How to Make Pita Bread, a Family Recipe

I’ve gotten some requests to post a pita bread recipe and no one makes them better than my dad. I may be biased but I think he has developed the best pita bread recipe out there and that’s because he’s spent hours perfecting it. I waited until I was visiting my parents to shoot the process in detail. Though it is an involved process, you’ll quickly note that it’s not that hard to do.

Homemade pita bread recipe

I’ve provided step-by-step photo instructions below for making the recipe. It all starts with mixing the dry ingredients together and heating the butter. The pita bread recipe is below so you can refer to it for directions and ingredients.

homemade pita bread

How to make pita bread

Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 3 hours 1 minute

Step-by-step instructions for making homemade pita bread


  • 1 1/4 c milk
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp of mahlab
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T yeast


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. (My dad uses a bread machine for the mixing and rising process. I just use my KitchenAid mixer for the mixing and let it rise in a warm place – you can do either method)
  2. Heat milk and butter until warm and butter is melted, about 120F.
  3. Add liquid ingredients (butter/milk) to the dry ingredients in your bread machine bucket. Mix or knead well. Cover and allow to rise about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. After your dough has finished rising, shape into a big log and roll to smooth. 
  5. Cut into 1/2″ thick slices.
  6. Shape each slice into a smooth round, turning the roll into itself as you shape it. Cover. Let the dough/rolls rest for 15-30 minutes. 
  7. Preheat oven to 550F (heat baking stone at the same time)
  8. Begin the rolling out process: take each roll of dough and flatten using the rolling pin. 
  9. Roll out in several directions, making sure no wrinkles occur.
  10. Once all rolls of dough have been flattened and rolled out, turn oven to broil (high). One by one, place rolled out dough on the baking stone and bake for about 1 minute (if using baking sheets, make sure sheets are buttered). Dough will begin to bubble. Carefully, flip pitas on the other side and bake 1 more minute. 
  11. Pita bread bakes on both sides – my pitas rarely ever separate this much (which is why I waited until my dad baked a batch – his are a perfect representation of what they should look like). 
  12. The finished product. It’s normal for them to deflate.


*You can substitute 1/2 tsp vanilla extract for the mahlab if you cannot find mahlab

*The photos depict a yield that is triple the recipe. Your quantity will be much less so if your bucket/bowl isn't as filled or your log is much shorter, don't worry as that is normal.

How do you eat pita bread?

We eat pita bread with literally everything ranging from grilled cheese sandwiches to breakfast sandwiches to using it as a dipping bread. Also, it is fabulous with Nutella. Our personal favorite is egg sandwiches; Andrew usually adds a bit of hot sauce to his and he swears it’s one of his favorite breakfasts. Or you can use them in these veggie and eggplant sandwiches, as an accompaniment to this Middle Eastern green bean salad, or alongside this cilantro and roasted garlic dip.

How to store pita bread?

Typically we freeze the pita bread as soon as it cools down after baking. Pita bread stores really well in the freezer (freezing keeps it moist and soft) and when you’re ready to use it, you just take it out of the freezer and heat (microwave or toaster oven) for a few minutes – if using the toaster oven, preheat the oven to about 350 then place pitas inside; they will warm up fast so make sure you take them out before they turn crispy. If you’re planning on finishing it in less than 2 days, then you can just seal it in a bag and keep it in your refrigerator.

pita bread recipe and how to make pita bread



A travel photographer and writer with an insatiable desire to explore the world and inspire others to see it for themselves.


  1. Luci's Morsels
    January 22, 2013 / 3:01 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make pita bread recently! Can you use whole wheat flour for all three cups?
    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

    • January 22, 2013 / 3:39 pm

      I have tried before but you need to add more butter/milk (maybe an extra T of butter and 1/4 c milk? – you’ll be able to tell after it rises whether or not you’ve added enough) since the wheat absorbs more liquid. Also, be prepared for the bread not to rise quite as much 🙂 I say go for it, though!

  2. January 22, 2013 / 3:57 pm

    I’m Greek, so I LOVE pita bread. I’ve never thought about making it myself, but this looks too good to pass up!

    • January 22, 2013 / 6:15 pm

      Oh, how fun! You should try it!

  3. davie+erica
    January 22, 2013 / 4:03 pm

    Oooh, we def want to try this! Looks so delish!

    ox from NYC!



    • January 22, 2013 / 6:38 pm

      He really is! It’s kind of sad how few puff up when I make them…haha.

  4. Sian Deciantis
    January 22, 2013 / 4:46 pm

    What a lovely post cannot wait to give this a go 🙂
    Style With Friends

    • January 22, 2013 / 6:39 pm

      It definitely is good 🙂

  5. Kate
    January 22, 2013 / 6:30 pm

    Mmm… great recipe! I could easily make this Vegan and Gluten-Free. Thanks.

    I came across your blog on Bloglovin and I’m so glad I did. I’m following you now!

    Kate from Clear the Way

    • January 22, 2013 / 10:25 pm

      Thanks so much! Enjoy!

  6. ~Mom Wife Boss Life~
    January 22, 2013 / 7:02 pm

    Wow, this is so cool how it rises!

  7. Helena Fortissima
    January 22, 2013 / 8:38 pm

    What a fantastic, picture-filled tutorial! I think I’m gonna have to give pita bread-making a try.

  8. Judy
    January 22, 2013 / 9:15 pm

    This is great! Can’t wait to try it out!

  9. January 22, 2013 / 10:25 pm

    It’s a bit addictive to watch

  10. jamie-lee
    January 22, 2013 / 8:52 pm

    I love this home made recipe – I’m gonna have to try this one day. Do you ever make them wholemeal? x

    • January 22, 2013 / 10:28 pm

      You can use whole wheat/wholemeal but you would need to add more of the butter/milk mixture since whole wheat absorbs more liquid.

  11. Amandine
    January 23, 2013 / 9:42 am

    It looks delicious! And the video is soooo cool!
    Thank you for this recipe 🙂

    • January 24, 2013 / 6:12 pm

      Thanks! We had fun with it 🙂

    • January 24, 2013 / 6:12 pm

      I’ve never made Indian bread before…someday I will have to try

  12. Coline
    January 23, 2013 / 5:37 pm

    Seems delicious !

    Coline !

  13. Angie A
    January 29, 2013 / 8:29 pm

    That looks like a lot of work but well worth it I am sure.

    • January 30, 2013 / 6:24 pm

      It definitely is, especially if you do multiple batches at once and then freeze the extra!

  14. Christy Mcguire
    September 28, 2013 / 7:38 pm

    Hi! We actually have some Mahlab on hand. If we’re using it instead of vanilla, how much would you recommend?

    • September 28, 2013 / 8:57 pm

      Use approximately a 1/4 tsp of mahlab (a little less would work too). Be sure it’s ground and that it’s light in color. Hope this helps!

      • Christy Mcguire
        September 29, 2013 / 2:25 pm

        Thanks! I tried two tsp., and they turned out a little tough. That could have been the problem.

  15. Jacqueline
    September 1, 2019 / 1:31 pm

    Yummy! Do you have to activate the yeast or do you just mix all in?

    • Grace
      September 4, 2019 / 3:04 pm

      You can just mix it right in!

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