Pita bread



3 cupsflour (preferably at least half all purpose)
1 1/2 tspsalt
1 tbspsugar or honey
1 packet (2tsp)yeast
1.25 to 1.5 cupwater
2 tbspolive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening


  1. If using active dry yeast, activate it according to its instructions
  2. Mix yeast, flour, salt, sugar
  3. Add olive oil, 1 1/4 cup water, and mix (with a mixer or spoon)
  4. The ingredients should form a cohesive ball; if not, slowly add more water (should only need up to 1/4 cup more; be very careful!)
  5. Knead for about 10 minutes, or mix with a dough hook on a slower speed for 10 minutes.
  6. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl (~1 tsp oil), roll it about to coat, then place a damp towel over the bowl and let rise for 90 minutes. To aid with rising, place the bowl in the (cold) oven, with a second bowl of hot, steaming water under it. The water bowl will heat the oven to a nice warmish temperature that the yeast will like.
  7. Punch the dough down, divide it into 8 pieces, roll into balls, and cover with a damp towel for 20 minutes
  8. Preheat oven to 450F, with a baking stone inside. A cast iron skillet will work in a pinch. A baking sheet will also work, though nowhere near as well (and you may not want to preheat the oven with a baking sheet in it)
  9. Roll the dough balls out into dough circles. They should be between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. If they don’t flatten enough, cover with a damp towel for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Optionally, spray your cooking surface with water, then close the oven for 30 seconds. Do this between batches as well.
  11. Bake pitas for 3 minutes each; they should puff up while in the oven, leaving a pocket in the middle. You can take them out after they puff up but just before they brown, or just after, or even let them get slightly crispy. If you want to make chips, take them out after 3 minutes, deflate and cut them, season them, and then put them back in, preferably on a rimmed baking sheet (follow the pita chips recipe)


  1. The original recipe called for 3 minutes at 400; I found that left them doughy, and they didn’t puff well. I like to do about 3 minutes at 450, or possibly even 500. This recipe may need adjustment and experimentation for your particular oven.

    It’s also possible to do this on the grill. Just don’t leave them very long at all (again, only 3 minutes or so total, though you’ll probably want to flip them after 1.5).

    If doing this in the oven, you really should use a baking stone. The stone retains heat between batches better, and transfers it more effectively to the bread. A cast iron skillet will be okay, and still has heat retaining properties. A thin baking sheet will work, but not very well.

    If they didn’t puff up, you might not have rolled them flat enough, or they may not have risen enough (did you activate the yeast? Did you expose it to overly hot or overly cold water? Did you follow the advice for rising the dough in the oven?) As long as the stone is hot, and the pitas flat enough, they should puff up like little pillows without fail.