Making homemade olive pita bread is easier than you think and it won’t break the grocery budget. Even if you don’t like olives in your pita bread simply leave them out of the recipe. We’ve been buying pita bread lately to get away from traditional loaves of bread and it’s much more versatile for us as a couple.
Although we normally buy it we wanted to try and make homemade pita bread to see if it was worth all the hoopla in the kitchen. It sure was, absolutely worth every penny and the time and effort to make it. This is now going to be a regular recipe in our home although I may modify the flour for my wife who would want a whole wheat pita.
You can flavour your pita bread with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, chives and parsley. You really can add any spices you like to this pita bread recipe to make it your own custom bread. For this recipe I used a white all-purpose flour although you don’t have to stick with white flour as there are other options.
If you love pita bread and you can’t have white pita you can easily make a whole wheat pita bread recipe although I just substitute the white flour in this recipe for whole wheat and add a bit more liquid. The other option that is becoming more popular is the gluten-free pita bread recipe which is great for those that are on a GF diet and one my wife would enjoy.
I’ll admit that I thought there was no way that this pita bread would have a pita pocket but once it came out of the oven. I cut the pita bread in half I amazed myself when the pita spit down the centre so easy. I now had a pita bread pocket that I could stuff full of my favourite meats, cheeses and vegetables for an amazing lunch or dinner.
Ways To Use Pita Bread
When guests come over to our house its time to break out some healthy appetizers and using pita bread is a great way to lighten the load when it comes to snacks. We make some of our famous creamy hummus, and make the easiest pita chip recipe ever by cutting the olive pita bread into triangles, bake them in the oven at 350 flipping them until crisp.
Some people like to call these pita bread chips which essentially they are and we sometimes add a bit of spice on top while they are baking for even more flavours. The perfect go-to healthy snack for any back yard bbq party or any time you want a snack for that matter. There are so many pita bread fillings out there but really you can just stuff a pita with whatever you like.
We’ve made a pita sandwich with tuna salad, egg salad, veggie pita, meat and cheese stuffed pita, the list is endless.
Our Greek friends like to dip pita bread in a tzatziki dip with is a yogurt based dip but it is also a big part of their culture. In the fast food and food truck industry you will find extensive use of pita bread to wrap gyros, falafel, kabob’s and souvlaki which are some of my favourite take-away fast foods.
One other recipe we make with pita bread is pita bread pizza’s which are dead easy to make and you don’t get all the doughy crust like you would with a traditional pizza recipe. I also find that I don’t feel as full as opposed to when I eat a traditional style pizza.
Although this pita bread recipe is a bit of work it is worth the effort because you can’t buy homemade pita bread like this at the supermarket. I have yet to find a pita bread bakery in town so for now that bakery will be in the CBB kitchen.
Where To Buy Pita Bread?
You can now find pita bread all over North American and for most it is a staple in their home and replaces a traditional loaf of bread. We typically can buy Middle Eastern Lebanese pita bread or you may find a Greek Pita bread from Food Basics for around $1.00 for a pack of 6 which is a great price. I find both have different textures where one is chewy and the other is soft like a flat bread.
They are not near as tasty and the pita bread freshness and aroma you get making homemade pita bread which you can’t buy in a bag. I will admit though that $1.00 for a packet of pita for a quick meal or snack is not a bad price but nothing beats homemade not even cheap pita bread at the shops.
The easy part was making the dough a somewhat round pita bread, the tedious part was cooking the pita one at a time on my hot pizza stone in the oven. I also call it the pita stone. I’m sure there is some fancy pita bread pan on the market but for now I will use our Pampered Chef Pizza Stone which the wife has had for over 10 years.
If anyone is worried about the quality of the Pampered Chef Stoneware all I will say is we have many of the items and they all live up to our expectations. This is also a time when we dream of having an outdoor bread oven that we can simply toss in pizza’s, bread and whatever else all at once and have it cooked in mere minutes.
Is Pita Bread Healthy?
Well my wife is now on a Low GI (Glycemic Index) diet and the dietician who label pita bread as a medium GI food to each which they tell her to choose more often. Judging by the charts and my knowledge 100% whole grains will always be your safest bet with higher fibre and other nutrients than a refined white flour like I used today.
Eating something in moderation is a smarter way to eat unless you have dietary restrictions or are watching exactly what is going into your diet. Although pita bread is low in fat and calories it may be higher in carbs depending on what you choose and what you decide to stuff inside your pita.
The white pita bread we buy which is a Lebanese Style White Pita Bread called BY BLOS that I eat now that my wife can’t clearly states the nutritional values on the label. It says it’s low in fat and cholesterol free. Serving size is 1 pita and that rings in at 180 calories and 1 gram of fat and 0% saturated or trans fats. The sodium level per pita is 240 mg and it provides 35 grams of carbohydrates, 1g of fibre, 7 grams of protein and 15% iron.
A close relative of ours who has a heart disease and has had a heart attack was told by his doctor and dietician to start including whole grain products in his diet including pita bread to lower his cholesterol and to add fibre to aid with constipation as he has many medications that he takes. It also will help him to keep his weight down since he is a huge bread lover but really should cut back and make a healthier choice for his own health and well-being.
Pita Bread Ingredients
There are not many ingredients in pita bread and for this particular recipe I turned to my handy Australian Woman’s Weekly Bread and Scones cookbook which I adapted this pita bread with olives recipe from. This is one my favourite cookbooks and if you know me I used to collect cookbooks before the internet was around and they helped draw out the creative side of me in the kitchen.
When I was ready to bake the bread I heated the oven to 400 degrees and put my stone in to get very hot before I put each pita in the oven. I watched each pita as it cooked and flipped it when the tops got brown. Don’t over cook the pita as it cooks fairly fast around 5 minutes per side although everyone’s oven temps are different. You cannot leave your oven during the cooking process.
- 2 teaspoons of dry yeast 7g
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/4 cups of warm milk
- 4 1/4 cups of plain white flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups of pitted olives
- Combine your yeast, sugar and milk in a bowl and whisk it until the yeast is dissolved. Cover with cling wrap or a towel and let stand for about 10-15 minutes or until you see the yeast activated and frothy with bubbles
- In another bowl combine your yogurt, egg, water and oil
- Add your flour and salt into a large bowl then add in the yeast mixture and the yogurt mixture and olives then mix until you get a soft textured dough.
- Turn the dough on to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until soft and elastic
- Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size
- Once doubled in size turn onto a floured surface and knead the dough again until it is smoot. Divide your dough into 8 equal parts. Knead each portion into a ball of dough then cover and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size 25-30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees as you want it very hot and place your pita stone or pizza stone inside to heat up
- Roll each ball into a round circle about 25 cm round but don’t worry if they aren’t perfect, look at mine and they turned out great.
- Place one pita on the stone and put back in the oven for about 5 minutes then flip to brown the other side. Do not walk away from your oven or you risk burning the pita or overcooking them.
- Enjoy, cover with a tea towel in a baking pan and stuff your pita with whatever you like~
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