Puffy Pita Pockets for Persnickety People

“This tasty pita bread puffs when you bake it, leaving lovely pockets just waiting to be stuffed with your favorite filling (falafel, hummus, PB&J, whatever!). It's made of half "white whole wheat flour", which is a whole grain wheat flour with a sweeter, milder flavor than the typical red whole wheat flour. This is an adaptation of a recipe found on the King Arthur Flour web site (http://www.kingarthurflour.com). Their recipe calls for Lora Brody's dough relaxer, which I don't have on hand, so I've added some ingredients to produce similar effects. Basically, these extras (like vital wheat gluten, acidity, and baking powder) help the dough rise, and make it cooperate better when you're trying to roll it out. I've provided bread machine instructions, but this can be made by hand as well-- get ready to knead in that case! The key to perfect pita puffiness is to bake them on a pizza stone that you've preheated in the bottom of a super hot (500 degrees F) oven. The process can be made faster if you have multiple pizza stones, but as written you cook just one pita at a time. These are fun and therapeutic, especially as you watch them balloon up in the oven...your reward for the time investment is fresh puffy pita pockets that knock the socks off store-bought versions. Preparation time includes rise time.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, making sure the salt and yeast aren't touching; program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start.
  2. About 10 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle, check the dough and adjust its consistency as necessary with additional flour or water; the finished dough should be soft and supple.
  3. Place a pizza stone on a rack in the bottom of your oven and preheat to 500 degrees F.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide it into 8 pieces; set aside on a separate plate and cover with a towel.
  5. Sprinkle your work surface with a little bit of the white whole wheat flour, place one of your 8 balls of dough on the floured surface, and sprinkle the top of the ball with a little bit of flour too.
  6. Roll it out into a 6-inch circle and set it aside to rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Repeat for the remaining balls of dough.
  8. Once 15 minutes have passed (probably about the time you finish rolling out all the dough), place the first circle you rolled out on the hot pizza stone in the hot oven; you should not need to grease the stone-- just be sure you've got some loose flour grains on the bottom of the dough (kind of like using corn meal when you bake a pizza).
  9. Bake the pita for 5 minutes; it should puff up like a balloon and have golden brown spots; If it hasn't puffed up, wait a minute or so longer; If it still hasn't puffed, your oven isn't hot enough; raise the heat for the next batch.
  10. Remove the pita from the oven, wrap it in a clean damp dish towel (this keeps them soft) for a couple of minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely; Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure that the oven temperature returns to 500 degrees F before placing a new circle on the stone.
  11. Store cooled pitas in an airtight container or plastic bag; if freezing, wrap pitas individually in foil and then place multiple foil packs in a freezer bag; You can reheat in the foil in your oven, or remove the foil and place frozen pita in your toaster.

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