I am not a fan of grocery store pitas. They are dry and remind me a bit of cardboard, which I why I never by them. When I saw these homemade pitas over at Annie’s Eats I knew that this might be the start of my pita eating. They looked soft and delicious, and I had a recipe in mind to use them with so I gave it a go. I adapted the recipe and method slightly, and they came out beautifully.
2¼ tsp yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 1/4 cups warm water
1- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 c. warm water, 1 tbsp honey, and 2 1/4 tsp yeast. Allow to proof (get bubbly) for about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), mix together yeast mixture, 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, 1/4 c. whole wheat flour, and salt. Cover and let stand until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
Add in the rest of the warm water (3/4 c.), 1/4 c. olive oil, whole wheat flour (1 1/4 c.), and some of the all-purpose flour (about 1/2 c. to start with but add more as you go along). Mix together with a dough hook (if you don’t have a stand mixer you can stir by hand) and knead (either by hand or with the dough hook) until the dough is smooth and isn’t too sticky, about 5 minutes. If is sticks to the bottom of the bowl add in small amounts of all-purpose flour until it is the correct consistency. Err on the side of a bit sticky rather than adding too much flour and have the dough be super stiff.
After kneading, allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Once dough has risen, punch down and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 9 equal pieces and flatten and stretch each out to a circle about 6-7 inches across. Place flattened discs on a floured surface (make sure you have enough flour on the counter to keep them from sticking), cover with a towel, and let them rise for 30 minutes (to make them puffy).
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a lightly greased cookie sheet (not an air bake sheet), place as many pitas (in one layer) as you can on the sheet. I got 3 pitas on mine. I used my dough scraper to get my pitas off the counter and transfer them to the baking sheet so as not to smash or tear them. Put the pitas in the oven and bake for 3 minutes. After 3 mintues flip the pitas over and cook on the other side for 3 minutes. They should be golden brown on each side. Remove and stack pitas on a plate and reload the pan, repeating the baking until all the pitas are done. Once the pitas are past the point of being super hot and just warm on the plate, cover with a towel to keep them from drying out.
Pitas will keep in a seal container for 3-4 days. (We ate all of ours in a couple days so I didn’t have a chance to test their longevity.) I would guess that they would freeze well if you wanted to save some for later. We turned our pitas into Chicken Gyros and they were absolutely delicious!