Way back when I was first introduced to pita bread, my family always called it pocket bread, because of the “pocket” it has that can so conveniently be stuffed with other food. It seems like back then, pita bread wasn’t such a craze, or perhaps it was and I just didn’t know it. It wasn’t until one day that I heard somebody call it pita bread that I realized this was the stuff I knew as pocket bread. Now that you see pita sandwiches everywhere and pita recipes are also readily available, the term “pita” is ingrained in my mind. I don’t think I’ve called it pocket bread for years.
The pita bread we always used to buy is the ordinary one that is very thin but has a big pocket. By itself, it really isn’t that tasty, but it’s good for sandwiches. This pita I’ve made is something different. It’s a thick pita, and to be honest, it’s hard to stuff anything inside of it without breaking the bread, but the beauty of it is the flavor it has all by itself. It’s a chewy, tasty bread that to mean seems very Mediterranean. Unlike ordinary pita bread, this pita bread has substance. If you do feel like eating it with something else, it’s amazing with hummus. But here’s a secret: this pita bread actually has hummus in it! I though to myself, “If pita bread and hummus are such a good combination, why not just throw some of that great hummus flavor right into the dough?”
Whether or not you’re a fan of normal pita bread, I urge you to try this recipe out. Do yourself a favor though, and make sure it’s nice and warm when you eat it (as all breads should be). Let me know how you like it!
You haven’t tried Pita Bread until you’ve tried it homemade. These thick, soft pitas are half whole-wheat, and simple to prepare in a bread machine. Warm or cold, this Pita Bread the perfect go-with for just about… everything!
- Cook Time: 6 minutes
- Total Time: 6 minutes
- Yield: 8 pitas 1x
- scant 1 cup water, lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons hummus
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached white bread flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (bread flour, if you have it)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
- olive oil, for brushing
- 1. Add the lukewarm water, olive oil, and hummus (in that order) to your bread machine pan. Add the flour on top of the liquids, making sure the liquids are completely covered. In separate corners of the pan, add the salt, sugar, and garlic. Make a small well in the center of the flour and add the yeast. Set your machine to the dough setting. Watch it as it begins kneading the dough. You might need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky or more water if it won’t come together. You want the dough to form a soft ball that pulls away from the sides of the bread pan.
- 2. Once the dough cycle has finished, remove the dough from the machine and place it on a flat surface covered in saran wrap. Punch it down once and separate it into 8 equal pieces, rolled into balls. Each ball should be bigger than a golf ball but smaller than a baseball. However, you can make smaller or bigger balls if you want smaller or bigger pitas. Cover the dough balls with greased saran wrap and allow to rest for ten minutes.
- 3. After the resting period, roll out each ball into an oval, slightly less than 1/4-inch thick. I have found it works best if you have a piece of saran wrap both under and over the dough as you’re rolling it out. Place on a baking sheet liner, cover again with greased saran wrap, and allow to rest for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450F with your baking sheets inside (not the liners with the bread, just the baking sheets).
- 4. Once your ten minutes is almost up and the oven is almost ready, brush the tops of the pitas lightly with olive oil. When ready, place the liners with the pitas onto the hot baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 6 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through the time. When the pitas are ready, they should be puffed but not brown. Place on a wire rack to cool.
- 5. Pitas can be served warm from the oven, of course. Store pitas in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Pitas can reheated in the toaster for about 2-3 minutes or wrapped in a cloth in the microwave for 25-45 seconds, depending on number of pitas you are reheating.
This recipe uses a bread machine for the kneading and rising process of the dough. Some bread machines instruct you to add your dry ingredients before your liquid ingredients. If this is the case for you, reverse the order instructed below to best suit your bread machine.