I have baked pita in a hot oven lined with a pizza stone and on an outdoor bbq. Both methods worked well. But today neither were options.
I should have realized this before I mixed the dough, but I had already whipped up a batch of hummus and thought… I should make up a batch of pita bread to go along with it.
As the dough was rising I realized that I broke my pizza stone a few months back so that wasn’t going to be an option. I looked outside and it was pouring rain, so the bbq wasn’t an option either. What was I going to do?
I needed to move on to plan B. What’s plan B…? I had no choice but to look for a sturdy flat surface that would hold the heat. I opted to use a sheet pan thinking that it would curl up and get warped in the screaming hot 500 degree oven and I would end up ruining my pan. I had to weigh it out… ruin the pan or throw out the dough… I took a chance and learned a valuable lesson in the process.
The hot sheet pan held up well in the hot oven and cooked my pitas up nicely. It certainly doesn’t replace the pizza stone but I was quite surprised at how well it worked.
EASY PITA BREAD (makes 12)
3 ½ cups flour
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. sugar
1 ½ cups warm tap water (110 degrees)
In a large mixing bowl add 1 cup of flour, yeast, kosher salt, sugar and water. Mix to blend.
Add more flour until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and starts to form a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes adding more flour as needed to make a firm elastic dough.
Place back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 ½ hrs.)
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a long cylinder and cut into 12 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball and set aside on a lightly floured surface. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
Roll each ball into a 6” round disc with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Place each disc onto a lightly floured surface and cover with a kitchen towel while forming the others.
Let pita discs rest for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
*If using a pizza stone, place the stone in a cold oven then turn on the heat so the stone will heat gradually or the stone may crack.
*If using a sheet pan, heat pan for at least 10 minutes before placing the pita discs in the oven.
*Place one disc in to the oven first to test the oven temperature and make sure it is hot enough to puff the discs properly.
When the oven is hot enough place 2 discs in at a time and close door quickly so you won’t lose too much heat. Keep door shut for 1 1/2 minutes (the discs should puff like balloons). Open the door quickly and flip the discs and shut the door again for an additional 1 1/2 minutes. You can also keep the door shut for 3 minutes and not flip it, but I like the pita to get a little brown spots on both sides.
Remove disc and repeat until all the discs have been cooked. They will deflate as they cool.