Homemade Pita Bread Recipe

4.77 from 34 votes
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Making homemade pita bread is easier than you might expect. Once you try making this recipe at home, you may never go back to store-bought!

Recipe for pita bread. A few pita breads on a kitchen towel.


 

I love making homemade bread, you’ve probably seen my barbari, lavash and Turkish pide bread on the blog. This pita bread recipe is among my favorites. Whether I serve it with chicken gyro, beef shawarma, use it to make arayes, or turn it into pita chips to have with homemade hummus, this recipe always delivers.

Why this recipe works

We all have had those lovely pita pockets at Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants. I’m talking about those airy and light breads that are hollow in the middle and stuffed with all the good stuff. You’ve probably also tried the store bought ones, but let me tell you, nothing beats homemade pita!

I promise you that it’s much easier than you may be thinking. And it’s so much fun to make your own bread at home and have freshly baked bread with your meals, especially if you’re having a Mediterranean feast!

This homemade pita bread recipe is easy and makes eight pitas.

The ingredients

  • Flour: Quality flour makes all the difference. Both all purpose flour and bread flour would work for this recipe. Keep in mind that using any other flour such as gluten free or whole wheat flour would change the texture and the amount of liquid you need to use.
  • Yeast: I use instant yeast and add it directly to the flour. If you use active dry yeast, make sure to dissolve it in warm water with just a bit of sugar before adding it to the dry ingredients. Read about active dry yeast vs instant yeast on The Kitchn.
  • Olive oil: You can use regular or extra virgin olive oil.
  • Water: Water should be warm to touch, but not hot. If the water is too hot or too cold, the yeast won’t activate.

Instructions

Prepare the dough and let it rise

Place the flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to mix. Pour the olive oil and warm water into the bowl and start mixing on medium speed using the dough hook.

Once the dough has come together, shape it into a ball and place it a bowl. Cover with a towel and let it rise for one hour until it doubles in size.

Make the dough and let it rise for one hour until it doubles in size.

Pre-shape the dough

Place a pizza stone or a baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. Take the dough out of the bowl and divide it into eight pieces. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough balls rise for another 15 minutes. 

Deflate the dough gently and divide into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball.

Shape the dough

Take a dough ball while keeping the others under the towel and shape it into a ball. Then press gently with your fingers to make it into a round disk without tearing it or letting the air out. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out the dough until it’s no thicker than 1/4 inch.

To make this recipe, roll the dough out so it's no thicker than 1/4 inch.

Bake the bread

Place the rolled dough on the hot surface in the oven and bake for two minutes. The bread will start to puff. Flip and bake for another two minutes. Place the freshly baked pita on a plate and cover with a towel so it won’t dry. Continue with the remaining dough.

Serving suggestions

You can serve this classic middle eastern bread with every meal. Here are a few suggestions:

For dipping: Pita is a great addition to a mezze platter. It’s perfect for dipping in tzatziki sauce, melitzanosalata, spicy hummus, baba ganoush, labneh and muhammara.

Pockets and sandwiches: Pita pockets are perfect to serve with dishes such as beef shish kabob, shish tawook, chicken souvlaki, beef shawarma and chicken shawarma. With some toum, zhoug and pickled turnips, you can make a delicious sandwich or wrap. You can also make a vegetarian sandwich using Lebanese spicy potatoes (batata harra).

You can serve it with dips like hummus and baba ghanoush.

Making this bread crispy

Crispy pita bread is like Middle Eastern croutons! You can it in different salads, the most popular being fattoush salad, and it’s so easy to make:

  • Heat olive oil in a pan.
  • Tear the bread into bite size pieces.
  • Fry in the olive oil with some salt and sumac.
  • Place on paper towels to get rid of excess oil.

Freezing instructions

Place a large aluminum foil on the counter and place one pita on the aluminum foil. Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper and put it on top. Top with another bread and repeat the steps until you have a stack of pita bread with wax paper between each layer. Wrap tightly with the aluminum foil and freeze for up to two months.

To defrost, allow frozen bread to thaw properly in the fridge or at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Wrap a few pita breads in an aluminum foil and place it in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until they’re fully warm. Serve immediately.

A good pita is hollowed inside.

Frequently asked questions

How long will this bread last?

Homemade pita is best to serve and eat fresh, however, you can store it easily. Wrap them tightly in a plastic bag or store in an airtight ziploc bag and keep at room temperature for up to 2 days.

My pita is stale, what can I do with it?

You can turn it into pita chips. Follow my instructions to make delicious pita chips and serve with your favorite dip!

My pita got hard, is there a way to soften it again?

Sometimes this bread can get pretty hard if it hasn’t been stored properly, but you can still salvage it.  Just wrap the hardened bread in a damp towel and heat in the oven at 350°F for 7-10 minutes. It will come out super fresh and soft!

Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour?

I recommend sticking to the recipe to get perfect results. However, if you need to use whole wheat flour, I suggest using only one cup and use all purpose flour for the rest.

A delicious stack of pita bread freshly out of oven.

Notes and tips

  • Homemade pita bread must be baked on a hot surface. I always bake mine on a pizza stone, but a baking sheet would work very well too, just make sure it’s completely hot.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size after one hour, don’t punch it down. The dough needs the air to puff and be hollow in the middle. While rolling it out with a rolling pin, make sure you’re not pressing the rolling pin on the dough but simply rolling it on the dough without much pressure. However, even if the pita isn’t hollow in the middle, it will still be absolutely delicious!
  • I used a stand mixer with a dough hook to make the dough. However, I’ve tried making the dough in a large bowl and mixing by hand, which also yields great results. Use whichever method works for you!
  • This recipe yields 8 pita breads. I baked them one by one, rolling out one while waiting for the other one to bake. You can do two at a time if you like, but these don’t take much time to bake anyway.
A few pita breads on a surface with a kitchen towel on two of them.

More bread recipes

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4.77 from 34 votes

Homemade Pita Bread Recipe

Making homemade pita bread is easier than you might expect. Once you try making this bread at home, you may never go back to store-bought!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Rising: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 pita breads
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Ingredients 

  • 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil , extra virgin
  • 1 cup warm water

Instructions 

  • Put flour and yeast and sugar and salt in a stand mixer and mix. 
  • Then add olive oil and water. Mix until the dough is formed. It can be a little sticky. Add a little flour if needed. 
  • Cover and rest for 1 hour so the dough is doubled in size. Do not punch the dough down. 
  • Preheat the oven and a pizza stone to 500F. 
  • Divide the dough into eight pieces and cover for 15 minutes to rise. 
  • Take one dough ball and keep the rest covered. 
  • Use your fingers to shape the dough into a disk and don’t let the air out. Gently roll out the dough using a rolling pin. The disk shouldn’t be thicker than 1/4 inch. 
  • Place the rolled disk on the hot pizza stone (or baking sheet) and close the oven door. Let it bake for two minutes, it will puff. 
  • Flip the bread and bake for another two minutes. 
  • Place the baked pita bread on a plate and cover with a towel. 
  • Continue baking the remaining pita breads. 
  • Store tightly in a plastic bag. 

Notes

  • How to freeze pita bread: Place a large aluminum foil on the counter and place one pita bread on the aluminum foil. Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper and put it on the pita bread. Top with another pita bread and repeat the steps until you have a stack of pita bread with wax paper between each layer. Wrap tightly with the aluminum foil and freeze up to two months. 
  • How to reheat pita bread: Allow frozen pita to thaw properly in the fridge or at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350F. Wrap a few pita breads in an aluminum foil and place it in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until they’re fully warm. Serve immediately. 
  • Homemade pita bread must be baked on a hot surface. I always bake mine on a pizza stone, but a baking sheet would work very well too.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size after one hour, don’t punch it down. Pita dough needs the air to puff and be hollow in the middle. While rolling it out with a rolling pin, make sure you’re not pressing the rolling pin on the dough but simply rolling it on the dough without much pressure. However, even if the pita isn’t hollow in the middle, it will still be absolutely delicious!
  • You can use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast in this recipe. Read about active dry yeast vs instant yeast on The Kitchn.
  • I used a stand mixer with a dough hook to make pita bread dough. However, I’ve tried making the dough in a large bowl and mixing by hand, which also yields great results. Use whichever method works for you!
  • This recipe yields 8 pita breads. I baked them one by one, rolling out one while waiting for the other one to bake. You can do two at a time if you like, but these don’t take much time to bake anyway.

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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4.77 from 34 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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34 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe – exactly what I was looking for! I love hummus and needed some bread to eat it with and this pita bread recipe really hit the spot!

  2. 5 stars
    The bread turned out soft, fluffy, and full of flavor. It was surprisingly easy to make and tasted so much better than store-bought pita. I will definitely be making this again!

  3. 5 stars
    This fresh, homemade pita looks fabulous. It’s not as complicated to make as I thought it would be. I will be trying this recipe ASAP!

  4. 5 stars
    The 2nd attempt using this recipe worked like a charm. After procuring a pizza stone the oven end of the process turned out beautifully, nice puffy pitas very-very slightly browned. I also carefully used a tortilla press instead of hand rolling and found it to be much faster, cleaner and produced the more evenly shape/size pita I prefer. Using parchment discs on a cast iron press made lifting them free and easy to then move to the oven. Turns out it took me roughly 2 mins to press out a pita so in the time taken to cook 2 in the oven. My next 2 would be ready to go, so cooking tow at a time sped things up nicely. A good recipe. It’s one of Shadi’s that I’ve bookmarked. Thanks!

    1. Hi Scott! Thank you for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe! I love the idea of using a tortilla press and bet that would speed up things, might give it a try myself as well!