pita bread recipe, how to make pita bread | homemade pita bread recipe

the best whole wheat pita bread recipe with oven as well as baking method.
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4.71 from 17 votes

pita bread recipe with step by step photos – this pita bread made from whole wheat flour, is soft, moist, light and has their trademark pockets.

pita bread, pita bread recipe

i was exposed to falafels and pita bread in my childhood and from then onwards, i have always liked them. pita bread stuffed with tahini, hummus, falafel and raw veggies is a snack i look forward to. whether its made by me or by someone else or in a lebanese restaurant. does not matter.

generally i make them a little extra and store, so that i can have them for a couple of days more. the extra pita bread can cut into wedges and then baked till crisp, later to had with dips.

for those who do not know –

pita bread is a middle eastern flat bread  that puff up when baked in a hot oven, but collapse as they cool down. the “pocket” in pita bread is created by steam, which puffs up the dough. as the bread cools and flattens, a pocket is left in the middle….. source wikipedia

pita bread recipe

they are also the easiest bread to make. the first time i had made pita bread, was on the stove top and i was so thrilled seeing the bread puffing up like phulkas. you will see in the pics below.

then later i started making pita bread in the oven and they would puff up like pooris. a step further 🙂

the recipe of pita bread is adapted from one of my favorite bread book “the bread bible: 300 favorite recipes” by beth hensperger. i can tell you that this is the best recipe for making pita bread.

pita breads

when you make the pita bread on a tava or frying pan, they will get brown or black spots. but when you bake them you won’t get any spots.

i browned them a little more in the oven as i like my bread to be a little extra browned and baked well.

once you have lots of pita with you, then give wings to your creativity and come up with different sandwich combinations and fillings.

you can even stuff with potato sabzi or chana masala with some onion rings, tomato slices and some mint chutney + tamarind chutney. or make some veg kebab or veg cutlet and add our usual chutneys and serve in so many ways.

few more bread recipes for you!

pita bread

Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:2 hours
Course:breakfasts,brunch
Cuisine:middle eastern
Calories:271kcal
Servings (change the number to scale):5
4.71 from 17 votes
pita-bread-recipe
the best whole wheat pita bread recipe with oven as well as baking method.

INGREDIENTS FOR pita bread

(1 CUP = 250 ML)
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (atta)
  • 1.25 cup warm water
  • ½ tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 or 1.5 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • a pinch of sugar

HOW TO MAKE pita bread

making pita bread dough

  • in a small bowl add 1/2 cup of the warm water. sprinkle a pinch of sugar. then and the yeast and stir.
  • keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • in a large bowl mix the rest of the warm water with flour, salt and olive oil with a wooden spoon.
  • after the yeast has frothed, add the yeast mixture and knead into a soft, smooth dough.
  • keep the dough moist and soft as well as smooth and springy.
  • place the dough into a greased container or in the same bowl with some olive oil applied all over the dough.
  • cover with a kitchen napkin and keep at room temperature for for 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
  • once the dough has doubled up, then remove the dough from the bowl.
  • put the dough on your working surface & deflate the dough gently.
  • make medium sized balls from the dough.
  • dust the working surface with flour and roll each ball into round circles of about 6 inch about 1/4 inch thick.
  • cover the circles with the kitchen towel loosely and let them rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

baking pita bread in the oven

  • now place them on a greased tray and bake at 200 degrees Celsius (the 200 degrees celsius is for baking in a convection mode of a microwave oven. if using a regular oven, then preheat as well as bake for 250 degrees Celsius/482 Fahrenheit) for 7 to 10 minutes or till puffed up and light brown.
  • bake all the pita bread this way.

making pita bread on stove top

  • heat a non stick frying pan or tava.
  • place the bread on the tava and cover for 2-3 minutes till the bread starts puffing up.
  • flip the bread the other side and cook for more 2 to 3 minutes.

serving pita bread

  • stack the pita bread and store them in a kitchen towel or bread box.
  • you can also serve pita bread warm.
  • just slice the pita bread into two. you will see the pockets.
  • stuff the pockets with a filling of your choice and your pita sandwich is ready.

RECIPE TIPS

tips for making pita bread

  1. if the dough becomes too sticky then add some more flour.
  2. remember to proof the yeast in warm water. less warm water or hot water will not yield good results.
  3. you can also knead the dough in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  4. you can double as well as triple this pita bread recipe.
  5. like all my bakes, i have baked the pita bread in a microwave oven in the convection/baking mode. since the recipe is lightly adapted, the pita bread should fluff well in a regular oven too if the yeast proofing and leavening of the bread is done well.
 
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so after a long time i am again presenting a step by step method of making homemade pita bread. i have divided the step by step pictorial of pita bread recipe into 3 parts:

  1. making the pita dough
  2. baking method to make pita bread
  3. stove top method to make pita bread

lets begin to make the awesome pita bread recipe

1: preparing pita bread dough

1: firstly proof the yeast by sprinkling a pinch of sugar in warm water & then adding dry active yeast to it. stir and keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes.

pita bread dough

2: in a bowl or pan, add the flour, salt & olive oil.

making pita bread dough

3: now add warm water.

making pita bread

4: just mix everything with a wooden spoon.

add water to pita bread dough

5: the yeast mixture has frothed now.

making pita bread dough

6: so add the frothy yeast to the wheat flour mixture.

making pita bread recipe

7: knead into a smooth and soft dough. if the dough is a little sticky & moist than no issues. after keeping it for leavening it becomes alright as you will see below in the 9th pic. the dough has to be moist and soft as well as smooth too.

preparing pita bread dough

8: apply some olive oil all around over the dough.

making pita bread

9: keep it in the same bowl covered loosely with a kitchen towel for 1 to 1:30 hours or till the dough has risen.

pita bread dough preparation

10: this is how the dough looks after 1 hour & 5o minutes…. i kept for a longer time as it was raining heavily this day and the temperature was on the cooler side. see the cracks in spite of it being a little extra moist & sticky dough.

dough for pita bread

11: deflate the dough gently and if you want then knead lightly.

preparing pita bread recipe

12: now make medium sized balls from the dough. keep these covered again for 10 minutes.

making pita bread recipe

13: dust some flour and roll each ball into a flat poori shape or rounds exactly the way you make pooris. you can also make them oval shaped if you want. keep the bread a little thick than you would keep for pooris. keep these rounds covered loosely for 10 minutes more.

making pita bread recipe

2: oven method to make pita bread

1: place the rolled bread on a greased baking tray.

baking pita bread

2: bake in a preheated oven for 200 degrees C for 7-10 minutes. mine took 7 minutes to cook and 1 minute to brown. please note the 200 degrees celsius is for baking in a convection mode of a microwave oven. if using a regular oven, then preheat as well as bake for 250 degrees celsius/482 fahrenheit. the baking time may vary from oven to oven.

baking pita bread

3: look at those puffed up pita bread… don’t they look good?

puffed pita bread

3: stove top method to make pita bread

1:  heat a tava or a non stick frying pan. place the bread on the hot tava and cover it with a lid for 2-3 minutes.

making pita bread on tava

2:  the bread will begin to puff up.

puffed pita bread

3: turn over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more till the pita bread is done and has brown spots appearing on both sides.

making pita bread recipe

4: alternatively, you could also make them the way we make phulka (chapati). after lightly cooking both the sides, place them on the fire and see them puff… cook both sides.

pita bread, pita bread recipe

5: stack pita bread and store them in a kitchen towel or bread box. you can also serve pita bread warm. just slice the pita bread into two. you will see the pockets. stuff the pockets with a filling of your choice and your pita sandwich is ready. i added falafel, roasted red bell pepper hummus with some veggies and olives to the pita. you can also serve with plain hummus too.

pita bread, pita bread recipe


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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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231 comments/reviews

  1. Just made pita bread using your recipe – stovetop method and it came out really well. Thank you for the detailed instructions.

    The bread didnt have a pocket so i could use it as a wrap. Did i have to make it thicker or was the dough too soft?
    Would appreciate pointers if possible. Thanks

    • thanks jayashree for the feedback and rating on pita bread. thickness is not a problem. if the dough is too soft, then it cannot be rolled evenly. if the dough is not rolled evenly, then the pita bread won’t puff. so there won’t be the pocket. when the dough becomes too soft, then just add some flour so that you get a dough which can be rolled evenly and easily. hope this suggestion helps.

  2. Please share your pita bread recipe mixed with other whole grains and can we add milk to wheat pita breads if yes what should b the propertion please reply thanks

    • yes you can add milk. you can use the same amount of milk as that of water – 1.25. but depending on the quality of flour you may need to add more or less milk. when i get time i will add the recipe or include the proportions of other grain flours in this recipe itself.

  3. Namaste Dassana Ji,

    Thank you for all the efforts you put into making these easy step by step practical recipes with perfect ingredients. I have tried alot of your recipes and they have ALL come out perfect and delicious.. only thanx to you I have got the confidence to try out new dishes without any doubt.

    Next I wish to try this pita bread rcp. but have a couple of questions..
    1. i don’t have dry active yeast, i generally use instant yeast and add it directly to the flour so is it possible to use Instant yeast instead. does the quantity of yeast change?

    2. to knead the dough you have suggested 1.25 cups of warm water. I was wondering can it be a combination of warm water and milk? will addition of milk make the dough soft and moist? and will make any difference in the taste?

    Lastly, my sister has celiac and she is on a 100% gluten free diet so i was wondering, can this recipe be used with different vrat flours/ gluten free flour.
    Thank you once again.
    May God always bless you.
    Regards,

    • thank you natasha for these lovely words. glad to read them.

      1. for the pita bread you can use instant yeast. add 1 teaspoon intant yeast.

      2. yes, of course, you can use a combo of warm water and milk. addition will milk will make the pita bread slightly rich and soft. yes there will be a difference in the taste.

      3. with vrat flours or gluten free flours you can make. but then you don’t need to add yeast. some experimentation will be required. the gluten free flours have to be kneaded with hot water. this will make the texture soft and the dough is easy to roll.

      thanks again natasha and wish you all the best.

  4. Hello Dassana,

    Your site is my go-to site for everything cooking! Cannot think of another site which can easily put things together with the help of a detailed description and images of various stages of the process. Kudos to the great work!

    I would like to check if you have experimented with Quinoa Pita bread, ever? The idea crossed my mind this morning and i am lost with the measurements. I am going to experiment with your wheat flour measurements and see how it folds out.

    I’d be ever so grateful to get your expertise on this.

    Thanks and waiting in anticipation,

    Lalita

    • thank you much lalita for this lovely comment. i have not experimented much with quinoa. you can easily make a pita bread with it. i have worked with other flours like buckhweat, amaranth, finger millet, rice etc in making indian flat breads. so definitely quinoa flour can also be used to make breads. you can add 1:2 ratio of quinoa flour to whole wheat flour. its safe for experimentation as the amount of whole wheat flour is more. the quantity of water may be less or more. so just dissolve yeast in one-fourth cup warm lukewater first. then you can add lukewarm water or water at room temperature as needed to make a soft dough. hope this helps.

  5. Hi Dassana
    Thank you for a good bread recipe which I have precisely followed and been using for about two weeks. It is the only recipe which worked for me so far especially the first time when all the 6 loaves I made puffed. However, subsequent bakings have not been successful as far as puffing is concerned. In the same baking session some loaves puff while others don’t. And sometimes, some areas of the same loave puff while the rest don’t. What could be the reason? I still have problems with the flattening process which I am unable to get right. I don’t see “wholewheat” flour here in Sydney. The available one is called Wholemeal. Are they one and the same thing? The taste is ok but what can be added to get a better taste? I have seen recipes using yogurt. Will that improved the taste? Will it affect other the puffing and softness? The bread comes out generally soft but the crust is a bit stiff, a biscuit like feeling. I am not sure why but I am guessing that the reason could be due to the fan in our wall mounted oven. This oven does not have the capability to run without the fan. By the way, how much is a pinch of sugar? I have been using 1/2 tsp. One more thing about olive oil. Can it be dispensed with? What is the effect of not using it? Could it Be the cause of that stiffness or the biscuit like feeling I mentioned earlier?

    • thank you Mahmoud. wholemeal flour and whole wheat flour are one and the same. the pita breads not puffing up can be due to less water content in the bread or they are not rolled evenly. if these two things are taken care of, then the pita bread will puff up. you can add some yogurt in the dough and it will help in making the bread soft as well as give it a faint sour taste.

      your guess about the crust is right. its due to the top getting a bit overdone and the fan is responsible for it. in convection ovens which have a fan, the baking is faster as the fan accelerates the baking process. so you can cut down the time by 10 to 15 minutes or reduce the temperature by 15 to 20 degrees celsius for any recipe. you can skip olive oil. it just gives a nice flavour but can be skipped. olive oil is not the cause of the biscuit like crust.

      hope I have answered all your queries.

  6. Hi there! You have got such lovely baked pita breads there. It just looks like the one that I find in the Middle East. I tried to make pita bread twice. Tried both stove top and baked version. I love the baked ones. But my bread didnt have that brown spot like what your pictures have shown. I baked at max temperature of 250 C for nearly 3 min each bread. The bread was soft but didnt have the browning at all.

    • thanks rima. brown spots are not required and essential. the pita bread one gets in cafes and restaurants, do not have brown spots. to get them you can keep the bread near the top heating element and just bake for some seconds. this method is called as broiling and will give visible brown spots or charring. but care has to be taken or else the bread can get burnt from top. alternatively you can keep the pan on the center rack and use both the top and bottom heating elements while baking.

  7. Hi, good recipe but can I avoid the yeast step coz of yeast allergies? What would be the end result if I skip the yeast. Thanks.

    • harry, for the leavening of the pita bread dough yeast is required. if yeast is not added, obviously the bread dough will not leaven and won’t give a light and soft texture. that said, a leaving agent like baking soda or baking powder can be added. but i have never tried preparing pita bread using baking soda or baking powder.

  8. My husband & I live in Brampton, Ontario, Canada – Brampton is a suburb of Toronto, Canada. Brampton has A HUGE EAST INDIAN POPULATION with LOTS of East Indian grocery stores. We eat mostly 100% organic food at home, & recently I found ORGANIC 100% WHOLE WHEAT ATTA flour to make chapatis. But I still have not made any chapatis because we don’t like those burnt dark spots on the surface of the chapatis when they are made on top of the stove in a TAVA. We prefer chapatis to look like your beautiful whole wheat pita bread made with 100% whole wheat ATTA flour and baked in an oven. Could you please give me a recipe for 100% whole wheat chapatis baked in an oven so they won’t have those ugly dark burnt spots on the surface>

    • sheila, those dark spots are the plus point in chapatis and they taste good too. usually i prefer to have nice dark spots on chapatis. the same applies to naan and tandoori roti. i am not sure if chapatis can be baked in oven. but since i have baked naans and tandoori roti in ovens, i can say that at times the naans or rotis become like papads in the oven. they just don’t bake well. so at the most, you can cook chapatis on tawa till done and not proceed to the stage where you get dark spots. some spots will be there as that is an indication that the flour is cooked.

  9. Hi Dassana! Love your website 🙂

    I tried these pita breads and they puffed well. However, there was this slight yeast-y flavour which was bothering me. When I get pita breads from outside they don’t have that yeast taste. What did I do wrong?

  10. I’m from a Muslim family , really wanna make it , please reply , is there alternative for yeast , it’s very difficult to find good quality yeast here 😭

    • there is no alternative for yeast as such. usually baking soda can be used, but it does not work in all recipes. you can buy good quality yeast online from amazon.com or amazon.in etc.

  11. I kept the yeast for proofing , but it dint bubble like urs, so was scared to even try , I have once made dhokla with eno the thing bubbled up so well , so could we use baking soda , any idea how ? ?

    • good you did not try. the pita bread would have become heard. in this recipe i am not sure if baking soda will work. as i do not know if the pita breads will puff if used baking soda.

  12. Thank a lot for the recipe….just what I was looking for ..:) ..I was wondering if I could store the extra dough in the freezer for future use?..if yes, for how many days can I freeze it?

  13. Sounds great. one question though, can I leave the dough for a longer time to leaven instead of using yeast, like dosa batter? Or is it a bad idea?

    • sindhu, for the method that your are suggesting, the steps are different. first a small part of the dough or mixture is made and then kept overnight for some hours. then this dough or mixture is mixed with the rest of the flour and kneaded, which again is kept to rise for some hours. the steps, method, amount of ingredients to be added, everything will change and you will need to experiment.

  14. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. Tried it today, and the pitas turned out beautifully. I’d never baked with yeast before, so I was a bit scared. It was easy enough though. Bake away, people!

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