Homemade Pita Bread

Once you start making this homemade pita bread recipe, you won't be able to stop! Soft, puffy, and flavorful, it beats any kind from the grocery store.

Pita bread

This homemade pita bread recipe comes from my friend Molly Yeh’s Short Stack Yogurt cookbook. It’s been on my list to try since the book was first released two years ago, but for one reason or another, I never made it until this spring. When I finally did, what Jack and I thought would be a fun, one-time cooking project turned into a full-on pita bread obsession. We started putting extra yogurt on the grocery list just so we could make it!

If you’re thinking, “Wait. Yogurt? In pita bread?”, you’re not crazy. It’s not a typical pita bread recipe ingredient, but Molly’s book is all about yogurt – how it’s a versatile, flavorful ingredient that happens to be good for you too. She uses it in a huge range of recipes – from soup to cookies to ranch dressing and mac and cheese.

In my opinion, it’s the secret ingredient that makes this pita bread so exceptional. It’s not only thicker, softer, and puffier than any other homemade or store bought pita I’ve tried, but also it has a tangy, sourdough-like flavor. It’s just as delicious plain as it is with a filling or a dip, and as Molly writes, it’d make a pretty great sleeping bag too. If your experience is anything like ours, once you start making it, you won’t be able to stop.

Ball of dough

How to Make Pita Bread

This pita bread recipe is easy to make! Here’s how it goes:

First, make the dough. Activate the yeast by mixing it with warm water and a teaspoon of sugar. When the yeast mixture foams, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and mix it with the flour, salt, remaining sugar, oil, and yogurt. Knead the dough, either with the stand mixer or by hand, until it’s soft and slightly sticky, 7 to 10 minutes.

Pita bread recipe dough

Once you’ve kneaded the dough, let it rise. Transfer it to an oiled bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Set it aside for about 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Balls of dough on baking sheets

Then, divide the dough into balls. This recipe makes 12 small flatbreads, so you’ll split it up into 12 equal parts. Cover the balls, and let them rise for 20 more minutes.

How to make pita bread

Next, roll out the pita bread! Use a rolling pin to roll the dough balls into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick circles. Keep any dough you’re not working with covered as you roll out the pita.

Dough on a baking sheet

Once you’ve rolled out all the dough, bake! Arrange the dough circles on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time at 500 degrees until the pita bread is puffy and golden brown on top. That’s it! Transfer the freshly baked pita to a wire rack to cool, and enjoy.

Note: When we make this pita bread recipe, there are always a few pita that don’t puff up to form pockets. That’s ok! They’re still great for dipping or enjoying as flatbreads.

Pita bread in oven

Pita Bread Recipe Tips

  • Weigh your flour. Because this pita bread recipe uses a large amount of flour, you should weigh it if you can. This way, you’ll know exactly how much flour you’re using. Cup measurements are much less precise, as they can vary based on a variety of factors (your specific measuring cups, how tightly you pack your flour, etc.). If you don’t have a kitchen scale, check out this post for my best tips on measuring flour with measuring cups.
  • Bake one sheet at a time. Because temperatures vary throughout an oven, bake one sheet at a time for the most even cooking. You don’t want the pita bread on the bottom rack to burn before the top rack starts to brown! And with only one baking sheet in the oven, you can position a rack in the center to give the pita space to puff up.
  • Rotate the pan. Jack and I start checking our pita bread a few minutes before we think it’ll be ready, at around the 5 minute mark. At that point, if one side of the pan is more puffy or golden than the other, we rotate it and bake for a few more minutes so that both sides can cook evenly.
  • Freeze some for later. Whenever we make this recipe, we almost always freeze half the batch to have on hand for snacking later on. If you plan to store and reheat the pita bread, pull it out of the oven just before it starts to brown. Molly recommends thawing or reheating it in the toaster, where it’ll brown up without getting too crisp or burnt.

Homemade pita bread

Pita Bread Serving Suggestions

This pita bread is so soft, fluffy, and flavorful that we honestly love to eat it plain! However, it’s also fantastic with all sorts of fillings, spreads, and dips. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

How do you like to eat your homemade pita bread? Let me know in the comments!

Pita bread recipe

More Favorite Breads and Tortillas

If you love this homemade pita bread recipe, try making one of these recipes next:

pita

Homemade Pita Bread

rate this recipe:
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Rising Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
Serves 12
This homemade pita bread is so much better than store bought! Soft, puffy, and flavorful, it's just as delicious plain as it is with a topping or dip. The recipe is from the Short Stack edition Yogurt by Molly Yeh.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons), active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour (469 grams), plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the bowl
  • 3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt, (we use Stonyfield)

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Let the mixture sit until it’s foamy on top, about 5 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt, and remaining tablespoon sugar. Add the yeast mixture, oil, and yogurt, and mix to combine. Knead the dough, either in the stand mixer or on a clean work surface, adding more flour if needed, until it’s soft and slightly sticky, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until it’s doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 500°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide it into 12 equal balls. Cover and let rise an additional 20 minutes.
  • Roll the balls out into circles that are 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Place them onto the baking sheets an inch apart, then bake, one sheet at a time, until they’re puffy and lightly browned on top. Begin checking at 5 minutes. We bake them for about 8 minutes, rotating the pan after the 5 minute mark if one side of the sheet is puffing up more than the other. Transfer the pitas to a wire rack to cool.

Notes

Note: These freeze really well. Molly recommends pulling them out of the oven just before they’re brown if you plan to store and reheat them. To thaw, pop them in the toaster - they’ll brown up a bit as they toast.

29 comments

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  1. KareninStLouis
    05.28.2020

    Any thoughts on how to make this with 100% whole wheat?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.28.2020

      I haven’t tried it – I’d probably start with a 50/50 mix so it’s not too dense. I’d also use measure it by weight since whole wheat flour is heavier than AP.

      • KareninStLouis
        05.28.2020

        Thank you so much.

    • Dbuzz Colorado Springs
      06.05.2020

      5 stars
      Added two extra tbs of water to the dough. I also weighed the flour. They didn’t puff up like in the picture but they were amazingly delicious.

  2. Harold
    05.28.2020

    5 stars
    The recipe sounds great but I have an allergy to yeast. Would I be able to substitute baking powder or cream of tartar for the yeast. I love your recipes and have used them lots during my quarantine.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.28.2020

      Hi Harold, I haven’t tried it without yeast. I know it’s possible to use sourdough starter for puffy pita, but that would be a different recipe with different ratios.

      • Harold
        05.28.2020

        Thank you so much Jeanine for your suggestion using Sourdough. Interestingly enough I can have sourdough since the main culture is lactobacillus. I do appreciate your response and your recipes.

  3. Melanie
    05.28.2020

    Do you think this would work if it was gluten free and dairy free? I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free flour blend for baking and coconut yogurt which is quite thick.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.29.2020

      Hi Melanie, I can’t say… GF flour doesn’t always act the same way, especially in yeasted breads, so I’m not sure.

  4. denise
    05.29.2020

    As you mentioned this recipe uses ALOT of flour and makes alot of pitas! Do you think I could just cut the recipe in half to make a smaller batch? TIA!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.29.2020

      Hi Denise, you could cut it in half and make 6 pitas. We like to make 12 (for the effort) because they freeze really well!

  5. Pat from gmail
    05.29.2020

    Can these be made gluten free. My daughter in law is gluten intolerant.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.29.2020

      I’m sorry, I don’t have a gluten free version of this recipe.

  6. Karen
    05.29.2020

    Do you think I could use my homemade whole-milk yogurt rather than a commercial brand and still have success with this recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.29.2020

      Hi Karen, I think that would be fine!

  7. Margaret
    05.29.2020

    How can I get the nutritional information for your recipes?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.31.2020

      I’m sorry, I don’t post nutritional info. You can calculate it using my fitness pal or another similar site.

  8. Kristen
    05.30.2020

    Can I use AP flour for this? That’s all we have right now 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.30.2020

      Hi Kristen, I think it would work out just fine.

  9. Rashi
    06.02.2020

    Hey! The pitas look so tempting! 🙂
    Just a couple of questions –
    1. If I use instant dry yeast instead of active dry yeast, can I add it in straight with the flour and do I still need to add sugar?
    2. When you say they freeze well, do you mean the half baked pitas, or can I freeze the unbaked dough balls?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.03.2020

      Hi Rashi, I’d put the yeast in at the same time it says in the recipe – you still want to make sure it gets foamy.

      I take the pitas out just a few minutes early (they’re past half-baked – they should have puffed up in the oven and be cooked all the way through. That’s when I freeze them. They’re great that way, I wouldn’t freeze the unbaked dough balls.

      Hope that helps!

  10. Jennifer
    06.03.2020

    Hello,

    I tried this recipe this evening. I have 3 boys and they thought the pitas were amazing – there were no leftovers 🙂 I had limited success though with the ‘puffiness’ of each pita. Of the entire batch I had only two that really puffed up. Any tips to ensure that each will puff up?
    Thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.05.2020

      Hi Jennifer, I’m so glad you all loved it! I’d check your yeast – right now some stores and online sources are selling expired yeast. It’s affected some of our baking in side-by-side testing.

  11. Jenny
    06.24.2020

    Hi Janine! We love your recipes! Is there a way to do this without a stand mixer? I have a hand mixer but that’s all…

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.24.2020

      Hi Jenny, you can mix it by hand following the directions exactly as listed until you have a smooth ball.

  12. Jeanna
    06.27.2020

    Hi!!! Any way to make this vegan and substitute the yogurt?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.27.2020

      Hi Jeanna, I haven’t had success with a vegan pita recipe yet, but when I do I’ll post it and let you know!

      • Jeanna
        06.27.2020

        Thank you so much for the quick reply! I am going through your vegan recipes here and can’t wait to try some of them!!!

  13. Jess Jo
    07.02.2020

    I made them : the oven was way too hot : they were browned too quickly. So sad.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.