Soft Pita Bread
This is the softest pita bread with the most delicious flavor!
I’ve tried to make pita bread many times, and most of the time I’ve ended up with a crispy pita cracker with no pocket.
But recently I tried a new method of making pita, and I finally have pita bread success! So I’m sharing this recipe for Soft Pita bread, and I think you’ll find success too!
The Secret to Soft Pita Bread
I’ve discovered the secret to Soft Pita Bread. The secret lies with utilizing a Chinese Milk Bread method called a “tangzhong.” A tangzhong is essentially a roux, typically made from a portion of the flour and the liquid from the recipe, which are cooked together into a thick paste and then added to the dough mix. The roux, or tangzhong, can be made up of flour and milk, or even just flour and water. This recipe makes a tangzhong that is simply flour and water cooked together.
The benefits of using a roux (or tangzhong) are:
- Adds tenderness
- Adds chewiness
- Improves Flavor
- Prolongs shelf life
A roux (tangzhong) can be utilized in various bread recipes and recipes and be adapted to include one. You just want to ensure you’re taking some of the existing flour and liquid from the recipe and not adding more. This will ensure you are not effecting the flour to liquid ratio of the recipe.
Baking Pita vs. Cooking on Skillet
This is another area that has been the secret to my success in making Soft Pita Bread. In the past I’ve tried making pita bread in the oven, however with this recipe I decided to cook it on the stove. It had a much better result on the skillet. Baking pita in the past, and trying to achieve the pocket, just didn’t work for me, and usually resulted in a cracker like bread.
Now, I will exclusively cook my pita on a skillet, because injecting the heat into the center of the pita is much easier. After the first side of the pita is cooked, you flip it over and then add some pressure with a spatula and the pita will puff up like a thing of beauty!
I wish you all the best in your pita endeavors, maybe you haven’t struggled like me, but maybe you have! And I really hope this recipe helps you!
Soft Pita Bread
- 120 ml Water
- 25 g All Purpose Flour
- 10 g Yeast
- 10 g Sugar
- 250 ml Warm Water
- 500 g All Purpose Flour
- 14 g Salt
- Add the 120 ml water and 25g flour to a small saucepan and whisk together.
- Heat the saucepan over medium heat, stirring often with a whisk to prevent clumps or uneven cooking.
- Continue to heat and whisk until the roux is thick. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool for while the dough ingredients are prepared.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the warm water and sprinkle in the yeast and sugar.
- Whisk the mixture together and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom.
- After 5 minutes, add the remaining 500g of flour, the salt, and all of the roux (tangzhong) that was prepared. Stir together with a spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
- Attach the bowl to the electric mixer with the dough hook attached. Turn the machine on to medium high and allow the dough to mix for about 7-10 minutes, or until the dough becomes stretchy and the glutens have formed.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a towel and let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- After the dough has risen, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough into 6 to 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
- Cover the dough balls and allow them to rest for 30 minutes, but no longer than 1 hour.
Form the Pita Rounds
- On the lightly floured surface, roll out each ball of dough into a flat round by rolling only upward and downward, but making 90 degree turns after a few rolls, until an even pita round forms, about 8" in diameter.
- Set the rounds aside, (do not stack them) and heat up a non stick or cast iron skillet on the stove over medium, (medium low heat if it's a larger, hotter burner).
Cook the Pita
- Once the skillet has preheated, carefully place a dough round on the skillet, ensuring it is flat and evenly placed.
- When the dough begins to bubble and the edges seem cooked, flip the dough over to cook the second side.
- To form the pocket, gently press down in the center of the pita with a spatula, and the pita should puff up and create the pocket. If you prefer flat bread, leave it as is in the pan.
- Let the dough cook, browning evenly and then remove from the heat and place on a rack to cool. Total cook time on each side is about 3-4 minutes.
- Repeat until all the pita have been cooked.
- Serve while the bread is warm, or allow it to cool completely and store in a ziplock bag, up to 5 days.