Many pita bread recipes call for oil or sugar. While these may make the dough easier to work with, and certainly sweeter, we’re trying to cut back on those ingredients. Others claim to be whole wheat, but rely on a mixture of white flour and whole wheat. You can certainly use a 50-50 mix of those flours in this recipe, but I went with the organic whole wheat flour that I prefer.
The recipe may look long but the steps are SO simple that it’s a great one for beginning bakers to start with. It’s so easy, in fact, that I can get my kitchen-wary teenage son to help out… although his willingness might also have to do with his love of eating freshly-baked pita chips. But here, let me show you what I mean.
Homemade Whole Wheat Pita Bread Recipe
Serves: 10 pita
- 3-4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 1¼ cups warm water (120-130F degrees)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- In bowl of stand mixer (or large bowl), combine water and yeast. Allow yeast to grow foamy. (About 5 minutes.)
- Using low-speed (or a large wooden spoon) stir 2 cups of flour and salt into the watery yeast.
- While continually mixing or stirring, gradually add more flour until the dough just begins to leave the sides of the bowl. You may not need all the flour the recipe calls for! (I only needed 3 cups, but my flour is very fresh.)
- Once the dough cleans the side of the bowl, switch to the kneading hook (or turn the dough out onto a floured board). Knead for 4 minutes using a machine, 8 minutes by hand, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- If you've used the stand mixer, turn the dough onto a floured board now.
- Form the dough into a long, thick log. With a sharp knife, cut the log into 10 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a 6-inch circle about ¼ an inch thick. Keep both your rolling-pin and the board floured so the dough doesn't stick. As with all doughs, be gentle with it: you don't want to flatten the air bubbles too much or you'll wind up with dense pita.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour the paper or sprinkle with cornmeal.
- Preheat the oven to 500F. Move a rack to the lowest position in the oven.
- Place the dough circles on the lined baking sheet and cover with a thin towel. Let rise 30 minutes, until they're slightly raised. (They won't double.)
- Before putting the pita in the oven, carefully flip each one over. Use a spatula so you aren't pinching the edges (which will keep the pita from puffing and forming a pocket).
- Bake on the bottom oven rack for 5-6 minutes. They will puff as they cook.
- Remove immediately from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool. (They'll soften as they cool.)
If you’d like flavored pita, add herbs and spices when you’re kneading the dough. Some ideas
• Chopped, fresh rosemary
• Garlic powder and Italian seasonings
• Onion powder and basil
• Or the powder from this homemade ranch dressing mix.
To make pocket sandwiches, slice the pita in half and gently pry them open with the tip of your knife or your fingers. Carefully smear inside of pocket with your favorite sauce or condiment, then gently stuff.
This homemade whole wheat pita bread recipe stays fresh in air-tight containers for 2-4 days. To freeze, wrap them twice in plastic wrap then pop them into a freezer container for up to 3 months.
Equipment I Used To Make This: