Homemade pita bread is surprisingly easy to make. It’s a simple yeast dough left to rise briefly. And it bakes up into deliciously puffy pita pockets. They are perfect for dunking into dips or spreads or for stuffing full of sandwich fillings.
I may have made a big mistake as a mother by leading my son to believe that it’s perfectly normal to come home from school on a Wednesday afternoon to find a fresh batch of homemade pita bread cooling in the kitchen.
He is going to either be sorely disappointed when he grows up and discovers that most living situations don’t provide freshly baked bread on a weekly basis or he’ll be the type of guy to whip up his own bread once a week, only time will tell.
The thing is, homemade pita bread turns out to be really easy to make! The recipe I use is in my book The Complete Convection Oven Cookbook.
The convection oven turns out especially puffy pitas, but the recipe is easily adjusted to suit a conventional oven.
This recipe requires about 15 minutes of hands-on time, but serving your own homemade pita bread is so worth it. People will think you are a genius.
What ingredients do you need?
One of the best things about this recipe is that it uses just handful of basic pantry ingredients.
- Instant yeast
- Warm water
- All-purpose flour
How do you make it?
The process of making pita bread is so easy!
- Stir the yeast, warm water, and sugar together and let stand until the mixture becomes foamy.
- Beat in salt and the flour, 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup at a time, until the mixture forms a shaggy dough that is slightly tacky, but not sticky.
- Knead the dough by hand for 8 to 10 minutes or in a stand mixer using the dough hook for about 4 minutes. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal-size balls.
- Use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a ¼-inch-thick disk.
- Arrange the disks on a baking sheet. Let them rise at room temperature for about 40 minutes, until they begin to puff up.
- Just before baking, flip each disk over on the baking sheet.
- Bake at 400° in a convection oven or 425ºF in a conventional oven.
- Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the pitas are puffed and light golden brown.
- Let cool on a wire rack before serving.
- Serve warm.
Tips for success
The key to getting that airy void in your pita bread is to make sure your oven is fully preheated. Also, be sure to flip the dough rounds over just before putting them in the oven.
If you are making the pitas ahead, cool them to room temperature and store them, in a resealable plastic bag, for up to 2 days at room temperature. You can store baked pita bread in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Make a double (or triple!) batch of dough and store extra in the refrigerator or freezer so that you can bake fresh pita bread any time. Warm the pitas in the oven before serving.
How to serve homemade pita bread?
Serve your freshly baked pita bread with Instant Pot Hummus, Zhoug Sauce, Curry Hummus, Roasted Beet and White Bean Hummus, Muhamarra, Lebanese Stuffed Eggplant, or Whipped Feta Spread. You can also stuff your homemade pita bread with Falafel or roasted vegetables.
Can you make the dough ahead of time?
Yes, you can make your pita dough and freeze it. Make a double or triple batch for the freezer and you can have freshly baked pita bread any time you like.
After the dough rises, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and put it in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag. Store it in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If the dough has been refrigerated, let it come to room temperature before baking. This usually takes 30 to 45 minutes sitting on the kitchen countertop.
If the dough has been frozen, let it thaw on the countertop until it reaches room temperature before baking. This will take 1 to 2 hours.
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- Check out all of my Jewish Recipes!
Homemade Pita Bread
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1¼ cups warm 105ºF to 110ºF water
- Pinch sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for the work surface and rolling pin
- In a large bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy.
- Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, beat in the salt and 1½ cups of flour. Add the remaining 1½ to 2 cups of flour, ¼ to ½ cup at a time, until a shaggy dough forms. Note: You may not need the last ¼ or ½ cup of flour. The dough should be slightly tacky, but not sticky.
- On a floured work surface, knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, using the dough hook of an electric mixer on low speed, knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal-size balls. Using a floured rolling pin, roll each ball into a ¼-inch-thick disk and arrange them on a baking sheet. Let the disks rise at room temperature for about 40 minutes until they begin to puff up.
- Select Convection Bake and preheat the oven to 400° (If you are using a conventional oven, set the temperature to 425ºF).
- Flip each dough disk over on the baking sheet and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the pitas are puffed and light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack before serving. Serve warm. To serve after they’ve cooled, wrap them in aluminum foil and heat in a 350ºF oven for 10 minutes before serving.