Pita is a flatbread that originated in the Mediterranean and Middle East. It is one of the most basic breads, but probably also one of the most functional and diverse breads. When baked in the oven, it makes a pocket that can be filled with a variety of meats, salad and sauce.
In our family pita is a reminder of our annual holidays on the Greek island of Paros. Lazy days, balmy nights, gallons of crispy Greek wine and pita bread! At home we have them on weekends, filled with thinly sliced flame-grilled rump steak, lettuce, tomato and a liberal scoop of tzatziki.
20g instant yeast
± 750ml water, lukewarm
Preheat your oven to 250℃.
Add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast to a large mixing bowl.
Make a hollow in the dry ingredients and then add the oil and thereafter the water.
Bring the ingredients together with your hands and knead for 10 minutes or so, until you have a soft, smooth dough. (If you are using a stand mixer and a dough hook, run the mixer for 4 minutes or until the dough sits on the dough hook and it appears smooth).
Rub some olive oil onto the insides of a large mixing bowl and transfer the dough to it. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or put it into a plastic bag.
Leave the dough to proof until doubled in size.
Once the dough is ready, transfer it to a work surface and knead it down by hand, for a minute or so.
Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces, using a dough cutter or a sharp knife. I weigh my dough which means that I cut it into 16 x 136g pieces. You do not have to do this and may divide the dough into the size that works for you, or simply divide “by using your eye”!
Now once the dough is divided, roll each piece into a ball and then squash the ball between the palms of your hands. This will flatten it enough but still keep it thick enough to be able to expand and form a pocket when baked.
Place the pitas on a well floured baking sheet, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Place the shaped pitas into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove your beautiful pita breads from the oven and allow them to cool.
When cool enough to handle, slit a third of the bread open so that it leaves you with a pocket to fill with the filling of your choice.