How To Make Quick Wholemeal Pita Bread

homemade pita or pitta bread
Pita (or pitta) bread is a new-found love of mine. These humble flat-breads are so easy and quick to make. Even if I start the dough quite late in the afternoon, they can be ready in time for tea. They don't need to rise much and they don't require any expertise.

Pita breads lend themselves to a great variety of fillings and (bonus!) the children love them.

Recently I've been serving fresh pitas stuffed with leftover roast meat, stews, cheese and salad (though not all at the same time).

If you want to join me in the appreciation of simple, fresh, homemade food, here's how to make them.

Quick Wholemeal Pita Bread (makes 8)

(Tah dah! We not only have grams today, we have ounces. And cups! I hope to have all my recipes converted eventually.)

350g/12oz/2⅓ cups strong wholemeal flour (although you could use strong white flour, or a mixture)
230ml/7½ fl oz/1 cup water (this could vary, depending on the type of flour you used)
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp instant dried yeast
1 tsp salt

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl but add the water carefully in case you don't need all of it. Squash and mix everything together by hand until you have a fairly stiff dough.

2. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it can be formed into a smooth ball.

3. Leave the ball of dough to rise under the upturned mixing bowl for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size (though, really, rising isn't crucial for a pita bread, so if you're rushing, don't worry).

4. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces. You know what? Some people weigh the dough and get the pieces exactly equal, but maybe those people have lots of spare time. It's ok to do it by eye.

5. Form each piece of dough into a round shape, like a roll or a dough ball, and leave them to rest for at least 10 minutes. This resting stage helps the dough to relax. When you work the dough, it sort of clenches up (not a technical term!) and becomes more difficult to stretch. After a few minutes, it becomes more stretchy again.

6. Roll the balls of dough out flat, about half a centimetre thick, though the thickness is not crucial. Leave them to prove for a while. Again, this has more to do with relaxing the dough than trying to achieve a big rise. Leaving them longer will result in more fluffy pita breads, but speeding through the process will still result in tasty (though flatter!) breads.


wholemeal pita pitta bread

7. Place a baking tray or three (or possibly a baking stone - I'm currently thinking about getting one to try) into an oven and preheat it to 230oC/450F.

8. Bake the pita breads on the pre-heated tray(s), for about four minutes, or until they are nicely browned and fully puffed up. You can actually watch your pita breads expanding as they cook and it's obvious when they've reached maximum inflation.

9. Serve as soon as possible. Usually, the bread will deflate once it comes out of the oven but, when you split it open, it will have a natural pocket, where you can put your filling.

Did you make some?

If you made these pita breads, it would be lovely to hear how they turned out. Did you make any tweaks to the recipe, such as adding seeds to the dough for a different flavour? What did you serve them with? Please leave a comment to let us know.

Looking for more inspiration?

If you're looking for more ideas, check out my growing collection of bread recipes here. I'm enjoying sharing my favourite recipes for loaves, focaccia, pizza and garlic bread, to mention but a few. The smell of freshly baked bread is so enticing...


7 comments:

  1. I made some of these only yesterday afternoon (before your recipe arrived so it was Paul Hollywood's) using strong white and adding 20gr of black onion/nigella/kalonji seeds. They looked lovely and my wife has gone off with one stuffed with lettuce/finnochio salami/cheese/hummus.
    But, oh dear, I did weigh my dough balls to within a couple of grams because I'm just a little bit like that! In my defence I only had to adjust a couple because my eye was so good ;-)

    Nigel

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    1. I love that you weighed them! Your comment made me chuckle :)
      I weighed mine too but I told myself it was only because of the photo shoot(!) The added seeds sound delicious.

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  2. I'm going to give them a go this afternoon.

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  3. They turned out really well, although I forgot to put them on to a hot oven tray ( I won't forget next time) Thank you.

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    1. Super! I'm pleased to hear they worked well for you. The hot tray idea is just to give them an extra boost at the start of cooking and help them to rise more. I made some with extra coarse wholemeal the other day and they didn't rise at all(!) Still tasty though.

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  4. Just made some this afternoon following your recipe and they've turned out beautifully. 60:40 wholemeal/white mix with a few black onion seeds to add a bit of something else. Will try to post a pic on the Facebook page.

    Nigel

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