Friday, May 28, 2010

whole-wheat pita

My approach to bread-making is usually keenly cautious. I think this wariness is due mostly to my inability to produce anything bread-like that has not also been rock-like.

But this! This.

Pita, I can do. It has been pillowy and chewy and downright palatable each and every time I've made it, and that is saying something. Give it a try; it's tastier than the store-bought variety and absolutely worth the effort.

Whole-Wheat Pita (adapted from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger)
1. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons active dry yeast over .25 cup warm water (about 110 degrees), then add a pinch of sugar or a bit of honey. Stir until dissolved, then let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup warm water with 2 tablespoons olive oil, a teaspoon of salt, and 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour. Mix hard for about a minute with a wooden spoon, then add the yeast mixture. Add 1.5 cups unbleached white flour half a cup at a time until the dough is soft and shaggy and clears the side of the bowl.
3. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes on a lightly floured surface, then place the dough in a deep, lightly greased bowl. Turn the dough to coat both sides, cover the top with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1.5-2 hours.
4. Divide the dough into 8 portions and form each into a ball, then let rest for 10 minutes while your oven preheats to 475. Using a bit of flour as necessary, flatten the dough into 6-inch circles about .25 inch thick. Let them rest again until they start to puff a bit, about 15 minutes.
5. Transfer the circles to a Silpat (this is one of the top 5 best kitchen purchases ever), and bake for 8-10 minutes, being sure not to open the door during the first 4 minutes, and also being careful not to let them burn. Let them cool a little between dish towels and enjoy!


  1. Oh how wonderful! I never thought about making pitas! I will have to try these using Kamut Khorasan Wheat flour for sure. I bet they will turn out awesome since this flour really has a great texture to it when baking. It's also super nutritious which our family works hard to incorporate in what we eat. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Where did you buy your whole wheat pastry flour. I haven't been able to find it.

  3. Bob's Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills both make whole wheat pastry flour, but I bet you could substitute "soft" whole wheat flour (it has less gluten and can usually be found in health food store bulk bins), or easier yet, try faking it with a half-and-half whole wheat and white flour mix (so you'd end up using .75c wheat and 2.25c white in this recipe).
    I hope this was helpful!

  4. Just made these for dinner and they came out beautifully! These are the first whole wheat pitas that were worth eating. Thanks!