Baking pita bread requires a super hot oven equipped with a baking stone, and a very short baking time. If you are like me, and love staring through the window of your oven as your bread bakes, you will enjoy making this bread.
What is spelt you ask? It is an ancient wheat, cultivated since 5000 BC, and it has a lovely mild flavor.
You can use whole grain spelt flour, or mill your own from spelt berries. I mixed the flour with all purpose spelt flour, but you can use also use bread flour.
I milled this spelt in my Wondermill Grain Mill, which, if you ever want to mill your own grains, I highly recommend. It's really fast. Just be sure to read the instructions carefully so you don't spray flour all over your kitchen like I have done. If you have a KitchenAid, you can also get a MockMill, which attaches to the head of your mixer. While it's much slower, the footprint is smaller, and it's pretty cool.
The pocket of pita bread is dependent on high heat and a really thinly rolled dough. It's really fun to watch the pitas puff up in the oven.
If you don't want to go the spelt route, check out this post for pita bread with whole wheat flour.
What to do with leftovers? Make garlic pita chips!
Spelt Pita Bread
- 432 grams whole spelt flour
- 248 bread flour or all purpose spelt flour
- 503 grams water
- 3/4 tsp instant yeast
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- Combine the flours and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add the salt and the yeast. Mix on low for 3 minutes and then mix on medium for 2 minutes. You can also knead by hand for about 5 minutes. The final dough should be fairly firm and smooth.
- Cover the dough and let rise for about 90 minutes, folding at 45 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, place the balls onto a lightly floured surface, and cover the dough with a damp towel or oiled plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes.
- Flatten each ball with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 1/8 inch thick disk. Let the disks rest on a floured couche or parchment paper, covered.
- Preheat your oven to its highest temperature with a baking stone on the center rack.
- Transfer the disks to the baking stone with a lightly floured baking peel, three at a time, and bake for two minutes on one side, until puffed, and then flip to bake two minutes on the other side.
- Cool the the pitas on a wire rack for about a minute, and then wrap and stack in a tea towel to keep moist and warm while the other pitas bake.
- Store the cooled pitas in plastic bags to keep them from becoming brittle. I wrapped leftovers individually in plastic wrap and stored them in the freezer.