Pita bread will always hold a special place in my heart.
My father worked at San Jose City College near one of the most iconic falafel spots in North America, Falafel’s Drive In! On the special occasion that I got to accompany him to the ceramics studio we would always eat lunch there.
A falafel sandwich, hummus with soft warm pita, a real banana milkshake, and baklava were the common lunchtime orders for us.
If you are so lucky to be in the area and order a falafel sandwich, you will find spicy and fragrant falafel balls nestled in a crisp lettuce salad with tomato, cucumber, and tahini dressing all bulging out of a soft and chewy pita bread.
Pita bread reminds me of a warm hug, the way it surrounds and snuggles all those marvelous exotic flavors.
This recipe for real sourdough pita bread is soft and stretchy, making it perfect for filling with your favorites. Try hummus and veggies, sprouted falafel balls (coming soon!), spicy buttery chicken, shawarma, roasted lamb, or anything else you can dream up!
Cut the pitas in wedges, toss them in ghee and salt, and bake them for the BEST PITA CHIPS EVER!
Watch Me Shape and Cook Sourdough Pita Bread in This Short Demo Video.
- 475 grams (just shy 4 cups) organic bread flour
- 315 grams (1 1/4 cups) filtered water
- 250 grams (1 cup) active sourdough starter, 100% hydration, stirred down
- 12 grams (1 3/4 teaspoon) salt
- Weigh all ingredients into a glass or ceramic bowl.
- Mix the ingredients into a loose shaggy dough with a wooden spoon or dough whisk.
- Wet your hands and gently knead the dough in the bowl by hand until it comes together with no excess flour.
- Let the dough rest covered for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Start the first stretch and fold by wetting your hands and lifting one side of the dough and folding it toward the middle. Repeat this stretch and fold process in all four directions. Sometimes you can get away with an extra one or two folds depending on the elasticity of the dough. If it wants to stretch, stretch it! If it's tearing or breaking it needs a rest!
- Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Start the second stretch and fold by wetting your hands and repeating the same folding motion in (at least) all four directions.
- Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Repeat the stretch and fold and resting process up to five more times for a total of seven stretch and folds (or as many as you are able). I have made great bread by just doing two stretch and folds. But remember, the more stretching and folding, the more gluten will develop, and the higher your bread will rise!
- After the last stretch and fold cover the dough and allow it to ferment overnight or at least 8 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 550°F with your griddle or baking stone inside on the center rack.
- Working with the fermented dough, start the final stretch and fold. This will act as the "punch down" of the dough, deflating the gasses trapped inside the gluten network. Stretch the dough several times toward the center, each time pressing down on the dough to remove air bubbles.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and shape them into little round balls. Let the balls rest for 10 minutes.
- On a generously floured surface, start by rolling one pita into a round about 1/8th inch thick with a rolling pin.
- Using your hand transfer the rolled dough to the preheated baking stone and cook for 2 minutes or until completely puffed.
- While the first pita cooks, roll the second out and so on until all have been rolled and cooked.
- Stack the pitas on a plate and cover them with a tea towel trapping some of the steam. This will keep the pitas soft and chewy!
- These pitas freeze and defrost beautifully. Just make sure they are completely cooled before freezing.
Want To Learn Everything About Sourdough?
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