Pita Bread or Back Home Bread

By on August 13, 2013

Pita Bread or Back Home Bread

I can promise you guys, that after you make this easy homemade traditional Greek pita bread you will never want to buy the store bought.

You’ll need:
1 teaspoon of dry yeast
2 and a 1/2 cups of tepid water (25-30 degrees Celsius)
2 and a 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour (I used Atta flour because I had it lying around. Use any whole wheat flour you prefer.)
1 tablespoon of salt
1 and a half tablespoons of olive oil
2 and a 1/2 to 3 and a 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Stir the yeast and water together in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon and stirring in one direction, add the whole wheat flour, about a cup at a time; then stir 100 times, or until the mixture looks smooth and silky. This is the sponge that needs to rest covered with plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes, although it is best if it can rest longer, up to 8 hours in a cool place. I left it for 2 hours.

Sprinkle the salt over the sponge and then stir in the olive oil, mixing well, again stirring in the same direction. Add the all purpose flour a cup at a time, mixing until the dough is too stiff to mix with the spoon. Scrape into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be moderately firm and have a slight sheen.

Rinse the mixing bowl, dry it and coat it lightly with oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours or until it doubles in bulk.
Deflate the dough by kneading it briefly. Divide it in half and keep one half under plastic or a cloth while you work with the other. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and with the light floured cupped hands, form the pieces into tight balls; keep the balls under plastic while you work on the others. On a well floured surface, flatten the balls of dough into a circle 8 to 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4 inch thick. Cover, but do not stack the rolled out breads.

Bake in the oven. I used a pizza stone but you can also use a sheet pan. Preheat your oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
Place the dough on the preheated stone/sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes or until the breads resembles blown-up balloons. Don’t worry of you get seams or dry spots or less than full balloons; the bread will still taste good. As the breads come out of the oven, wrap them together in a large kitchen towel. Finish baking this batch of bread, roll out the remaining dough and continue baking.

Makes 16 pitas


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