I'll admit, I've been on a bit of a baking kick this summer during quarantine. I've tried making everything from sourdough to naan, and there's something so satisfying about homemade bread fresh from the oven.
My most recent baking endeavor was homemade pita bread, one of my absolute favorite carbs. I followed this recipe from The Mediterranean Dish. The process was super straight-forward and the result was totally delicious. Here's a quick tutorial on how to make it at home (and you should definitely give it a try)!
You don't need any fancy ingredients or equipment to make this pita bread. All you need is whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, active dry yeast, granulated sugar, salt, and olive oil. I happened to have everything right in my pantry.
The first step is to make the sponge. Combine one cup of warm (not hot) water, yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cup of flour into a large mixing bowl. Whisk it all together and set to the side for about 15 minutes until the mixture looks foamy and smells like bread.
Now it's time to add the rest of the ingredients for the dough: the remainder of the flour, olive oil, and salt. Mix it all together until the dough is shaggy.
Next, knead the dough on a clean work space that's been dusted with a bit of flour. You don't want to overwork the dough, so knead it for about two minutes until it feels smooth. Let it rest for ten minutes and then knead for a minute or two more.
Next, leave the dough alone and let it rise. Coat the bottom of your mixing bowl in a tiny bit of olive oil to prevent the dough from sticking. Cover the dough tightly with a piece of plastic wrap and leave it for about an hour until it more or less doubles in size.
It's almost time to bake! But first, pre-heat your oven to 475 degrees F. Place a baking sheet, pizza stone, or Dutch oven on the bottom rack and let it get hot. While the oven heats up, begin shaping the pitas. Take the dough and punch it down, then divide the dough into eight equally sized pieces.
Work the eight pieces of dough into little balls and cover them with a damp dish towel to keep them moist. Working one piece of dough at a time, flatten the ball into circular disks. Keep the remaining pieces of dough under the moist dish towel.
Place the flattened piece of dough on your hot baking vessel. Let it bake for about two to three minutes. You'll notice the dough will begin to puff up. Then flip it over and bake for another two minutes. Remove from the oven and repeat for the other seven pieces of dough.
Store the pita in a lined basket or bowl until you're ready to eat. Then get ready to devour warm, chewy, fluffy, freshly baked pita that you made all by yourself!