Fun, delicious, and a bit magical
We all love fresh pita bread. Nothing quite like it. It pairs very well–no, it’s a necessity–with oven roasted shawarma and hummus tehina. I love the pita recipe from Yvonne Ruperti on Serious Eats. It’s a lot of fun to make too.
- 1 cup warm water, 105–110°F
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Combine water, oil, sugar, yeast, salt, and whole wheat flour with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in all-purpose flour until the mixture comes together. It will be shaggy looking.
2. At low speed in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, knead until the dough is very elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes. You can knead by hand – at least 10 minutes.
3. Form dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Lightly oil a clean mixing bowl and place dough inside, then rub oiled hands over the top of the dough. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
4. Punch down the dough, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, and cut into 6 even pieces, forming each piece into a ball. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
5. Roll each piece of dough into about a 7-inch circle, no more than 1/4 inch thick, taking care not to tear dough. Try to keep the thickness even all around. Place dough disks on a lightly floured surface, cover with a damp towel for about 30 minutes. They should become slightly puffy.
6. While the dough circles are resting and puffing up slightly, place a baking steel or cast iron skillet on the top oven rack and preheat oven to 500°F. Line a plate with a large, clean kitchen towel and set aside.
7. Working with as many pitas as will fit on the steel at once, pick up each pita and place on the steel, top-side down (if using a cast iron skillet, bake one pita at a time). Immediately close the oven door and bake until pitas have puffed and are slightly golden around the edges, about 3 minutes. Don’t over-bake.
8. Place baked pitas onto towel-lined plate and wrap with the overhanging towel. Repeat with any remaining pitas.
9. For an extra charred finish, heat a cast iron skillet on the stovetop over high heat until smoking. Working with one pita at a time, briefly heat each side until charred in a few spots, about 30 seconds. Return pita to towel and cover. Repeat with remaining pitas and serve immediately.