Saturday, March 23, 2013

Whole Wheat Pitas

Woke up this morning from what my friend, Harsha, calls 'a food coma'. Oh boy..not pretty at all, need a second cup of tea. Last night was one of the best homemade meals ever. And it was sooo simple..Hummus & Whole Wheat Pita. Ummm...Pita...whole wheat pita!!
Stack pitas and wrap in clean kitchen towels as they come out of the oven
 I am a sucker for Greek food and a huge fan of the fluffy pita. Make it whole wheat and I am a happy trooper. Oh oh and love me some pickles and pickled turnips..yummy yummy in my growling tummy!! Yesterday, was in the mood for baking some whole wheat pitas and decided to go down The Galley Gourmet. The recipe is great. The pitas turned out absolutely soft and fluffy, but no pockets :(..Nonetheless they were delicious and we definitely over ate.

Next time I am going to try a few tips from Smitten Kitchen's Pita Bread post. If you get time, read up because the recipe is exactly the same, its all in how you bake it and Deb does a great job at explaining that. I will surely try and obviously share results :)

Whole Wheat Pitas
yields 6, 7-inch pitas
adapted from The Galley Gourmet

1 tablespoons Honey
1 cup Warm Water plus 4 tbls as needed, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast, (two 1/4-ounce packages)
1 1/2 cup Unbleached All-purpose Flour
1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour (I use Indian store bought Atta..and that's the best for this recipe)
1/2 tablespoon Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons EVOO plus some more for coating
Cornmeal for dusting (I didn't use any..didn't need it)

Kneading the flour is very similar to the Whole Wheat Pizza Dough directions, and I have detailed pictures which you can check out for reference.

Begin with stirring Honey and water in a bowl of a standing mixer or a bowl you'd like to knead the dough in. To this, add the yeast and set aside for 5-10 minutes undisturbed, until the yeast blooms.
Add to the same bowl both flours, salt, 2 tablespoons oil, and a cup of warm water. Begin mixing at the stir speed until the mixture is smooth and elastic, adding up to 4 tbls more water, one tablespoon at a time, as needed. Continue kneading for at least 4-5 minutes more. Finish the dough by hand. Knead for a couple of minutes and shape it into a ball. Drizzle some EVOO in the bowl and on top of the dough ball. Turn to coat all the dough and bowl with oil. Cover it with a kitchen towel tightly tied around the bowl, or a greased plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place to rise. I use the oven with the Oven light ON, always does the trick, especially in the cold months. Let it rise for about 45 minutes to an hour, until doubled in size.

Gently deflate the dough and let rest for 20 minutes.  Divide the dough into 6 even pieces. Shape each piece into a ball in your hands. I like to lightly oil my hands to avoid using any flour while rolling the pitas out. Roll out each piece of dough into a 1/8-inch thick circle, about 7-inches in diameter; keeping the remaining dough balls covered with a sheet of plastic wrap.
Set each rolled out pita on a large baking sheet without overlapping. You can lightly dust the rounds with cornmeal to prevent them from sticking. I didn't use any.

Cover the dough with a lightly damp towel and let them rise for 1 hour.

The pitas should be puffy, not necessarily double in size.
Meanwhile, position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500ยบ F. Bake the dough rounds one baking sheet at a time until the pitas are puffed and lightly golden, about 5 minutes.

Serve piping hot with hummus or let cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for upto a month. We didn't need to freeze..remember the overeating part? :P :D

Tips & Notes:
The key to having pita pockets is keeping the rolled out pitas moist and free of excess flour. I didn't have to use any flour when rolling them out. Try not to use any. Also, keeping the towels moist when allowing the rolled out pitas to rise will give you fluffy and soft pitas. You could spray the rolled out pitas with some water just before baking. That's something Deb from Smitten Kitchen followed. I will try that next time and hope I get the pitas to have some pockets :)

Enjoy & Happy Pita Pitting!!!


  1. can you please post your hummus recipe too-it looks super yummy! :)

    1. Of course..I am working on that..the next time it will be the focus of my hummus pita pics ;)..Thanks for stopping by Gaura..Appreciate you visiting!!! :)