The recipe is only limited by your imagination!
The full recipe makes about 16 normal size pitas - a half recipe makes about 8 or so. It all depends on how big you make them, etc. I also make a few and place the dough in a plastic zip lock bag in the fridge.
The dough will continue to rise so don't be alarmed! Just knock it back and it will keep for about a week like that. Anything more than that and it begins to taste very yeasty again.
Revised: 26 July 2003.