Beginner Breadmaking: Greek Style Pita Bread
Here we have another very simple bread for you to make at home. Greek style pita (or ‘pocketless-pita’) completes a souvlaki, gyros or kebab. I ate lots of them in Greece while on my first holiday with my first ‘proper’ girlfriend oh-so long ago.
It’s a very simple and very quick bread to make, especially if you have a food mixer with a dough hook and is utterly delicious when served warm. Here’s how to make it…
- 500g Strong White Flour
- 10g fine sea salt
- 10g Caster (fine) sugar
- 5g dried fast action yeast
- 20ml Olive Oil
- 320 ml warm water
- 10g black onion seeds (optional)
Weigh out the dry ingredients into your mixing bowl, ensuring the salt and yeast do not touch. Fit the dough hook, add the oil and then most of the water.
Mix the dough on the lowest setting until well combined. Add the remaining water (and, maybe, even a little more: use your judgement) if it’s required. Once the ingredients are combined, raise the speed a bit and knead for 10 minutes.
It’s perfectly possible to knead this by hand. Simply oil the work surface and your hands and knead vigorously for 10 minutes.
When kneading has completed, shape the dough into a ball as described in the previous general breadmaking post HERE. Place the ball of dough into an oiled bowl, cover with film and leave to rest / prove for about an hour (until doubled in size).
Put your non-stick frying pan (skillet) on to a medium high heat. Oil your work surface, hands and a rolling pin, knock back the dough and then stretch / roll and fold the dough a few times. Do this by rolling into a rectangle, and folding the outside thirds over as shown in the photo’s below. After a few folds, form the dough into a sausage.
Divide the sausage into 8 equal parts. You can weigh these if you wish but I tend to go by eye by dividing the pieces in half. Roll the dough until it’s about 4 – 5 mm thick (around 2/16 – 3/16″). Don’t rush this as the dough will keep wanting to spring back but it will bow to your superior will eventually.
Place the flattened dough into the frying pan / skillet and cook for around 3 minutes on the first side (until there are a good few air bubbles beginning to show), flip it over and cook for a further two minutes on the other side.
Once cooked on both sides, place the pita on one half of a clean tea towel and cover with the other half. Continue stacking the pitas until you have finished. If you are not going to eat them straight away, seal them in a plastic bag as soon as they are cool enough.
That’s it. Pitas done. For a slightly richer bread, replace half of the water with milk or buttermilk.
Wrap the pitas around a homemade souvlaki (little-skewer) for a delicious snack, or add all the trimmings to make it into a main meal.
Let us know how you get on.