Soft and Fluffy Pita Bread

This easy homemade pita bread recipe makes soft, fluffy pita that is better than anything you can buy at the store! Bake these in the oven and watch them puff like clouds for perfect pita pockets. Or, cook them in a skillet for soft and fluffy pita.

Homemade Pita Bread

Since learning this easy pita bread recipe from Chef Richard, we’ve made it almost every weekend. No fancy equipment or kneading is required for our pita bread recipe. Anyone can make this easy recipe!

This recipe is a keeper! I’ll walk you through everything you need to make pita bread from scratch. For a quicker recipe without yeast, see our easy flatbread recipe, which calls for baking powder instead of yeast.

Homemade Pita Bread

Key Ingredients

  • Flour: I use bread flour to make this pita recipe, but all-purpose or whole wheat flour will work nicely. Bread flour makes them a little chewier.
  • Instant yeast: I use instant yeast for all of my bread recipes. You can substitute active dry yeast if you have it in your kitchen. I also use instant yeast in our easy pizza dough.
  • Sugar: A little bit of sugar makes these pitas taste amazing and encourages our yeast to start working.
  • Salt: Makes our pita bread taste great.

How to Make Homemade Pita Bread

Forget store-bought pita bread and bake your own pillowy pita pockets at home. With just a few simple ingredients, you can make fluffy, soft pita bread ready for pita sandwiches or dipping.

To start, you’ll activate the yeast with warm water and sugar. After 5 minutes, it will look frothy with lots of bubbles. Stir in your flour, then cover with a towel to rise for about an hour (or until it doubles).

Flattening our dough balls for pita

Once your dough has doubled, divide it into six equally sized portions. Roll each into a smooth ball, then flatten into disks. I use my fingers to flatten the dough to preserve as many air bubbles as possible. Let the dough rest, and then you are ready to cook them.

You have two options for cooking your homemade pita bread:

  1. In a skillet on the stove for soft, fluffy flatbread
  2. In the oven for a puffed pita with pita pockets

The photo below shows pita dough cooked in a skillet (at the top of the photo) and pita baked in the oven (at the bottom of the photo). The skillet pita is soft and fluffy, while the oven-baked pita has a pocket in the middle, perfect for making sandwiches. Both are delicious!

Pita cooked on the stove (on top of photo) and pita with a pocket cooked in the oven (bottom of photo)

To cook pita bread on the stovetop, heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, add some oil (I love avocado oil for this), and then cook the pitas until blistered on both sides and cooked in the middle.

To cook pita bread in the oven, preheat your oven to 475°F (246°C). A hot oven is the secret to getting that pocket. I cook the pita bread on my pizza steel, which promotes the pocket even more. If you do not have one, place a baking sheet into the oven while preheating to mimic the baking steel.

For baking pita, squares of parchment paper help move them to and from the oven. Lightly flour the squares of parchment paper and place the pita rounds onto them. When your oven is hot, transfer the pita on the parchment to the pizza steel or baking sheet, close the oven door, and bake until puffed and light brown around the edges.

What to Serve with Pita Bread

Pita bread is perfect for dipping. A few of my favorites include our roasted red pepper hummus, our baba ganoush, and homemade labneh (an incredibly delicious Middle Eastern strained yogurt cheese).

Thanks to that pita pocket, you can also stuff almost anything into your homemade pita. I love homemade falafel with my easy tahini sauce. Or for an easy lunch I stuff my pita with this smashed chickpea salad. Finally, serve your perfect pita with this authentic Greek salad, easy chickpea salad, or on the side of your favorite salads.

Soft and Fluffy Pita Bread

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

How to make homemade pita bread that beats anything you can buy at the store. It’s easy! Bake them for perfect pita pockets. Or, cook them in a skillet for soft and fluffy flatbread. Pita cooked in the skillet will not puff as well as when baked in the oven, but they turn out so soft and fluffy. If I’m looking for a pocket for stuffing falafel, grilled meats, and veggies, I bake them. I love using the skillet when serving with dips like hummus.

Makes 6

You Will Need

2 ¼ cups (295g) bread flour or all-purpose flour

1 cup (236ml) lukewarm water, 110°F to 115°F

1 teaspoon (4g) instant yeast

1 teaspoon (4g) sugar

1/2 teaspoon (3g) fine sea salt

Avocado oil, optional for cooking in a skillet

Directions

  • Make Pita Dough
  • 1Add water, yeast, sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine, then set aside until frothy, 10 to 15 minutes.

    2Add the flour and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough several times inside the bowl until you can form a rough ball – it will be sticky. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel. Place the bowl in a warm place and leave alone until the dough has doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    3Flour your work surface, then carefully empty the proofed pita dough onto it. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces, roughly 85 grams each.

    4If baking the pita, cut 6 squares of parchment paper, at least 6 inches on all sides. Preheat your oven now so it heats for at least 30 minutes before baking the pita (see temperature in “Bake the Pita” section below).

    5Roll each portion of dough into a ball, dust a bit more flour underneath and on top. Cover with the dish towel and rest for 10 minutes.

    6Using your fingers, press each dough ball into 6-inch circles, then cover them with a dish towel and rest for 10 to 15 minutes. If baking, place each circle onto a sheet of parchment paper, then cover them with a dish towel and rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Bake the Pita (for Pockets)
  • 1Preheat the oven to 475°F (246°C) for at least 30 minutes before you plan to bake the pita bread. If you have a pizza stone or steel, place it into the bottom rack of your oven. If you do not have one, turn a baking sheet upside down and place it onto the bottom rack of your oven.

    2Transfer the pita circles on their parchment paper to the oven. I can fit two circles on my baking steel. Bake until puffed with some golden spots, 5 to 6 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the baked pita to a bowl covered with a clean dish towel. Repeat with remaining pita circles.

  • Cook Pita in a Skillet (for Soft Flatbread)
  • 1Heat a heavy-bottomed pan, like cast iron, over medium heat. Add a drizzle of avocado oil, then place down a circle of pita dough.

    2When the bottom has golden brown spots, carefully flip and cook the other side; the pita takes 2 to 3 minutes on each side. If they are over-browning and still doughy in the middle, finish them in a 350° F (176°C) oven for 5 minutes.

  • Storing and Make Ahead
  • 1Storing: Store homemade pita bread in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.

    2Make ahead: Make pita dough and complete the one-hour rise at room temperature. Rub the dough with olive oil and store it in an airtight bag or container for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature, then divide it into 6 equal portions. Continue the recipe as written. Freeze for 1 month, and thaw overnight in the fridge.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Whole-wheat pita bread: Substitute 100% or half of the flour called for in the recipe with whole wheat flour. The result will be a slightly denser pita.
  • Gluten-free pita bread: Traditionally, pita bread is not gluten-free. However, you can substitute the flour called for in our recipe below for a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, like the one from Bob’s Red Mill. It may not puff as well in the middle.
  • Active dry yeast: I prefer instant yeast since it typically has more pep, but you can use active dry yeast in this recipe without any changes.
  • Why I don’t use a rolling pin: When forming the dough circles, I use my fingers to press the dough thin. My fingers will not deflate the air bubbles in the dough as much as a rolling pin. If you use a rolling pin, take care to let the rolled dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking so it can recover a bit and puff up.
  • Why won’t my pita puff? If you’re having trouble getting your pita bread to puff up in the middle, make sure you’re using yeast is alive and that your oven has preheated for at least 30 minutes before baking your pita according to the instructions above. Stovetop pita bread is delicious but less likely to puff in the middle. For the best chance of achieving a pita pocket, we recommend baking them in a preheated oven for at least 30 minutes.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We assumed baked pita bread.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1 pita (6 total) / Calories 190 / Total Fat 0.9g / Saturated Fat 0.1g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 196.7mg / Carbohydrate 38.2g / Dietary Fiber 1.4g / Total Sugars 0.9g / Protein 6.4g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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13 comments… Leave a Review
  • Laura June 5, 2024, 6:01 pm

    These are so quick and easy to make and puff up beautifully. Tried making pita a few days ago with another recipe (sourdough) and it flopped but Inspired Taste always is a success!

    Reply
    • Adam June 6, 2024, 5:22 pm

      You have made our day with this review! We are so happy you liked the recipe. These are really fun to make 🙂

      Reply
  • Katiw May 31, 2024, 6:46 pm

    This was SO much fun and very easy. Husband was impressed and loved it.

    Reply
    • Adam May 31, 2024, 8:05 pm

      Wonderful! This recipe is a lot of fun to make 🙂

      Reply
  • Joyce May 31, 2024, 12:18 am

    I’m confused. You say to bake the pita in a 475° oven for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Then in the section called.”why won’t my pita puff”, you say you should bake it at least 30 minutes. 30 minutes at 475 and they will be totally burned.

    Reply
    • Joanne May 31, 2024, 1:02 pm

      Hi Joyce, In the “Why won’t my pita puff” section, I say to bake your pita in an oven thats been preheated for at least 30 minutes. Once the oven has preheated for 30 minutes, you would add your pita dough and back for the 2-3 minutes per side. Hope that clears things up.

      Reply
  • Helen Zoelman February 3, 2024, 8:28 pm

    I was so excited to try this recipe as I’m a huge fan of yours. Followed the recipe to a tee and cooked in oven. They puffed up absolutely beautifully. The only change I would make the next time, probably tomorrow, is I would ensure each round was thinner before going into the oven. Love love love them. Already shared with a couple of other foodies and of course will try the skillet method when I make your hummus. Thank you

    Reply
    • Joanne February 24, 2024, 12:19 am

      Hi Helen, We are thrilled that the pita recipe worked so well for you! Isn’t it fun when they puff? I always watch them through the oven window!

      Reply
  • Nana Punk February 2, 2024, 12:49 pm

    First off, picked up the nic name as a small child (baby) .
    AKA as Debby but no one calls me that, just Punk!
    I have baked the french toast twice, today I made the humus, absolutely as you described. way better then store bought, your recipe didnt disappoint! next recipe we will make our own tahini. Husband picked up a jar and paid $11 he didnt know that was expensive,was just following a list of ingredients for humus…anyways thanks for the awesome recipes….Ive tried several others ..and we will try several more!
    Debby and Ray

    Reply
    • Joanne February 24, 2024, 12:19 am

      Glad our recipes are working so well for you! Thanks for coming back and sharing.

      Reply
  • Shireen January 31, 2024, 2:17 pm

    Fantastic recipes, thanks for sharing

    Reply
  • Monica January 30, 2024, 4:36 am

    The recipe looks amazing. I have always wanted to try making a pita bread, this is my sign to do it

    Reply
    • Adam January 30, 2024, 1:42 pm

      Hi Monica, you won’t regret it. These are delicious and fun to make 🙂

      Reply

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