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Homemade Pita Bread

Makes 16
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, or 2 cups all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 package quick-rising yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • flour for kneading
  • Olive oil

In  bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Add water, slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon until well-combined. You may not need all the water. Turn out onto a floured board, and knead for 10-15 minutes, adding only as much flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Kneading is done when the dough is smooth and elastic, and doesn’t stick to the board at all.

Place a little oil (a tablespoon or less) in a large bowl, and turn the ball of dough in the oil to coat it. Cover the bowl with  a damp towel, and place in a warm spot (an oven with the pilot light, etc.) until doubled in bulk. This should take less than one hour. If you don’t use quick-rising yeast, it will take longer.

Preheat the oven to 500°F., first placing the rack at the very bottom of the oven and, f you have one, covering it with a pizza stone (do this before heating the oven!). Or, just use a baking sheet so it, too, preheats.

Turn the dough out onto a table, and form into a long rope. Cut or pinch into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then use a rolling pin to form into circles 4 inches across between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to heated baking sheet in batches, and bake 4 minutes, until the bread puffs up—then turn over and bake 2 minutes more. Remove and replace with more breads. Place the hot breads on another baking pan, and cover with a damp towel—this will allow them to deflate and soften a bit; you can now eat the fresh bread, still warm. If you’re making it ahead, store in a plastic bag. It will keep for a week (or freeze for a month).