My very best homemade pita bread recipe! If you like your pita bread soft, fluffy, and authentic, then this super easy pita bread recipe is made for you!
And if you are wondering if it is worth making pita bread at home, the answer for me is very simple! Nothing compares to the smell of some fragrant, warm, golden brown, fresh, homemade pita bread! Trust me, after you make this easy traditional Greek pitta bread recipe, you will never buy the store version again!
So go ahead, read on to discover my tips and tricks to make this Greek flat bread to perfection, my video showing you how to make it, my delicious whole-wheat pita bread variation, my no knead bread machine shortcut, my tips on how to prepare in advance and store them and of course the recipe!
Homemade Pita bread recipe – A traditional Greek delight
Pita bread (from Greek: πίτα) is a Greek flatbread that is a staple of countless Greek dishes. It is a firm favorite to serve with any assortment of meze’s and dips and spreads, like melitzanosalata, fava, feta cheese dip, tzatziki, hummus, vegan tzatziki sauce and many others.
Souvlaki is nothing else than a pita bread sandwich, stuffed with a meat of your choice, a deliciously creamy tzatziki sauce, fresh, juicy tomatoes and zingy onion slices.
Traditional Greek Pita Bread Key Preparation Steps and Tips
Greek pitta bread is a very simple dish to prepare. In a nutshell, Greek pita is a plain, non-enriched dough which is left to proof and then pan fried in a skillet until fluffy and golden brown.
So, my very simple, step-by-step Greek pita bread recipe is summarised in the below three key steps:
- Prepare your pitta bread dough
- Shape your pita breads
- Cook them in your skillet
How to prepare your pita bread dough
A traditional Greek pita flat bread dough only needs 4 ingredients to make and the whole process is really simple. So lets get started!
Start by preparing your yeast: Dissolve your yeast in a bowl with the water and sugar and wait for it to froth. There are two reasons for this.
Firstly, and most importantly, it’s a great test to make sure the yeast is fresh and active and will get your pitta flat bread all nice and fluffy. Secondly, its ready to go and full of action when it’s mixed with the flour!
Knead your pita bread dough: Pour in your yeast mixture, flour and salt in a bowl and use your hands or a stand mixer to knead until its soft, elastic and a bit sticky.
If you find your dough being too sticky, before adding any extra flour, let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes and try handling it again. This will let the gluten in your pitta bread dough relax and make it easier to handle.
If your dough is still too sticky to handle, then add a couple of tablespoons of flour and knead for a bit longer.
Let it rest in a warm place: Coat your dough with some oil to prevent it from drying out and then cover your bowl with a kitchen towel and some cling film and let it rest in a warm place. Your dough is ready when it has doubled in size.
If your home is a bit on the cold side, you can accelerate the proofing by putting your dough in your oven pre-heated to 40C/100F or with the oven light on only. This will kick start your yeast and make it proof faster.
Split into portions and get ready to shape: After your dough is done rising, it’s time to shape your Pita breads. Gently deflate your dough, split into evenly sized portions, and shape them into some nicely tight balls.
I use my kitchen scale to make sure I get 6 evenly sized balls out of my dough! Finally, let it rest for 15 minutes before shaping. This will relax the gluten and make your pita breads easier to spread and hold their shape.
How to shape your Greek pita bread
There are two tips that make all the difference when shaping your pita breads – rolling them out in evenly sized round disks and poking them with your fingers or a fork like a focaccia!
Shaping your pitta bread: Firstly, shape your pita bread in an even 20cm / 8-inch-wide disk. You can use your hands or a rolling pin to shape your pitas.
Using a rolling pin will result in a slightly crunchier pitta as the air is partially knocked out of the dough. On the other hand, using your hands to stretch it like a pizza base will result in more air in the dough and a fluffier pita bread
If the dough springs back, let it rest for a few minutes and try again – its gluten just needs some time to rest.
Poking the all-important holes: What visually distinguishes a Greek pita bread from a traditional flatbread are its dimples! They help create pockets of fluffiness and areas where the pita is crunchier as well as create space for your dips to sit in when served! So, go ahead and poke some dimples by pressing down firmly with your fingers or with the back of a fork!
How to cook your Greek pitta bread
The best way to cook your traditional Greek Pita bread is in a non-stick, heavy pan that comes with a lid. You want the pan to keep its temperature while cooking and its lid to lock the steam in.
There are two ways to cook your pita. The fast way – straight in the pan, or the slow but fluffier way, with steam in the pan.
For the fast way, you’ll need to:
- Preheat your pan on medium heat: You don’t want your pitta to cook too quickly on the outside so make sure the pan is not too hot!
- Use a little bit of olive oil: Don’t overdo it. Just a splash is enough! Use a kitchen towel to wipe the pan down if you’ve added too much.
- Use your pan’s lid! Cover the pan to lock the steam in the pan. This will make the pita bread very soft and fluffy while also giving it a delicious, caramelised crust!
For the fluffier but slower way you’ll be using some steam! If you want an even fluffier pita bread, cut some aluminium foil in a round disk the size of your skillet, spread a generous sprinkle of olive oil on it, so the pita doesn’t stick to it and place your pita on it.
In your hot pan, add a splash of water and immediately place the aluminum foil with your pita on top of it and cover with your lid. The steam will allow your pita bread to slowly rise and steam cook.
Let it cook for ~12 minutes at medium-low heat before taking the lid off and turning your pita over to cook on the other side. Don’t lift it a moment sooner than 12 minutes as your pita will deflate!
You want to steam your pitta bread long enough for the dough around the air pockets to solidify, so when you take it out the shock from the cold air doesn’t pop them.
If your first pitta does deflate just let your second one cook for an extra 2-3 minutes and it will turn out to be perfect!
Whole wheat pita bread
If you want a healthier variation, you can make your Greek pita bread with whole wheat flour. Use 50% whole wheat flour and 50% bread flour and follow the same recipe for the rest.
The whole wheat flour will add a nuttier flavour to your pitta while at the same time making it healthier to eat!
No knead Pitta bread using a bread machine
Ever since I bought my bread machine it has been my go-to device for making pitta bread. Not only does it remove the hassle of kneading, but it also lets my pitta dough proof at the right temperature without me needing to monitor it.
To make your no knead pita bread in a bread machine, simply add all the pita bread ingredients in the pan in this order: salt, sugar, flour, yeast, water.
The salt needs to be as far away from the yeast as possible, so it doesn’t stop it from activating. So, add your salt and sugar first and then your flour which acts as a buffer between the two.
After you’ve added your ingredients, set your bread machine to the basic dough cycle, and let it do its thing. Once it’s done, let the pitta dough proof in your bread machine for about 20-30 minutes or until doubled in size. Then proceed to shape and bake as per the recipe!
Making Greek Pita breads ahead of time
No one knows when a bunch of pitas may come in handy! Luckily, you can make your pita breads and store them in the freezer and serve them at a moment’s notice!
Cook the pita breads and let them cool down completely. Place them in ziplock bags squeezing the air out. When you want to serve, sprinkle with some olive oil, salt and dried oregano and heat them up in the oven for about 10-15 minutes straight from frozen. There is no need to thaw them! They will keep in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
If you have pita breads that you haven’t consumed right away, you can also store them in an airtight bag the fridge. They will keep for around 3 days. To serve, just lightly brush with olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and dried oregano and heat them in the oven for a few minutes.
What to eat pita bread with?
Pita breads and souvlaki are a match made in heaven! So go ahead and indulge yourself with my favourite recipes below:
Also I absolutely love to cut up my pitas in quarters and dip them in some delicious home made dips! These are my favourite dips for you to try!
So go ahead give this homemade pita bread recipe a try! Enjoy!
The very best homemade Greek pita bread recipe! And the best part, made with only 4 ingredients. Find out how to bake them to perfection with this super easy recipe.
- 500–530g (17-18.5 oz.) strong white bread flour or 50% white and 50% whole-wheat flour
- 360g (12.7 oz.) lukewarm (40C/ 104F)
- 3 tsp dry instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- To prepare this pitta bread recipe add in a mixer’s bowl the yeast, sugar and water and blend to dissolve the yeast. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until yeast froths.
- Add the flour and salt and mix using the dough hook for 6-8 minutes. Alternatively you could mix the ingredients by hand.
- Depending on the flour used, the dough may need a little bit less or more flour than this pita bread recipe calls for. After mixing for a while the dough for your pita bread should become an elastic ball and a bit sticky.
- When ready, coat the dough with olive oil, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let it sit in a warm place, for at least 20 minutes or until it doubles its size. This is an important step for this pita bread recipe. The first proof makes the pita bread fluffy and soft. If it is winter, turn the oven on for a minute or two, until it’s a little warm, switch it off and then let the dough rise in it.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and gently deflate with your hands. Use just a tiny bit of flour to help you if it is too sticky. Split into 6 evenly sized balls around145g/ 5 oz. each.
- Let the pita bread balls rest for 15 minutes before shaping. This is the second proof and will allow your dough to relax and become easier to shape.
- To form the pita bread, you can either use a rolling pin, or stretch it with your hands, about 20cm in diameter. A rolling pin will make a crunchier pita, while hand stretching a softer, fluffier one. If the dough springs back, set it aside for a few minutes to rest and then continue rolling again.
- For a more traditional look on your pita bread, press the dough firmly with your fingertips forming dimples or use a fork to make some holes on top.
- For a faster baked pita, heat a non-sticking frying pan to medium heat and add just a little bit of olive oil and wipe off any excess. Bake each pita bread for about 3 minutes on each side, until slightly coloured and still soft. If your pan has a lid, place the lid on while baking them to keep the moisture in.
- For a fluffier pita use the steam method. Cut a piece of aluminium foil to the size of your pan. Generously sprinkle and spread some olive oil on it. Shape and place your pita on the foil. Pour a large glug of water in your plan over medium low heat – it should start steaming immediately! Place your pita immediately in it and cover with the lid. Let it steam for 12-15 minutes. Take it out, flip it over and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the foil.
- To give it more colour, when you flip your pita bread, push it lightly with a wooden spoon on the pan.
- Serving Size: 1 pita
- Calories: 308kcal
- Sugar: 0.2g
- Sodium: 4.7mg
- Fat: 0.9g
- Saturated Fat: 0.1g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 64.1g
- Fiber: 2.6g
- Protein: 9.1g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: Pita Bread recipe, Easy Homemade Pitta Bread