Thinking of trying some homemade pitas but feeling intimidated? No worries with
this recipe. It's simple! Most of the time involved is hands-off while the dough
is rising, and the pitas are cooked quickly in a hot skillet.
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) RED STAR
1 teaspoon sugar (for proofing yeast)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
additional oil for cooking
In a large mixing bowl, mix the water, sugar and yeast together, and let
sit for about five minutes until foamy.
Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, salt, and olive oil. Mix until a shaggy dough
Sprinkle the last 1/4 cup flour onto your clean work surface and turn out
the dough. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and
elastic. Add more flour (if needed) to keep the dough from sticking to your
hands or the work surface.
Set the dough back in the bowl and add another teaspoon or so of olive oil
(or use pan spray), then turn the dough until it's coated.
Cover with a clean dishcloth or plastic wrap and let the dough rise until
it's doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.
Once the dough has doubled, gently punch down the dough and turn it out
onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and
flatten each piece into a thick disk. Sprinkle the pieces with a little more
flour and then cover them with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap until you're
ready to cook them.
Roll one of the pieces into a circle 6-8 inches wide and about a quarter
inch thick. Sprinkle with a little extra flour if it's starting to stick. If
the dough starts to spring back, set it aside to rest for a few minutes, then
Repeat with the other pieces of dough.
Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until drops of water sizzle
immediately in the pan. Drizzle a little oil in the pan and wipe off the excess.
Lay a rolled-out pita on the skillet and cook for a minute, until you see
bubbles starting to form and edges look set. Flip and cook for another minute,
until large toasted spots appear on the underside.
Keep cooked pitas covered with a clean dishtowel or in a warm oven while
cooking the rest of the pitas.
Yield: 8 pitas
Pitas are best when eaten immediately after cooking. Leftover pitas will keep
in an airtight bag for several days and can be eaten as they are or warmed in a
toaster oven. Baked pitas can also be frozen with wax paper between the layers for
up to three months.