A Fargo-Moorhead newbie, I can’t help but notice a lot of Pita Pits and Extreme Pitas.

Why not try making your own pita?  It’s surprisingly simple and this short list of ingredients may already be stocked in your pantry.  The freshness and flavor of homemade pita is incomparable to any store bought variety.  With a pillowy texture and slightly salty, savory flavor, you may wonder where it’s been your entire life.

I followed this pita recipe from Smitten Kitchen, the site that also guided me in making perfect, six strand challah earlier this month.

3 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour + extra for dusting (I used bread flour)
2 teaspoons instant yeast (or one packet)
1 pinch of sugar or a dash of honey
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup warm water

Make the Dough
Sift the flour into a large bowl.  Combine the yeast, honey, and salt into the flour.

Add the water and olive oil, combining until a dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about five minutes, dusting lightly with flour as needed.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and also oil the exposed surface of the dough.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight.  Press down occasionally when it rises.

*You are supposed to check the dough every hour, for the first four hours and press down.  I forgot to check the dough until the next morning and it was fine.

Roll Out 
Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F. for an hour before baking.  On the lowest oven shelf, set a pan, baking stone, or oven safe skillet.  The pan will be smokin’ hot when you are ready to bake.

Remove your dough from the refrigerator and cut it into 8-12 pieces.  Cutting the dough into eight pieces made my pita larger than the average size.

Flatten the dough balls into thick disks, place on a parchment paper or a greased pan, cover, and let them rest for about 20 minutes.

After resting, roll each dough disk into 1/4 inch rounds and let them rest for 10 minutes before baking.  While they are resting, either spritz or wipe the top of the dough with water.  This will ensure the dough puffs up during baking.

*For ease, I let my flat rounds of dough rest on parchment paper.  When my dough was done resting, I carefully lifted the parchment paper and dough in one piece, and placed on the preheated pan in my oven.  

Place the rested and moistened dough rounds in the hot oven for three minutes.  The dough should be puffed up but not browned.

Allow the oven to heat back up to temperature by waiting five minutes before baking the next batch.

Wrap the baked pita in towels to keep them warm and soft.  Store cooked pita in plastic bags or airtight containers.  Since the pita contains no preservatives, it will mold quickly if left at room temperature.