Homemade Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Everyone who has blogged about homemade pitas has proclaimed their loveliness and the fact that they will no longer purchase them from the store. Add me to that list. The store-bought ones seem just a little stale in a side-by-side comparison (I had just purchased some but decided to make them instead). You really cannot beat freshly baked bread products. But those store-bought ones won’t go to waste – they are perfect for making pita chips!

I also substituted whole wheat flour for most of the flour called for in the original recipe (I try to eat whole wheat whenever possible). Definitely will be making these pitas again, and often. Who knows, maybe I’ll make a pita pizza ;-).

Ingredients:

2 cups 100% whole wheat flour

1 cup flour

1-1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp honey

1 packet yeast

1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups water, roughly at room temperature

2 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and 1-1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water.
  2. Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes.
  3. When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.
  4. When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces. (I used a kitchen scale to ensure they were all about the same size.) Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it’ll be easier to shape.
  5. After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick – 6 inches in diameter. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.
  6. Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet (I used parchment paper) and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.
  7. While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.
  8. Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface (I made 2 at a time on my baking stone). They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn’t necessary (I baked mine for about 4 minutes each).

Source: Adapted slightly from Brown Eyed Baker

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