Making your own pita bread is such a smart thing to do. Let’s face it, homemade bread generally costs chump change to make. I can find enough money in a parking lot to cover the cost of homemade bread. I was going to make some gyros and checked out the price of pita bread at my grocery store. Holy moly! It was more than $3 for a package of 6! No thank you. I’m all into cheapskate stuff lately (side note: have you ever seen the show Extreme Cheapskates? Awesome-sauce and horrific at the same time), so I reveled in the money I was saving as I made my own. Bread is always the same…mix, rise, shape, bake with maybe a few twists and turns along the way. It was simple to make, puffed up like a balloon, and made for some pretty dang good gyros if I do say so myself!
1 tablespoon yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 tsp sugar
6 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, water, sugar, and 3 cups of the flour to form a sponge. Let the sponge rest for 10 minutes.
2. Mix in the salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
3. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour a little at a time until the dough forms a nice ball. Knead on a medium speed for 5 minutes. It should get nice and smooth, shiny, and elastic.
4. Use the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to oil a large bowl. Roll the dough in the oil, put it in the bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 2 hours.
5. Preheat an oven to 500 degrees with a baking stone (if you don’t have one, just put a baking sheet in the middle).
6. Divide the dough into 8-10 pieces. Roll into 8-inch rounds. Let the rounds rise for 20 min.
7. Cook in batches 2 at a time on the baking stone. They should puff up and brown in 3-5 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and wrap them in a clean dish towel and put them in a plastic bag to keep them soft and pliable.