I had never tried making pita bread before...I mean, WHO KNEW you could make your own pitas?! I tried this recipe a couple days ago and everyone who tried them absolutely LOVED them.
There are so many things that once I make them at home, I can never go back to store-bought: like granola, salsa, artisan bread and now definitely pita bread. Homemade pita is so soft and flavorful it makes its store-bought counterpart seem like a circle of cardboard.
Pitas are so very versatile...stuff it with sandwich or salad fixings, tear it up and eat with hummus, spread pb & j on it like my kids do. And they are freezer-friendly.
Tomorrow I am going to make us another batch to use with another new meal recipe...chicken gyros.
Whole Wheat Pitas
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. honey
1¼ cups warm water (105˚-115˚ F), divided
1½ cups bread flour, divided
1½ cups whole wheat flour, divided
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Cornmeal, for sprinkling
In a bowl, combine the yeast, honey and ½ cup of the water. Stir gently to blend. Whisk ¼ cup of the bread flour and ¼ cup of the whole wheat flour into the yeast mixture until smooth.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap and add in the remaining ¾ cup of warm water, 1¼ cups bread flour, 1¼ cups whole wheat flour, olive oil and salt. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and let rise in a warm draft-free place, about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.
Place an oven rack in the middle position. Place a baking stone in the oven (if using) and preheat to 500˚ F.
Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten one ball at a time into a disk, then stretch out into a 6½-7 inch circle. Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet or other work surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Once all the rounds have been shaped, loosely cover with clean kitchen towels. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.
Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, onto the baking sheet. Bake 2 minutes, until puffed and pale golden. Gently flip the pitas over using tongs and bake 1 minute more. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining pitas. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.