Homemade Pita Bread

It’s hurry up and wait time around here again. It’s been two weeks since my last chemo with three more weeks until the scan that will show if there’s any cancer left. I figured there’s no better way to signify this waiting period than to make dough…

And wait for it to rise.

No, not bagels yet (soon, I promise!). But this week I tackled another bread that’s been on the to-do list for a while – pita bread!

I’ve finally figured out the environment that best encourages active yeast and rising dough in my kitchen. I start with 100F degree water with a few pinches of sugar and activate the yeast with a hot, damp towel over the bowl in the microwave (turned off, obviously). It gets wonderfully bubbly after 10 minutes.

My newest trick?

A KitchenAid stand mixer!! It was a Christmas gift. So shiny. So beautiful. So dang useful. I broke it in by allowing it to knead the dough for 10 minutes while I rested my gimp left arm.

My next trick for rising dough is sticking it back in the microwave with a hot towel over top and a couple thermoses of boiling water.

Punching it is arguably the best part. Makes all that waiting worth it.

For pita bread, you have to divide the dough and roll it into balls first.

Once the dough is settled, roll it out and stick it in a very hot oven. I had mine a bit hotter at 450F. This is where you can gasp and yelp in amazement.

THEY PUFF UP!! I promptly called my sister into the room going “Look! Look!” Once you place the flat dough on the hot pan in the oven, it only takes seconds for them to start bubbling up and separating in the middle.

The recipe I followed can be found here. The pita bread was delicious, but I wouldn’t say perfect for my first attempt. Not all of them puffed fully and I found they were too fluffy. I would definitely recommend the hotter oven temperature and I think next time I’ll roll them out thinner. They also really do get crispy when kept in the oven for longer than three minutes.

Coincidentally, I had some homemade hummus on hand. (a very basic version – 1 can drained chickpeas, 2 tbsp liquid from can, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp tahini, 2 small cloves garlic, 1 tsp cumin, salt, pepper, all in the food processor!)

In completely unrelated news…

MY MOM GOT A PUPPY!!

Her name is Maggie Mae, her previous owner named her Megara, which my mom said was too ‘cumbersome.’ She’s a 12-week-old Havanese. Super shy and cuddly. So soft and fluffy!

Buster scared the bejesus out of her when he came bounding into my mom’s house and straight for her. He, err, comes on a little strong with other dogs sometimes.

And in more news, I’m calling the vet today to get Buster fixed. No more waiting with that one!

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Posted on January 5, 2012, in Baking, Pets. Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. I have never even considered making pita- but you did make it look very manageable. Maybe I’ll have to get a stand mixer though… ;-) (I’ll convince my husband it is for him too if I buy the sausage making attachment)

    I look forward to seeing some cute Maggie Buster pictures in the future :)

  2. Um, YUM. I wish I had your talent for baking! I get so frustrated, especially with breads and stuff because mine never comes out right. I just got a KitchenAid too and figured it would magically solve my issues. No such luck ;-) I guess I just need more patience! Your mom’s puppy is so cute!

  3. squeeeeeeee! kitchen aid AND puppy?
    superfantastic.

    i think i got the exact same stand mixer for christmas last year and so far it is proving to be the most awesome present ever. my bread making has increased at least tenfold.
    i will definitely have to try out your pitas!

  4. Yum! I always wanted to make pita bread, but haven’t gotten around to it! I will definitly give this a try! Maggie Mae is so cute! It’s weet, now Buster has a friend!

  5. Remember when I made pita bread at our old apartment? I think I did the same thing with you or Joce “OMG COME LOOK IT’S PUFFING UP!!!”

    Coolest bread ever.

  6. Pita pillow are the best! Great photography.

  7. I have never tried to make pita bread :) mmmm.. I also think that if I had a stand mixer I would bake more. It is so much easier to throw ingredients in while the mixer is mixing.. haha.

    other news, cuuuute puppy :)

  8. Maggie Mae might just be the cutest name I’ve ever heard!!

  9. Maggie is adorable…and I just LOVE Buster . Is it weird that I right clicked and saved the pic of them together? I just can’t get enough lol.

  10. I have a kitty named Maggie Mae!!! Miss Maggie is too cute!

  11. Great that you’re getting your dog fixed. I didn’t want to do it to mine, but his was done at about 5 months old. He still doesn’t really lift his leg to pee, and he doesn’t ever mark. He’s a very energetic dog, so I’m glad it was done…. don’t know how much more energetic he could be unfixed.

    Also, I was just thinking about making pitas because I’m too lazy to go to the store for them! It doesn’t look easy…

    • Yeah, because I got Buster after 6 months and he wasn’t fixed yet, my vet said there was no rush to get it done. I was waiting until I finished chemo so I could care for him after the surgery. I still feel bad for him, but it needs to be done.

  12. Happy New Year Susan. I’m sending good wishes and thoughts your way as you wait for your results. OMG….your Mom’s pup is ADORABLE!!!! As is Buster and the photo of them together is hilarious. Buster has that “yeah, you’re cute and you’re little, but never forget, I’M the alpha!” look on his face :)

  13. Gahhh.. I love miss Maggie!! So cute. I am convinced I need a HavaCava hehe. Great job on the bread! I have yet to have a successful encounter with yeast. Hmm. One day. Can’t wait to hear that you are cancer free.. the only way to be!

  14. OMG I LOVE homemade pita bread (not that I’ve made it, haha) – there’s this awesome little take-out place near me run by a greek family and they make ridiculously good homemade pita! Looks JUST like yours! SO GOOD all warm with my chicken kabob salad from there! mmmm!!

  15. Maggie May is adorable! I love that photo of her resting her head on your shoulder. Talk about puppy bliss!

  16. I’ve wanted to make pitta bread for ages but for some reason I always thought it would be really difficult. Anything other than a regular loaf or bread rolls tends to be a big fat fail in my hands when it comes to yeast!

  17. Oh man, that looks amazing. I seem to have issues with yeast every time I use it. Dang gina.

    I need to revisit pita bread because I just can’t live without those gorgeous pillowy yummies.

  18. yay puppy love and pitas!! great post!!

  19. New pup is way cute! I need a dog in my life stat.

    I love making bread in the kitchenaid (er, I did pre-Celiac disease) I made grilled naan a few times using a grill pan and it turns out so delicious. Pita was so fun due to the puffing up, and doesn’t it taste ten times better right out of the oven? (I am a pig.)

  20. Your picture makes me want to get a Kitchenaid….although I can’t manage to feed myself dinner on a regular basis, so pita bread would definitely be beyond me. I’m very impressed that you took on the challenge of pita, and glad it turned out reasonably well on your first attempt.

  21. You are looking great! I think the pita turned out fantastic … I am going to tackle focaccia this weekend … I consider myself a good cook, but I am terrible with things that need to rise … pizza, focaccia and probably pita would be in that category … however, I may just try it after I deal with the focaccia!

  22. I kinda want to come to Canada and make bread with you. You make it look so easy! And I think it’s a perfect activity while you wait. :)

  23. So wonderful seeing Maggie Mae on Twitter – cuter than cute but Buster is still cuter than cute too! :-)

  24. Andrew van Geest

    Great job on the pita bread. It looks absolutely delicious. I did a volunteer program called Katimavik several years ago and we had to make our own bread during that time. I didn’t make it until near the end of the program but everyone told me I was the best bread-maker in the house:)

    Another new puppy in the family,eh. Another adorable one with a good name,Maggie Mae. Love that last pic with Buster obviously stating the canine Landlord Tenancies Act:) ‘Listen Maggie Mae, you’re cute and all but these are the terms and conditions…’

    Happy New Year, Susan

  25. Wow!
    I had NO idea Pita bread puffs like that in the oven!

    Are you going to share the recipe?? :D

    I think I need to start breaking in my almost done kitchen, and that may be first on my list!

  26. I got a kitchen aid stand mixer for Christmas too! We’re present twins. Only mine hasn’t come yet (my mom had it shipped to me after Christmas). :(

    I might have to christen it with some home made bread! :)

  27. Your mom’s puppy looks adorable, as does your dog. :)

  28. These are SO good! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  29. OMG. Two puppies in one house? I think I would just lay on the floor and cuddle with them all day long.

  30. Ooooh! I love pitas! You have a lot more patience than I do to make your own though! Your puppy is absolutely precious!

  31. That bread looks spectacular! Good job! :)

    Love the new puppy!

  32. What an adorable puppy. What does Archie think of him? Or is Archie your Dad’s dog….I’m confused.

    • Haha, don’t worry, my family is very confusing. Archie and the new puppy live with my mom. I live with my dad. Buddy the boxer-bullmastiff lives with my step-mom, but she visits my dad’s a lot with him. Buster however is ALL MINE :)

  33. ok that puffing action is CRAZY!!!! I’ve yet to make pitas… but LOVE making bagels!

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