Pita Bread

Homemade pita bread is worlds apart from the stuff you buy in the store--and watching it puff up to tall heights on the stovetop is utterly satisfying. The dual action between the water and the yeast becoming hyperactive when it hits the hot pan is what makes the puff so impressive. This is as straightforward of a bread recipe as you are going to get. Simply add everything to the mixer bowl, let it rise just once, roll out the dough and cook. Voila--homemade bread!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 pitas
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Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (see Cook's Note)

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 cup lukewarm water, plus more as needed

Directions

Special equipment:
a stand mixer and a dough hook
  1. Add the flour, yeast, salt and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed to combine. Increase the mixer to medium-high speed and slowly drizzle in the lukewarm water. Continue mixing until the dough gathers into the ball and completely pulls away from the sides of the bowl and the bowl is clean, adding more water 1 tablespoon at a time if needed, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough and knead by hand until smooth and elastic, 3 to 4 minutes. Form into a ball, place into a large bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 
  3. Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface and punch it down with your fist to deflate. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each into a ball. Flatten each ball with your hand and roll into 8-inch rounds about 1/8 inch thick.  
  4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet (or a stainless-steel skillet if you don’t have cast iron) over medium-high heat until very hot. Working with one piece of dough at a time, place onto the hot skillet and cook until the dough has puffed up completely on top and looks set around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the dough and continue cooking until puffed and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining dough. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)