The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pita bread

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bobku's picture
bobku

Pita bread

I have made some pita bread recently using whole wheat and also using white flour. I have to make the dough so thin to make it puff up correctly When its done its hard to put anything inside without the pocket ripping open. When I make them a little thicker some parts don't puff up at all ??

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

I don't know if you're already doing any of the following, but they have helped me when making pitas:


 



  • When rolling out the dough, try to keep as even a thickness as possible. maybe let the rolled-out pita rest a few minutes before baking.

  • Moisten the top (the side facing upwards initially) of the pita before sliding on to the stone, to prevent it drying out.

  • You can flip the pita over half way through baking to get even cooking on both sides.


 


Hope that helps,


FP

samsara's picture
samsara

I've only made them once but I found the advice somewhere else here about needing to have the oven very hot to work for me.  I had to do just one or two in the oven at a time and found it helped to shut the oven for a minute after removing the finished ones before I added some more.  This allowed the oven to get back up to temp.  Once I used the hottest temp possible and made sure that I hadn't let a bunch of the heat slip out my pita's puffed up like champs. 


I even made them much thicker and they puffed but the layers weren't even (the bottom layer was very thick and the top layer was very thin) but they worked and were delicious.  I can't remember at the moment but I think I used 20% whole wheat in mine.


 


Dave

xaipete's picture
xaipete

That's what worked for me too: a stone and a very hot oven. Make sure the oven is really preheated too.


--Pamela

mhjoseph's picture
mhjoseph

The pita recipe that I use from "Blessing of Bread" calls for pre-heating your baking stone and then switching the heat source to the broiler. This way the stone retains heat to bake to the bottom and the broiler takes care of the top.


I still have the same problem of one side being thicker than the other though so I don't think that the heat is the problem. Next time I'm going to try resting the rolled out breads and spritzing with water sounds like a good idea too.


 

swtgran's picture
swtgran

I too, could not get my pitas to split evenly.  I abandoned the oven entirely.  I find I get  a much nicer split  when I just use a round cast iron griddle on the stove top.  Save on electric bill too.


I usually make 100% white whole wheat sourdough pitas.  I make them about every other day.  I divide them into balls, cover and rest them about 20 minutes, roll them out, cover and rest another 10 minutes, heat the griddle, slide one pita on and when it starts to have some puffy bubbles, I flip it and then it is just a short time and the puff that makes the split occurs.  Sometimes it starts and doesn't seem like it is going to puff all the way and I am afraid it will begin to burn, so I flip it again and then it puffs the rest of the way.  I works almost all the time.


Sometimes I will get a hole that will allow the steam out and it won't want to puff completely.  I will try to put my spatula over the hole and stop the steam escape and it will puff.  Sometimes that doesn't work so I take it off put it in the folds of a dish towel and go on to the next one, then I will put it on the griddle again and it usually puffs right up. 

lakelly's picture
lakelly

I've also had success making pitas in a cast-iron skillet. It's easier to flip them over to get even cooking. The disadvantage is that it's difficult to cook more than one at a time.

Monstergirl's picture
Monstergirl

Where did you find your 100% whole white wheat pita recipe?  Would you mind posting it?


The most I've found is 70/30 wheat to AP flour.  I prefer to use sprouted white wheat, and if I could get some good 100% white wheat pitas going, I would be cooking them every other day too!


Thanks, I appreciate the thread information!!!


-Shannon

swtgran's picture
swtgran

Shannon, I have posted the recipe before.  You might try a search for 3  whole wheat sourdough pitas.  I don't know how to do a link.  If that doesn't work I can post it again.  I use home ground white whole wheat.  I even use a starter made from only home ground white whole wheat and water.  I have never tried regular red whole wheat.  Terry

samsara's picture
samsara

In case anyone is having trouble finding it or would just like a nice, easy link.  Here it is...


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/11797/wholewheat-pita-recipe#comment-66307


 


Dave

Crider's picture
Crider

There's a lot of youtube videos from the Middle East that shows people forming the pitas by hand (similar to pizza making) instead of rolling the dough with a pin. I tried this and found that rolling the dough squashes too many air pockets in the dough. Also, try letting your pitas final proof for 20 minutes. That will allow more time for air pockets to form/expand in the dough.