After reading about homemade pita bread on the King Arthur Flour blog, I was obsessed with making a batch from scratch. I love pita bread, but I was spoiled years ago by warm, fresh-from-the-oven pitas in Athens and have never found anything close here in Colorado. Even at one of Denver’s largest Middle Eastern grocery stores, the pitas are chewy and a bit cardboardy.
Using the King Arthur recipe as a guideline (and based on research that recommended a mix of no more than 33% whole wheat flour for reliable rising), I substituted 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of spelt flour for one cup of the all-purpose flour. I didn’t have any King Arthur’s Dough Improver so I added a pinch of baking powder. Once the dough was ready to bake, I divided it into 8 portions and flattened the first ball slightly with my fingers like this:
Then I rolled the dough as evenly as possible into a round that was about 6 inches:
Based on the comments on the King Arthur blog, I positioned a metal cooling rack over a foil-lined baking sheet and preheated it in a 500-degree oven. Once it was hot, I slid the pita dough on the rack:
Amazingly, every pita bread puffed perfectly after 3 to 4 minutes in the oven!
Finally, as I took the pitas from the oven I tucked them in a clean dishtowel to keep them soft:
We ate some of the pitas right away, by splitting them in half, stuffing them with roast beef and cheese, wrapping them in foil and cooking them in the oven for a minute or two until the cheese melted. Then we added sliced avocado and tomato and ate them warm from the oven. They were the kind of pitas you dream about — fresh, warm, soft and lightly browned — and oh, so delicious!! I stored the remaining pitas in a zip-lock plastic bag, and the next day when we reheated them in the oven (wrapped in foil, sprinkled with a couple of drops of water) they were almost as good as the first. I do recommend eating them as soon as possible after you make them!