On a Budget
Make Your Own Pita Bread for Weeknight Meals
I used to buy pita in bulk, stocking up and then consuming it like a gluten-hungry monster. The whole family was, in fact, a bit obsessed with the pita. Dipped in hummus and covered in tzatziki, there weren't many ways you could go wrong with the soft flatbreads. Then, unfortunately for us, the plethora of pita dried up. In other words, they stopped carrying it at locations that were easily accessible to us.
I really dislike when stores do that, carrying items and then taking them away. Just recently our local grocer stopped carrying non-homogenized milk in glass bottles from a local dairy. Shame. I was forced to source my milk elsewhere. Now the local pitas are missing, too. Here I thought local was on the upswing, and yet I have to drive farther just to attain it?
Not anymore. Not because they brought the pita back, however. No, I just started making my own right in my own kitchen, which made me wonder why I didn't do that all along. At less than $2 a batch, it makes the perfect meal when paired with the hummus and fresh grilled vegetables. You can have a full meal for 6 at less than $10 easy.
Soft Pita Bread
1½ cups warm water, 110 degrees
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups whole-wheat flour
1-3 tablespoons olive oil
Pour warm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle with yeast and sugar and allow to stand until frothy, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt. Mix flours together. Add flour to the yeast mixture, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. When all the flour is added, turn the mixture out onto an oiled surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth. Place in a bowl and cover. Let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
When the dough has doubled, preheat the oven to 350º F. Punch down the dough and knead lightly to form a ball. Split into 6-8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Roll each ball of dough into a ¼"-thick circle. Place dough on baking sheets covered in parchment or silicone baking mats and poke lightly with a fork.
Bake at 350º F on the lowest rack in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely and store until ready to use. Just before serving, lightly oil both sides of each pita round and heat on a grill, flat griddle, or in a frying pan over medium heat for 30-60 seconds per side, just until warm and easily pliable. Serve warm.
Makes 6-8 pita rounds.