Pita Bread

My favorite smell in the world is the smell of freshly baked bread. Nothing, and I mean, nothing smells better than bakeries early in the morning. I remember as a child when my family would visit Jordan, my favorite errand was going to the neighborhood bakery. My grandma would buy her daily pita bread and I would get to taste all the delicious baked goods that just came out of the oven. 

Living in California, I say I'm pretty lucky because we have local bakeries that deliver fresh pita bread to international grocery stores on a daily basis. Now, you can even find pita bread at the regular grocery store, but it's usually four times the price and a few days old. The convenience of being able to pick up a bag of bread from the grocery store is amazing, but trust me when I tell you this. Nothing compares to the taste of bread you make at home. 

I don't usually bake my own pita bread. But, one day I was getting ready to make dinner and I needed pita bread, only to realize that I had none! I began experimenting with a few different recipes and I finally found the perfect one. Surprisingly, it wasn't that difficult! 

I found that it was easiest for me to make the bread on a skillet, rather than in the oven. You need to preheat your skillet to make sure its at a medium heat. The instant contact with the heat creates the pocket in the pita.  

Make this bread with your next Sunday breakfast and you'll never go back to store bought again! It's perfect with hummus, falafel, shawerma and the majority of Middle Eastern stews. 

Pita Bread 

Servings: 24 pitas

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients: 

1 packet of instant yeast (1/4 oz) 

1-1/4 cup warm water 

3 cups all purpose flour 

2 teaspoons sugar 

1 teaspoon salt 

Directions: 

1) In the bowl of your mixer, or in regular bowl, combine water and sugar. Dissolve the sugar and add the yeast. 

2) Add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix using your dough hook attachment. 

3) Knead the dough for 5 minutes on medium speed. Cover the dough and let it rest for 1 hour in a warm place. 

4) When the dough has doubled in size, cut the dough into 24 equal size balls. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into even disks. 

5) Preheat your skillet on medium-high heat. 

6) Lay out the pita breads on your skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional minute. Your disks will begin to puff up. Remove from heat and cover with a kitchen towel. 

Notes: 

- Pita bread is best eaten fresh. You can make the entire batch and refrigerate for up to one week. 

- If your pitas won't puff, it means the heat isn't high enough. Make sure to let your skillet heat up between every few pitas.