When people hear that I make my own bread (and then taste a bite of the homemade goodness with a little slather of butter) they often remark that they never could do it themselves (as if I’m some type of baking superstar). I’ll tell you a little secret… it’s not hard to make your own bread!! BUT If making your own yeast bread is overwhelming to you, why not start with a smaller step? Pita bread is EASY! Why not try a baby step first?
Flea Market Find
By the way, see that blue and white pan? It’s a darling enamel ware baking pan that my Farmer and I picked up at the Nashville Flea Market on my birthday last year. The Nashville Flea Market is one of our favorite date spots. (I’ll let you in on how our love story led us there… but that’s a subject for another post!)
Anyway, back to pitas…
Homemade Pita Bread Made Easy
This is a one-bowl recipe that you can easily make by hand, in a stand mixer, or in a bread machine (I usually make a double batch of dough in my Zojirushi bread machine on the homemade settings that I detail in the recipe below.) You can’t really mess up these little circles (unless you burn them!) I have adapted the recipe that I first learned from Laura at Heavenly Homemakers. Laura has been my virtual friend for the past few years and has provided many of my go-to recipes for easy, healthy food.
I like the taste of freshly milled spelt and kamut flour in this pita. If you don’t mill your own grains, you can purchase freshly milled flour from us at Ingrained directly or you can try these spelt and kamut flours from Bob’s Red Mill. If you want to use a basic whole wheat flour, I would suggest trying King Arthur Whole White Wheat flour
Portioning Your Pita Bread Dough
Because I like to make things easy, I just scoop my pita dough out of the bowl or pan using my trusty food service scoops (I feel like a hairnet wearing, mashed-potato scooping wonder woman!) Depending upon what size pita I want, I pick out a green or a yellow scoop, or even a purple one. Today, it was the yellow scoop (a #20 scoop = 3.25 tablespoon capacity) which yields a nice 4″ pita that complemented our hummus and crudite lunch.
I roll my pita dough directly out on the pan to about 1/4″ thickness using my pastry roller.
Puffy Pita Pockets
Sometimes these pitas make a pocket for me… sometimes they don’t. Don’t be discouraged! They will still have a lovely taste and will function just perfectly as a dipping partner to the creamy hummus recipe that I will share with you soon. This particular time I made them I was so happy with how they puffed. For all of you Anne of Green Gables lovers out there, I kept hearing Anne exclaim, “Marilla, look at the puffs! … the puffiest [sleeves] in all the world!”
These smaller sized pitas are perfect for little hands and I don’t even cut them in half to serve. Pitas also travel well because they don’t crumble as easily as loaf bread, so I will often pack these for a picnic! Serve with creamy hummus or top with cheese and broil until cheese is golden.
So, search no further. Here is a recipe for yeast bread that you CAN manage! Let me know how it goes! (Oh, am I the only Anne fan out there?)
- 8 fl. oz warm water (110-120 degrees, no hotter)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or organic sunflower oil
- 1-1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1-1/2 cups spelt flour* (I use freshly milled flour)
- 1-1/2 cups kamut flour* (I use freshly milled flour)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ** If you do not have access to spelt or kamut flour, you can substitute freshly ground whole wheat flour or King Arthur Whole White Wheat flour.
- Add water, olive oil, honey, and salt to the bottom of a mixing bowl. Stir together.
- Add flour and yeast. Stir to combine ingredients.
- Kneading by hand: Knead the dough on a well floured surface for 4-5 minutes
- OR Kneading in a KitchenAid stand mixer: Using dough hook, knead on speed "2" for 4 minutes (5 minutes if making a double batch).The dough should feel soft and a little "tacky", becoming less sticky as it sits and absorbs some moisture (as is the case when you use whole wheat flour). If the dough seems too dry (especially if you are not using freshly milled flour) you can add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is a little more sticky.
- Cover bowl with a towel and allow to rise until double in size, about 30-60 minutes (if it doesn't double, it will be fine to proceed to the next step.)
- After dough has risen, punch down dough and remove dough from bowl.
- Divide dough into 8-12 equal parts (depending upon the size pita you would like). I use my trusty scoops to make it easy and just scoop it straight from the bowl. (For a 4" diameter pita use a #20 scoop, for a 6" diameter pita use a #12 scoop.)
- Place dough parts onto a baking sheet that has been lightly greased with coconut oil or palm shortening. (You can usually fit 4 of the 6" pitas or 6 of the 4" pitas onto a baking pan.)
- Roll each part into a circle directly on the pan to about a ¼" thickness (you don't have to be precise about the shape).
- Allow the dough circles to rest/rise on the baking sheet while the oven preheats to 500°.
- Place baking sheet into hot oven. Bake for 5-8 minutes (depending upon the size), watching closely, until pitas are slightly browned and puffy.
- Allow pitas to cool slightly on cooling rack. Slice into halves if desired.
Freezes well! Just place cooled pitas into a ziplock bag and press gently to remove air. Seal and freeze. Warm or lightly toast to serve.
Ingrained Market by A Spoon Full of Yum
A Spoon Full of Yum sells freshly milled spelt and kamut flours through our business, Ingrained. We offer free pick up to customers in the Smyrna and Cool Springs areas of Tennessee and we also offer delivery and shipping options. For more information, please visit www.ingrainedliving.com or use the contact form provided on the “Local Market” section of the side bar.