Perfect Pita Bread

Chef’s Note

“This is "Chef John’s Pita Bread" from followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfectly.For the yeast, I used Paneangeli, a pizza dough yeast available at Amazon.Id recommend doubling the recipe.We did and there were only 5 pitas left out of 16 by the time we put the dishes away.. There were only 3 of us.You can double the recipe in a KitchAid mixer and it still fits, works fine, just double everything below.These are worlds better than anything you find in the grocery store and on par with ones we had in a middle eastern restaurant last night (James Beard award winning chef).Now if only I could get his hummus recipe..”






8 Pita breads




  • 1 (7g) packageof paneangeli pizza yeast
  • 1 cupwarm water, 32-38 c (90-100 F)
  • 1 cupall-purpose flour
  • 1 12 tablespoonsolive oil
  • 1 34 teaspoonssalt
  • 1 34 cupsall-purpose flour (can substitute some OO pizza flour as I did)
  • 1 teaspoonolive oil, divided
  • Directions

  • Place the 2 cup of warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the yeast.Add the 1 cup of flour.Whisk together the ingredients and let stand for 15-20 minutes for the mixture to rise a little and allow the yeast to activate.It should form a sort of loose sponge and have clear evidence of bubbles.
  • Pour 1.5 tablespoons olive oil and salt into the sponge.Add most of the 1.75 cups of flour, reserving some to adjust the consistency.Mix at slow speed (1 on a kitchenaid mixer), using the dough hook attachment, until dough is soft, supple, and somewhat sticky.If a residue of dough sticks to the side of the bowl, but it isn’t sticking, its OK.You don’t want to add too much flour.There should be some of the 1.75 cups of flour left over.
  • Knead dough with machine on low speed until slightly springy and still soft, 5 or 6 minutes.Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and form a ball.
  • Wipe the inside of hte mixer bowl with 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil.Turn dough around in bowl to cover with a thin film of oil; cover bowl with foil and let sit until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.You must have it covered or the dough will dry out and form a crust.
  • Remove dough from bowl and place onto a floured work surface.Lightly pat into a flat shape about 1 inch thick.Use a knife to cut dough into 8 pieces.
  • Form each piece into a small round ball with a smooth top, pulling the dough from the sides and tucking the ends underneath the bottom.Sort of like a mushroom.
  • Cover the dough balls with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle a small amount of flour on a work surface and top of a dough ball; gently pat dough ball flat with your fingers, forming a flat, round bread about 1/4 inch thick.Let dough rounds rest for 5 minutes.Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
  • Brush a cast iron skillet with some of the remaining olive oil and place on medium-high heat.You don’t want oil pooling in the skillet, just enough to act as a release agent.Lay the pita bread one at a time onto the hot skillet and cook until bread begins to puff up and bottom has brown spots and blisters.It could be from 1-3 minutes.Flip the pita over and cook until it has firmed and formed brown spots and blisters.You can push the pita down to get the dough to set around the blisters.You can flip back to the original side.The pita bread will puff up and fill with hot air.Stack the cooked breads on a towel on a plate.Leave them intact.When ready to eat and cool enough to handle, break breads in half and open the pocket inside for stuffing or use them as grippers to pinch some hummus as a dip.
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