Ever done Amish Friendship Bread- those little ziploc baggies that you mush for days and then add milk, sugar, flour, and still somehow end up with 4 more baggies AND a loaf of bread? I made a sourdough starter out of one of those baggies, and it’s fantastic. I have been feeding and baking it for a few months and we’re getting some awesome sourness.
However, I’m getting a little sick of plain sourdough loaves. We’ve done hamburger and brat buns, and I wanted something more. Enter the pita.
I used this website for the recipe, but upon baking the first pita, I found the method wasn’t working for me. Instead, I grabbed my trusty Baking With Julia; that method worked well for me, and it’s the one I’ve included here.
If you don’t have a sourdough starter just laying around, no fears! You can make pita, too! It just won’t have that trademark “sourdough” flavor. It’s easy to make a starter using the recipe from Baking With Julia, as posted here by Emeril and FoodNetwork (follow the instructions from the beginning through the 30m-8h rest).
Sourdough Pita Bread
1 cup (approx. 7 oz.) sourdough starter
1 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1/3 c. warm water
1 1/2 c. flour, any mix of white and wheat, plus extra
Combine starter, water, oil, and salt into the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until well-combined. Add the flour, tablespoon by tablespoon until the dough pulls away from the bowl sides.
Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for 3-5 minutes, until the dough is stiff and sticky. Add flour by the tablespoon if the dough continues to stick to the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, rotate dough in the bowl so that all sides are covered in a thin layer of oil. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 2-3 hours.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 portions and roughly form each piece into a ball. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Roll each ball into rounds about 6 inches in diameter and 1/4 inches thick. If the dough resists rolling out, let it rest for 10 more minutes. Cover the rounds with a towel and let rest 15 minutes until puffy.
Preheat the griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and lightly oil the griddle. Bake 1 rolled-out circle at a time on the griddle, cooking for 15 to 20 seconds before turning the bread over gently. Cook for another minute or until big bubbles appear. Turn the bread again and cook until it balloons fully. Pressing a towel on those areas where bubbles have formed will push air into the flat areas. The breads should bake for no more than 3 minutes. Lightly brush the skillet with oil after every bread. Pita is best the day it is made, but it can be wrapped airtight and frozen for 1 month.