This whole wheat pita bread is delicious and fun to make because you get to watch the flatbreads blow up like balloons in the oven!
So it seems I'm really getting into bread making lately. Not such a great new hobby in the summer - the temperature of my kitchen is stifling! I think I'll have to change my experimentation to frozen desserts.
Oh well, eating this delicious Whole Wheat Pita Bread makes it all worthwhile. This is definitely not my first time making pita bread. I have made it many times before, both in the oven and on a hot griddle. BUT: this is the first time I have ever gotten successful pockets to form. Now my pitas can be used for dipping and for sandwiches! I love multi-purpose food.
How to make Whole Wheat Pita Bread:
Making these pitas start out just like making any other bread. Mix the dry ingredients together in a stand mixer while the yeast proofs in warm water (or use instant yeast to skip this step). Note that if you don't have a stand mixer, you could mix the dough in a food processor instead, or by hand.
Then slowly add in the wet ingredients while the mixer runs on low with a dough hook. Knead the dough until smooth, then let it rise for a couple of hours.
Because there is less yeast than with standard bread dough, the dough won't rise quite as much.
Here's where you change it up. Once the dough has risen, form it into a "snake" or rope to make it easier to cut into pieces, just like if you were making tortillas. Only this time we're going for 8 pieces.
Roll each of those pieces into a ¼" thick round (no thinner, or they won't get a pocket when you bake them), then cover them with a clean, dry towel and wait again, this time only for 30 minutes.
They'll rise slightly again. While you're waiting, make sure you turn on the oven to 500°F. You can also use your outdoor grill, just keep a close eye on the temperature to make sure it doesn't get too hot and burn your pitas.
Then comes the time to put the dough in the oven. This is done on a cooling rack, or if you don't have one, straight onto the oven racks.
This is my favorite part: after the dough has been in the oven for a few minutes, it will start to puff up. But not like, just slightly rise. It will actually start to blow up like a balloon - all by itself!! Make sure you park face in front of the oven window to watch. It's totally awesome!
Once it's fully blown up, and the top just starts to brown, pull them out. The process only takes 4 or 5 minutes. If you overcook them, they will become too crispy.
Then cover the hot pitas with a damp towel (use the same one you used to cover the dough with to save on laundry) until they get soft.
Whole Wheat Pita Bread Ingredients:
- Warm water
- White sugar
- Active dry yeast or replace with instant yeast
- Whole wheat flour
- All-purpose flour
- Canola oil or substitute any other neutral flavored oil or even olive oil
What to eat with whole wheat pita bread:
Pita bread is so great because it's versatile. You can tear or cut it into pieces to scoop up dips like:
You can stuff it or wrap it around a filling to make a pita sandwich. Here are some of my favorite stuffing choices:
Serve it alongside a salad:
- Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Tahini Dressing (Jerusalem Salad)
- Greek-Style Chickpea Salad
- Chickpea Salad with Carrots and Olives
Want more bread recipes?
Whole Wheat Pita Bread Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information is for one whole pita bread, assuming that the recipe makes 8 pieces of pita bread. It does not include any dips, or any other foods that you might eat with your pita bread.
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
- 1 ⅛ cups warm water
- 1 ½ teaspoon white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- Dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top of the sugar water mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes to proof. Meanwhile, combine whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Stir yeast into water and add vegetable oil. Turn mixer on to low speed and slowly pour in water/yeast mixer. Increase speed to medium low and knead dough until smooth. Form dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and let rise for about 2 hours.
- Punch dough down and form into a rope. Cut rope into 8 equal pieces (see note). Roll each piece into a circle that is approximately ¼" thick. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 500°F. Place 2-3 pitas on a wire cooling rack, and place rack directly into oven. Bake for about 5 minutes until pitas become very puffy and just begin to brown on the top. Remove from oven and cover with a clean, damp dish towel until soft. Repeat with remaining pitas.
- To serve, cut a slit into an edge with a sharp knife or cut in half to make a sandwich. Can also be cut into wedges to serve with dip. Store in a sealed bag at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the freezer for around a month.