Chef John's Pita Bread Recipe -
Chef John's Pita Bread Recipe
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How to Make Pita Bread
See how to make delicious homemade pita bread. See more
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Chef John's Pita Bread

Recipe by  

"Unlike lots of other baked products which are better from a bakery, this is so far superior to the stuff you get at the grocery store, it's not even close. And in addition to being delicious to eat, it's also extremely easy to make!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 pita breads Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    10 mins

    3 hrs 15 mins


  1. Place yeast into the work bowl of a stand mixer and add 1 cup warm water and 1 cup flour. Whisk together and let stand 15 to 20 minutes for mixture to rise and make a loose sponge. Mixture will bubble and foam.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and salt into sponge; add 1 3/4 cup flour. Mix at low speed, using a dough hook attachment, until dough is soft, supple, and slightly sticky. If dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add up to 1/4 cup more flour, a little at a time.
  3. Knead dough with machine on low speed until slightly springy and still soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and form into a ball.
  4. Wipe inside of bowl with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil. Turn dough around in bowl to cover with a thin film of oil; cover bowl with foil and let sit until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  5. Remove dough from bowl and place onto a floured work surface. Lightly pat into a flat shape about 1 inch thick. Use a knife to cut dough into 8 pieces.
  6. Form each piece into a small round ball with a smooth top, pulling dough from the sides and tucking the ends underneath the bottom.
  7. Cover dough balls with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on a work surface and top of a dough ball; gently pat dough ball flat with your fingers, forming a flat, round bread about 1/4 inch thick. Let dough round rest for 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
  9. Brush a cast-iron skillet with remaining 3/4 teaspoon olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Lay pita bread into hot skillet and cook until bread begins to puff up and bottom has brown spots and blisters, about 3 minutes. Flip, cook 2 more minutes, and flip back onto original side to cook for about 30 more seconds. Pita bread will begin to puff up and fill with hot air. Stack cooked breads on a plate; when cool enough to handle, break breads in half and open the pocket inside for stuffing.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 15, 2013

Almost perfect first time! I just watched the video for the first time - saw why I had to use a knife to make pockets! If you do not smush bubbles you will not get a good pocket! I used an electric fry pan @400 degrees as alternate cooking method (from another review thank you!). I used 100 degree oven to rise dough for 2 hours. Browning was faster using electric pan than times in instructions - went by browning color. Flavor so good I put a little butter in one and had for a yummy snack!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 08, 2013

I followed this recipe to the letter and my pitas didn't puff up. I guess I'm going to have to find another pita recipe.

Jan 08, 2014

I follow the same steps except the last one. I preheated the oven to 500 degrees. Placed the rounded dough in a heavy baking sheet, as much as it takes (depending on the size). Baked for few minutes (about three minutes depending on your oven) Got the bread out and put on towel for few minutes.

Jul 22, 2013

Really tasty bread. Mine didn't puff up like the video but I didn't have a stand mixer to make these. I did get a pocket, but I had to sort of help open it up a little..

Sep 13, 2013

I tried making pita bread in the past and every time I failed miserably so of course I was skeptical that I could successfully prepare pita bread using your instructions (It's not you---it's definitely me). Call me a bit overdramatic, but I literally teared up when my first batch came off the stove browned to perfection and actually sturdy enough to open as a pouch. I guess I just had to watch someone else make them before giving it another shot. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. This is now my go-to recipe from now on. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a batch of falafels to make to go along with these bad boys.

Mar 10, 2014

SO TASTY! I see a lot of complaints about non-puffs, well, mine didn't either but they tasted better than any flatbread I've ever bought in my life. I started smooshing the bubbles on the last few I cooked, and got much better results. You gotta smoosh! It spreads the air through the sealed pita and really helps with that pocket. As for the pro-bakers, that works, but grilling it just gives it that to die for flavor that you just can't get any other way!

Jan 22, 2014

This was a wonderful recipe! The dough was so simple to make and I easily found a way to make and eat dinner while waiting the two hours for it to rise. When I placed the pitas in my skillet it puffed up so nicely!! I was expecting a HUGE fail but now I've completely fell in love with these pitas and will be making them every weekend! Did I mention they tasted amazing too? Light, fluffy, and so bread-y, they were exactly what I was looking for in a pita!

Aug 23, 2013

This is my go to pita bread recipe. Simple, easy and very good.


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  • Calories
  • 187 kcal
  • 9%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 33.1 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 3.6 g
  • 6%
  • Fiber
  • 1.3 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 4.8 g
  • 10%
  • Sodium
  • 511 mg
  • 20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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