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.
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
Preheat oven to 550F (heat baking stone at the same time)
- 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)
- Heat milk and butter until warm and butter is melted, about 120F.
- 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.
- After your dough has finished rising, shape into a big log and roll to smooth.
- Cut into 1/2″ thick slices.
- 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.
- Begin the rolling out process: take each roll of dough and flatten using the rolling pin.
- Roll out in several directions, making sure no wrinkles occur.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.