The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pita Bread

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littletemchin's picture
littletemchin

Pita Bread

My family is originally from the Middle East (several generations ago) and it is pretty sad that every time I attempt to make Pita bread I do not get that classic hollow flat bread but instead I get something that resembles a puffy tortilla. Although there is nothing wrong with tortillas that is not really what I am after. What am I doing wrong? How do I get that classic pouch (for filling with falafel of course)? Does it have to do with the type of flour, or amount of time I knead it, or quantity of yeast? If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.


Also, if anyone has a great pita bread recipe please inform me of it. I recently made a sourdough starter and am wondering if it  is possible to make a sourdough pita?

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Maybe you are rolling them out too thin? Using a pizza stone also might help, since it transfers heat much better.


The pita recipe on this site has always puffed up for me.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

There are lots of pita bread recipes on this site.  To which do you refer?

Floydm's picture
Floydm

The one I linked to which is at /recipes/pitabread.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Ooops, sorry, if there's a link in there I missed it.  My color vision isn't normal so if it's imbedded in a string (they're usually red) I didn't see it (still don't).

ejm's picture
ejm

Here is Floyd's link:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/pitabread


And here is our pita recipe that is similar to the above, but calls for a little less flour:


http://etherwork.net/recipes/flatbread.html#pita


They always puff up as well.


I always use about half whole-wheat flour and half unbleached all-purpose. (Please note that our recipe calls for Canadian cups, which hold 250ml rather than the 240ml that US cups hold.)


-Elizabeth

alliezk's picture
alliezk

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/pitabread


The link above was a fairly foolproof recipe, or so I found. Im fairly new at bread and I got most of the pitas to puff. One thing I noticed was that after I rolled the dough into balls, I kept forgetting to replace the cover over them as I grabbed and put in the oven. The ones I didnt cover didnt pop as well as the outside had dried out a bit.


I also jack my oven up as high as it goes before i put the temperature down right before putting any breads in, but my oven generally sits 20 or so degrees colder than it should. I figure with this recipe, since you are opening and closing the door to change the pitas as they come out, a little extra heat could never hurt.


I wish you luck, they are so satisfying to watch puff up.

jannrn's picture
jannrn

I had to laugh when I read your post....I remembered the first time I tried to make Pita bread...as a newly married (to a Syrian man) home maker tryint REALLY hard to cook all things Arabic!! What I ended up with were really pretty tiles and rocks!!! I have since figured it out and have found that if you roll them out too thin, Tortillas is what you get....also, make sure your oven is as hot as you can get it, unless it is a commercial oven!! I usually BAKE mine on between 475 and 500.....make SURE your oven is on bake, not broil!! Also, there is a Middle Eastern cook book that is the best I have found in my 35 years of having Arabic Friends (the marriage didn't last) and even my mother-in-law who spoke no English loved this cookbook....it is called " Sahtein" and was put out in 1976 by a group of Arabic women in Detroit. If you will email me, I will send you the address so you can write to them and see if you can get a copy. I managed to find 2 for my daughters on Ebay but they are wicked hard to find!!! Oh and as for the bread, I found that letting it have plenty of time to rise really helped before I baked them. Good Luck!!!


Jann


jannrn1@gmail.com

ejm's picture
ejm

No kidding!! There aren't even any really low used copies shown on bookfinder but there are some that are less than US$100....


http://www.bookfinder.com/dir/i/Sahtein/0866850368/

ejm's picture
ejm

I like to add whole wheat flour to pitas. This is the recipe I use:


http://etherwork.net/recipes/flatbread.html#pita


We've made these on the stovetop, in the oven AND on the barbecue. They invariably puff up but I'm afraid I don't know exactly what I do to make that happen.


-Elizabeth

lthornb's picture
lthornb

I am looking for a syrian bread recipe.  It is not the flat pita type.  This one has a 2 inch rise, is chewy spongey in texture. 


 


thank you, linda

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Khoubiz?   You might have better luck posting this as an independent thread instead of piggybacking on this one.

Carolyn John's picture
Carolyn John

This is exactly the type of bread I am looking for-very common in our small multi-ethnic western PA town. I know it has been a while since you initially posted your quest but did you find any recipe for this bread?

thaibake's picture
thaibake

hi, i'm sorry for perhaps hijacking this thread, but i've been having pita problems that i can't seem to find an answer for. 


After going through the whole rolling the dough too thin and ending up  with gorified tortillas, now I finally get about 90% of my pitas to have pockets in them. 


BUT, after they've cooked and I'm cooling them on a wire rack, when the puff falls back down the pitas tend to leave wet spots on the cooked dough, and I think it might be where the steam has hit them from the inside.  Not sure about this, though.  It's like having oil stains or water marks on my bread that I can't get rid of.  They taste fine and no one's ever complained, but I notice it. 


Has anyone else experienced this with their pitas?  How can I make them nice and uniformly white like the ones you buy in the shop???


Might be worth mentioning that I'm cooking in Thailand and have some extreme heat and humidity to deal with here.  It's not like baking in New York, for example.


Cheers and Happy New Year to all,


thaibake

Leesky's picture
Leesky

There are just SO many different recipes for Pita Bread, with varying amounts of everything from flour to yeast. So what is it that makes Pita different from other breads in that it will not only puff up but also settle back down and leave the pocket?

ejm's picture
ejm

I think it must be something to do with the shaping by rolling out and then immediately baking the bread at a high heat. This pocket thing happens with Indian bread too.


-Elizabeth