Pita That Puffs (Perfect Pocket Every Time)

Pita That Puffs (Perfect Pocket Every Time)

00:00 Intro
01:02 The challenge of pita
01:35 Baking schedule
02:12 Making the dough
04:21 Shaping the balls
05:58 Rolling and Baking
08:24 FAQ

ATK Pita Recipe that inspired me: https://youtu.be/ZK0ayq4as5c @AmericasTestKitchen
Chicken Pita Sandwich: https://youtu.be/ryR7ZMYxMHo
Refika’s Hummus: https://youtu.be/88ljbueBLBw @Refika

Put into a bowl of a stand mixer in this order:
150g cold water (fridge temp, about 37F)
150g cold milk (fridge temp, about 37F)
56g olive oil
360g bread flour (start with 330g in a dry climate)
60g whole wheat flour
2 tsp SAF instant yeast
2 tsp sugar

Mix using a dough hook on med-low speed until no dry flour remains. Stop the mixer and let the dough sit for 10 min. Add 10g of salt (3.75 tsp of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt or just under 2 tsp of Table Salt). Mix on medium speed until the dough forms a satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of the bowl, about 8 min.

Get out the following equipment: a scale, a lightly oiled small, an oiled half sheet set over a damp paper towel so that it doesn’t slide, a pastry scraper, a piece of parchment paper. Place the dough onto the oiled half sheet and shape into a smooth ball. Cut into 8 pieces of 95g each (use a scale and a small plate for checking the weight). Shape the dough pieces into smooth balls as shown in the video. Line the half sheet with parchment and oil it. Place the dough balls on top seam side down and dab with oil. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 4 days.

Set the oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat to 450F (230C) for 30 min.

Coat 1 dough ball generously with flour and place it on a well floured work surface seam side down. Roll out to a diameter of 6 inches (keep it seam side down). It’s important to avoid sticking and ripping the outside of the dough. If you get an occasional big bubble while rolling, it’s ok to pop it with a rolling pin. Brush off all the excess flour.

Place the pita on a parchment paper (seam side down) and slide the parchment onto the stone or directly onto the rack. Bake for 2 min (it will be pale and not puffy). Flip with a spatula (to avoid shoving the pita to the back of the oven, insert the spatula from the right or left of the pita, not from the front). Bake another 2-3 min or until the pita puffs up and the bottom browns slightly.

Remove to a paper towel lined baking sheet, brush with butter, and cover with a paper towel and then a dish towel. Repeat with remaining dough. Let them rest under the towel for 10 min and they are ready to serve.

Leftovers can be cooled and stored in a zip lock bag for 1 day or frozen. To rewarm, wrap in foil stacking no more than 2 pitas and place in 350F (180C) oven until warm.

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23 Replies to “Pita That Puffs (Perfect Pocket Every Time)”

  1. Please also give the U.S. Standard measurements and not just metric. Thanks.

  2. For some reason, this gave me flashbacks to my childhood. I don't know if it was pita or something else, but I remember my mother once baking a bread that puffed up and had that kind of a pocket inside. I would eat it fresh out of the oven with nothing other than melted butter inside and it was sooooo damn good.. I wish I could remember what kind of bread it was..

  3. Over complicated, it’s much simpler. People make them on the street in Middle East… ????

  4. Thank you Helen. – I have enjoyed all your videos for years. – These pitas look particularly good! – Cheers!

  5. I have never had any success using an oven but have very few failures using a cook top. I use a non stick Indian tawa and a medium heat, flipping when the first side has slightly bubbled then just flip, flip until they puff.

  6. I wonder when the pocket pita became a thing and where it started, here in Greece we use a pita that looks/feels somewhat like this one, but we make a wrap, not a pocket sandwich. If anyone has any info please share.

  7. Thank you for the recipe! If you’re lazy like me, you can rewarm pitas in the microwave by wrapping it in damp paper towel then wrapping that in plastic wrap or put it in an air tight container. Comes out moist, pliable, and not tough, unless you heat it too long.

  8. I know it’s not accessible for everyone, but I’ve found I can get most pita recipes to puff using an outdoor pizza oven – even recipes that never puffed in an oven. They cook super quick, and I’m assuming that has something to do with why it’s so reliable.

    It takes some experience to get the heat and technique right, but it’s my go-to method now, especially because you can get some good browning on part of the pita without drying it out.

  9. Helen, I must ask, when are you coming to Israel? Excellent pita, hummus, and overall a fascinating and delicious culinary scene. Highly recommend!

  10. Hello Helen! Is there a way to eliminate the pita pocket having one side really thin and one side thick? I always have this issue and noticed that yours do too. When I buy store bought pita breads they have two evenly baked sides.

  11. I always do the long-fridge period for my pizza dough when it is still one big bulk. That saves a lot of space in my overcrowded fridge. What difference would it make for this recipe if I leave portion the balls only 1 or 2 hours before baking?

  12. Can anyone confirm if Whole Foods up in Minnesota carry that pita bread she was talking about?

  13. Hello Helen! I love your videos! Do you think one could make the Lebanese style pita (larger and thinner) by using this recipe and just rolling it out thinner? Would it still create the pocket? Thanks.

  14. It would be great if you also provide the American measurements as well.

  15. What's the difference between these and a greek pits- without a pocket? Or is it called "pita" in the states.

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