My Pita Bread Recipe – Eish Baladi

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah

I make my own pita bread, as I find store-bought to be tough and dry by comparison. I serve this with fuul or use the dough to make zaatar. For this recipe, I use a Kitchenaid stand mixer with mixing hook and dough hook, measuring cups and spoons, a dough cutter, a rolling pin, and cookie sheets.

In the bowl of my mixer, I place one cup of all-purpose flour, one tablespoon sugar, one teaspoon salt, two tablespoons yeast, and two tablespoons olive oil. Start the mixer running on low speed with the mixing attachment. Slowly add one cup of very warm water. Raise speed to medium fast for three minutes. After that time, remove the mixing attachment and put on the dough hook. Add another cup of flour and mix / knead on low speed for ten minutes. You will probably have to adjust the amount of flour depending on how dry the flour is and the humidity. I often add another half cup of flour to make a dough that is not sticky but not stiff.

After kneading, take the dough out and place it on the work surface, kneading for a minute or two to make a smooth ball. Using the dough cutter, I cut the ball into eight pieces and form each piece into a ball. Cover with a clean light cloth (or I use a new garbage bag cut open to make a big sheet) and heat the oven to 550 degrees.

After the dough has risen, ten to twenty minutes depending on how warm your kitchen is, take each ball and roll it out into a six-inch round, flipping over only once. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, two or three to a pan depending on the size of the pan. Let rest for ten minutes, then place in the oven one pan at a time for THREE minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Remove from the oven and take off the cookie sheet with a spatula. Let sit and cool a bit on the counter; be careful! If it “poofed” and made a pocket like you want, the steam escaping from that pocket will be HOT!

If you want to make zaatar bread instead, after you put the round on the cookie sheet, poke it all over with a fork to prevent it forming a pocket (this is called “docking”). Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with zaatar mix (oregano, salt, sesame seeds in a premade mix). Bake three minutes in the oven.

That’s it! Get used to making this because it will NOT last!

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