This staple of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines is surprisingly easy to make -- and the process feels almost magical. It starts with a simple yeast dough (we used some whole-wheat flour in addition to white) that gets baked in a very hot oven. The heat activates the yeast and creates steam, which makes the dough puff up dramatically, forming the signature pocket. Martha made this recipe on "Martha Bakes" episode 811.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2015

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

prep:
1 hr 30 mins
total:
3 hrs
Yield:
Makes 16
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Make the dough:

    In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour, yeast, honey, and 1 cup warm water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. Stir in remaining 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, oil, and remaining 1 1/4 cups warm water.

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  • Transfer dough to a floured surface. Knead dough, dusting hands and surface with more flour as needed, until smooth and elastic, 10 minutes. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

  • Form and bake the dough:

    Punch down dough, and form into a ball; then turn out onto a floured surface.

  • Quarter dough. Working with one piece at a time (drape a kitchen towel over the rest), divide each quarter into 4 smaller pieces.

  • Roll each piece into a ball and pinch, tightening the ball. Turn pinched-side down and flatten with your palm.

  • Flatten each ball into a 6-inch round with a lightly floured rolling pin.

  • Transfer rounds to rimmed baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal; drape with kitchen towels. Let rest 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500 degrees and set an inverted rimmed baking sheet on rack in lowest position. Place 4 dough rounds on preheated sheet. Bake until puffed, 2 minutes. Flip and bake until golden in spots and just cooked through, 1 minute more. Transfer to a basket lined with a kitchen towel; cover to steam and keep warm. Bake remaining pitas and serve.

Cook's Notes

Pita is best served the same day but can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day.

Variations

For extra-flavorful pita, brush one side of each dough round with olive oil and sprinkle with za'atar, a Middle Eastern blend of thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac, before baking.

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Reviews

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