Making homemade pita bread is easy and requires just a few ingredients. Once you try making pita bread at home, you may never go back to store-bought!
I love making homemade bread and this pita bread recipe is among my favorites. Whether I serve it with chicken gyro or kofta kebab, or turn it into pita chips to have with homemade hummus, this pita bread recipe always delivers.
Homemade pita bread is the best!
We all have had those lovely pita pockets at Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants. I’m talking about those airy and light pita breads that are hollow in the middle and stuffed with all the good stuff. You’ve probably also tried the store bought pitas, which are usually not as good as fresh ones.
That’s why I started making pita bread at home and I promise you it’s much easier that 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 is you’re having a Mediterranean feast!
Like many other breads, you need some basic ingredients to make homemade pita bread:
- All purpose flour: Quality flour makes all the difference. You can also use bread flour if that’s what you have on hand.
- 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.
- Sugar: Regular granulated sugar works just fine for this recipe.
- Olive oil
- Warm water
By following a few simple steps, you can have freshly baked pita bread on the table in no time and say goodbye to the store bought versions.
Prepare the dough and let it rise
Place flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to mix. Pour 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 doubled in size.
Preshape 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 the kitchen towel and let it rise for another 15 minutes.
Shape the dough
Take one pita dough while having the others under the towel and shape it into a ball and then press gently with your fingers 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.
Bake the pita bread
Place the rolled pita 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 bread on a plate and cover with a towel so it won’t dry. Continue with the remaining dough.
You can serve this easy pita bread with every meal. Here are a few suggestions:
For dipping: Pita is great for dipping in tzatziki sauce, spicy hummus, baba ganoush and muhammara. Pockets and sandwiches: Pita pockets are perfect to serve with chicken dishes such as shish tawook and chicken souvlaki and chicken shawarma.
How long does pita bread last?
Homemade pita bread is best to serve and eat fresh. However, you can store it easily. Wrap pita breads 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 the instructions here to make delicious pita chips and serve with your favorite dip!
Crispy pita bread for salads
Crispy pita bread is like Middle Eastern croutons! You can serve them in different salads, the most popular being fattoush salad, and it’s so easy to make them:
- Heat olive oil in a pan.
- Tear the pita 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.
Can I freeze pita bread?
You absolutely can! 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 for up to two months.
To defrost pita bread, Allow frozen pita to thaw properly in the fridge or at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°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.
How to soften hard pita bread
Sometimes pita bread can get pretty hard if it hasn’t been stored properly, but you can still salvage it. Just wrap the hardened pita 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!
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.
- 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.
Homemade Pita Bread Recipe
- 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
- 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.