Pita Bread is an authentic Greek bread that can be used in a variety of recipes and is so simple to make at home. It’s fluffy, warm, and so much better than any store-bought version. Once you make pitas once, you’ll want to make them again and again!
If you’re looking to try another homemade yeasted bread recipe, you’ll want to try dinner rolls or try better than Olive Garden breadsticks.
Pita Bread Recipe-
Traditional Greek Pita Bread is flatbread baked in the oven or pan-cooked until lightly crisp on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside. It can be enjoyed fresh on its own or used in countless recipes. They don’t take as long to make as many other homemade breads so they’re perfect for quickly satisfying a craving.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
- Make sandwiches. The pitas form a beautiful pocket that can be filled with your favorite sandwich like our chicken wrap.
- Authentic flavor. Enjoy the traditional flavor expected in store-bought pitas or restaurants at home.
- No equipment needed. Made without a stand mixer, bread maker, or other fancy tools!
- Make ahead. Can be frozen to enjoy in advance.
Pita Bread Ingredients:
The ingredients for this classic recipe for the best pita bread are pantry staples.
- Water- you’ll need to use lukewarm water at about 105-115°F to activate the yeast.
- Yeast- since pitas are yeasted bread, you’ll need 2¼ tsp (one packet) active dry yeast to help the dough rise.
- Sugar- to help activate the yeast and give the dough a little sweetness.
- Flour- all-purpose flour works great.
- Salt- salt is the key ingredient to flavoring the bread.
- Olive oil- using extra virgin olive oil gives the most authentic Greek flavor.
- Whole wheat flour- gives a nutty flavor to the pitas and helps them to keep their round shape.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities see the recipe card below.
How to Make Pita Bread dough
Making this recipe for pita bread at home requires some effort, but the end result is well worth your while. Start by making the dough!
- Combine ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast, sugar, and one cup of all-purpose flour.
- Activate yeast: Allow the yeast to activate for ten minutes, or until bubbly.
- Mix dough: Bring the dough together by adding the olive oil, the remaining all-purpose flour, salt, and whole wheat flour to the yeast mixture. Knead the dough until it forms a cohesive, smooth ball.
- Let rise: Add the dough to a bowl lightly greased with cooking spray or olive oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise for one hour.
shape and cook pitas
- Divide dough: Transfer the dough onto a clean surface. Divide into 8 evenly shaped parts.
- Shape ball: Shape each section into a round ball, and let them rest for ten minutes, covered with a towel.
- Shape pitas: Dust your surface with flour. With a rolling pin or your hands, roll each ball into a disk about 7 inches in diameter. Tip: Rolling the dough into thick disks will result in flat, dense pitas. Rolling them too thin will cause the dough to tear and not puff properly.
- Prep pan: Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle a bit of olive oil onto the pan. Spread it evenly with a pastry brush. Place a rolled-out disk onto the pan and cook, then flip and cook on the other side. Repeat the process with each pita, greasing the pan as needed between each one.
- Serve and enjoy, friends!
|EXPERT TIP: How to test if yeast is active? Make sure your yeast is still active before using it in a recipe. Add yeast to warm water and sprinkle sugar over the yeast. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes and it should become foamy and active.|
Pita bread can also be made in the oven with great results. Here’s how you’ll bake it:
- Place baking steel or a large cast iron pan onto a rack in the top half of your oven and preheat to 475°F.
- Once heated, place as many pitas as will fit onto the pan and bake for about 3 minutes, until puffed.
- Remove onto a kitchen towel and cover to keep warm and keep them from drying out.
Substitutions and Variations
This homemade pita bread recipe is fool-proof as is, but try these variations to amp up the flavor.
- Whole wheat: You can make a whole wheat pita recipe with 50/50 white and whole wheat flour.
- Meat stuffed: Fill the inside of the divided pita dough with a mixture of sauteed ground meat and spices, such as one that you would make for Tacos. Cook as directed and brush with garlic butter once cooked.
Pita bread can be served in so many ways. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Pita bread pizza: Use the pitas as a base for mini flatbread pizzas.
- Wraps: Use pitas in gyros, shawarma, or your favorite wrap.
- Falafel sandwich: Fill the center of the pita pocket with falafel balls, veggies, and tahini for authentic middle eastern flavor.
- Pita pockets: Stuff the pitas with chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions for a pita bread sandwich.
- Soup: Pitas make a great quick side bread for soups.
- Dips: Cut the pita bread into triangles and dip into hummus, tzatziki sauce, or your favorite Greek dips.
This recipe is not gluten-free but you can substitute the all-purpose flour with a 1:1 ratio of gluten-free all-purpose flour to accommodate dietary needs.
If the pan or stove is not hot enough, the pita bread will not puff up properly. Or, you may have rolled the dough out too thick.
Naan and pita bread are similar. The major difference is that naan bread is thicker and doesn’t have a pita pocket that can be stuffed.
Store & Freeze
- STORE: Store cooled pitas in an air-tight bag on the counter for 3-4 days or in the fridge for up to a week.
- FREEZE: Pita bread freezes beautifully. Allow the cooked pitas to cool completely. Place room-temperature pitas into a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, place into a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until reheated. Or, reheat in a toaster oven.
- REHEAT: Reheat pita bread in an oven for a few minutes until warm.
More Bread Recipes
If you enjoyed this bread recipe, be sure to try our other popular recipes:
Traditional Pita Bread Recipe
- 1 cup water
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast 1 packet
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
- In a bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar and 1 cup all-purpose flour.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes, until it bubbles.
- Add salt, olive oil, whole wheat flour and remaining all-purpose flour.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes, until smooth.
- Add to a bowl lightly greased with oil, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
- Divide into 8 parts and shape into balls, rest for another 15 minutes.
- Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Take one ball and roll it out into a 7-inch disk with a rolling pin or gently with your hands.
- Grease a large skillet with olive oil and spread it evenly with a pastry brush. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.
- Place a rolled-out disk onto the pan and cook for 1 minute. Gently flip to cook another side for 1 minute, until the pita starts bubbling. Flip again and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove once cooked onto a clean kitchen towel and cover to prevent pitas from drying out.
- Continue with remaining dough, greasing skillet as needed.
- Serve and enjoy, friends!