Pita is a Middle Eastern flat bread that is not only easy to make, but also versatile. Truly fresh pita though can be difficult to find, as pita bread is never as good as when it first comes fresh from the oven. Most pita bread sold in local markets, unless it is baked fresh on the premises, is likely to be a very poor imitation of what can be baked at home.

Fresh homemade pita bread

We often don’t think to keep pita on hand, but quite honestly, there’s no reason not to. If you can make a pizza dough, pita bread is really no more technically challenging. It takes roughly the same amount of time from start to finish as a pizza dough, and uses only a few staple ingredients.

Yield: 12 Large Pitas

Time: 15 Minutes Active Time; 2 Hour 20 Minutes Inactive Time


Stand Mixer (Optional, can be mixed by hand)
Kitchen Scale
Rolling Pin
2 Clean Kitchen Towels
Pizza Stone


2 Cups Water
1 tsp Pure Honey
1/2 oz Active Dry Yeast
14 oz Whole Wheat Flour
14 oz Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 2 Tbsp
Sea Salt (Optional)

Preheat grill (or oven) with the pizza stone to 500F

Activate The Yeast

Take 1 cup (8 fl oz) of warm water, between 90-100 F, and stir in the honey, and dry yeast. Set aside until the yeast has activated, and a foam has formed on the surface.

If bubbles do not form on the surface within 8-10 minutes, prepare a new batch of yeast, honey, and water

Prepare The Dough

In the bowl of the stand mixer add the salt, whole wheat, and all purpose flour, and briefly stir.

To prevent the pita from being too dense, this recipe uses half whole wheat, and half all-purpose flour

Make a well in the center of the flour, and add the remaining cup of water, oil, and the yeast mixture.

Mix on low speed for 4-5 minutes, or until the dough begins to gather around the hook. If the dough is wet, add just a little extra all purpose flour.

The dough will appear wet at first. Once all the flour is incorporated, the dough should start to gather around the hook.

Using well-floured hands, gather the dough into a ball, and lightly coat the dough with the remaining oil.

The finished dough should be tacky, but not sticky

Cover the bowl with a damp towel, or plastic wrap, and set the bowl aside for an hour at room temperature, until the dough as doubled in size.

Gently deflate the dough with your hand, re-cover the bowl, and rest the dough for an additional 20 minutes.

Gently degass the dough with your finger tips

Shape The Dough

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide the dough into 12 even pieces. I recommend weighing the dough when you turn it out, and dividing that weight by 12 to establish a target size for each of the pieces. If your dough weighs 3 lbs (48 oz), dividing by 12, each dough ball should be approximately 4 ounces. Cutting the dough with a sharp serrated bread knife is efficient, and won’t excessively degas the dough.

Roughly divide the dough into equal pieces to ensure even baking

Shape each piece into a ball, and on an area of the work surface that is unfloured, cup your hand over the ball, and quickly rotate your hand in a circular motion to shape into a tight ball.

Shape the dough on an unfloured surface

Set the dough to one side, under a damp kitchen towel.

When each ball has been shaped, on a floured section of the counter, roll out each ball, turning a quarter turn after each pass to maintain the circular shape, until the dough measures approximately 7-8 inches in diameter, and is approximately 1/8 inch thick.

Roll out each piece of dough on a floured surface

Set each round aside on a lightly floured surface, or baking sheet, and cover with a damp towel to prevent the dough from drying out.

Set the dough circles aside to proof for an hour before baking. Note, the dough will be easier to handle if it doesn’t overlap during proofing

Allow the dough rest again for 50-60 minutes before baking.

Baking The Pita

Although a pizza stone is not essential, the pitas will bake better on a hot stone, and are more likely to puff, creating a pocket, than if baked on a sheet pan.

Preheat the grill (or oven) to 500F, allowing a few extra minutes for the pizza stone (if using) to come up to temp once the oven is preheated.

Preheat the grill, but allow enough time for the pizza stone to come up to temperature

Just before baking, sprinkle the dough rounds lightly with salt (Kosher or Sea Salt works best).  Once the pizza stone is hot, transfer the dough to the stone quickly, but carefully, as excessive handling will prevent the dough from puffing and forming a pocket.  Be careful not to overlap the dough circles on the stone.  Bake, with the grill door closed, for 5-6 minutes, turning the dough over once part way through cooking, after the dough has puffed, to ensure even browning.

A perfectly puffed pita!

As each batch is baked, stack the pitas, wrapped in a clean kitchen towel, to keep them warm.

Stack the pitas as they come off the grill, and wrap in a clean towel to keep them warm

Serve the pitas warm, filled with your favorite sandwich filling, dip, or spread. For a breakfast sandwich try filling pita bread with scrambled farm-fresh eggs and arugula.  Fill a pocket with Greek salad for lunch, or top with fresh pesto, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella, to turn a few in to individual pita pizzas for dinner. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Homemade Pita Chips

A good way to use up extra pita bread, is to make your own pita chips. Once the pita is cool brush each round, on both sides, lightly with olive oil. Slice each pita into 8-12 wedges, and arrange the wedges in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle the wedges with sea salt, and bake in a 350F oven for approximately 15 minutes, until the pita is crisp and lightly browned.

Fresh-baked pita bread will store, tightly wrapped, for 2-3 days, or may be frozen for up to 6 months.

These particular pitas were served this weekend with our fresh homemade Baba Ghannouj (Mediterranean eggplant dip), using some of our farm fresh, and somewhat overabundant, heirloom eggplants.

When life gifts you eggplants, you make Baba Ghannouj!

Definitely my favorite way to eat eggplant.  I promise I’ll share that recipe soon!