5 decilitres of lukewarm water
50 grams of yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of oil
1 liter of plain flour
Making Homemade Pita Bread
Crumble the yeast into a big baking bowl, add the lukewarm water (put your finger in it, if it feels hot it’s to warm, cold then to cold, feel nothing it’s the right warmth). Add the oil and salt and stir, until the yeast dissolves. Add flour a little at a time while stirring. I must admit I used more than 1 litre of flour, I’m just unsure of how much. What I can tell you though is that you add as much as you need for the dough to release the bowl, before adding it to a floury baking surface. At this point you should use the technique I introduced in my Italian style Pizza post. I give instructions for how to work the dough and there is also a link to a River Cottage video where it is demonstrated. I use this technique for all the yeast dough’s I make, and I have to tell you it works wonders. They rise wonderfully because you’ve kneaded them until elastic and also because you are able to shape them into perfect round balls. Let the dough rest in the bowl covered with plastic – plastic bag works well, for an hour.
Tip: Brush some oil inside the bowl and the dough will release easily. And if you don’t have any warm places to set it, add some warm water to the kitchen basin and let it spend an hour there.
When the dough has finished rising, put it back on the baking surface, if you oiled the bowl it should slip right out, and part it into 16 equal size pieces. Make them into round balls and put them on baking paper to rest. It might be a good idea to dust the baking paper with some flour, I didn’t do that, and the buns stuck to it a little (a lot). Let them rest for about an hour. I think I gave them 45 minutes to an hour, I just looked at them and they had almost doubled.
Bring them back on the baking surface on by one and roll them thinly with a rolling-pin. Like you would a mini-pizza. The rolling part is important, they should be thin, before put back on a baking tray covered in baking paper. One tray at a time, takes about 4 our 5 of them into a preheated oven 250 degrees Celsius. Not all the way to the top but on the second lever from the top. When they puff up, they are almost ready, just let them get a slight colour before taking them out. I didn’t time how long it took, so keep an eye on them.
When they are done put them on a bread rack to rest, and cover them with a cloth. Put all of them there until the rest finishes baking.
If all went well you have 16 pita breads or pockets to stuff with delicious things, such as Mint Tzatziki, salad and kebab.
If some of them didn’t rise just as well, some of mine didn’t, serve them as flat-bread with soup or with Indian food. They also taste great with butter and cheese.