- Pinch sugar
- All-purpose flour (or a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour)
- Kosher salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Combine 1 cup lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl with yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Add ½ cup flour and whisk together. Place the mixing bowl in a warm (not hot) place, uncovered. Wait about 15 minutes or until mixture is frothy and bubbling a bit
- Now add salt, olive oil, and the remaining flour (keep about ½ cup of the flour for dusting later). Stir until mixture forms a shaggy mass.
- Dust with a little flour, then knead the mixture inside the bowl for about 1 minute incorporating any stray bits.
- Dust a clean working surface with just a little bit of flour. Knead lightly for 2 minutes or so until smooth. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then knead again for a couple more minutes. The dough should be soft and a little bit moist, you can help it with a little dusting flour, but try not to add too much.
- Clean the mixing bowl and give it a light coating of extra virgin olive oil. Put the dough back in the bowl and turn it a couple times just to coat it a bit with the olive oil.
- Cover the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then cover it with a kitchen towel. Put the bowl in a warm (not hot) place. Leave it for 1 hour or until the dough rises to double its size.
- Gently deflate the dough and place it on a clean work surface. Divide the dough into 7 to 8 equal pieces and shape them into balls. Cover with a towel and leave them for 10 minutes or so.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll one of the pieces into a circle that’s 8-9 inches wide and about a quarter inch thick. It helps to lift and turn the dough frequently as you roll so that dough doesn’t stick to your counter too much. (If dough starts to stick, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour). If the dough starts to spring back, set it aside to rest for a few minutes, then continue rolling. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.
- Bake in the oven OR on stovetop
- To bake pita in the oven: Heat the oven to 475 degrees F and place a heavy-duty baking pan or large cast iron skillet on the middle rack to heat. Working in batches, place the rolled-out pitas directly on the hot baking baking sheet (I was only able to fit 2 at a time).
- Bake for 2 minutes on one side, and then, using a pair of tongs, carefully turn pita over to bake for 1 minute on the other side. The pita will puff nicely and should be ready. Remove from the oven and cover the baked pitas with a clean towel while you work on the rest of the pitas.
- To cook pita in a skillet (stovetop): Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. (Test by adding a couple drops of water to the skillet, the skillet is ready when the beads of water sizzle immediately). Drizzle a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil and wipe off any excess. Working with one pita at a time, lay a rolled-out pita on the skillet and bake for 30 seconds, until bubbles start to form.
- Using a spatula, flip the pita over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Flip again and cook another 1-2 minutes to toast the other side. The pita is ready when it puffs up forming a pocket
Tip: Sometimes, with this stovetop method, the pita may not puff or may only form a small pocket. Try pressing the surface of the pita gently with a clean towel. Keep baked pita covered with a clean towel while you work on the rest.
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