It may just be the stores I'm shopping at but I've had an impossible time trying to find whole wheat pita that:
A.) are vegan (no honey, no milk, etc)
B.) are 100% whole wheat (not mostly white with a touch of whole wheat flour)
C.) are made with normal ingredients (not things that look like they belong in science labs!)
or D.) actually have pockets - flatbread isn't pita bread to me no matter what the package says.
Since I don't go through a ton of pita bread it makes sense to just make my own when we need it. It's easy, its super cheap and its really fun to watch them balloon up in the oven! (Make sure your oven glass is clean enough to see through - mine isn't and I sat there with my face pressed against it with a flashlight in hand. Probably not a good thing to teach my daughter.. but seriously, our stove in ancient and I'm not ready to tackle cleaning it yet.)
100% Whole Wheat Pita Bread
1 Tablespoon instant dry yeast (or you can use 1 package of instant dry yeast - it is a bit less but that's okay!)
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 teaspoon sugar
1.5 cups warm water (not hot!)
1 teaspoon salt
- First you are going to proof your yeast. Mix together the water, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl. First the yeast will dissolve and then it will turn all foamy/bubbly. Congratulations! Your yeast is alive and it's time to move ahead. (If this doesn't happen at all it's time to start with new yeast.)
- Now mix the remaining ingredients together. You may need to add additional water (at times I have had to add up to 1/3 cup additional warm water) depending on the humidity and your flour. You want the dough to be soft and supple but not super sticky.
- Knead the dough until smooth and elastic (5 minutes or so by hand or be clever and do it in a stand mixer or food processor with a dough blade.)
- Now place your dough into a large clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size. It will rise a bit quicker if it is kept in a warmer place (like next to a bubbling crockpot!)
- Now take the dough and push out the air. Separate into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Keep the dough balls separate and cover. Rise again for another 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat your oven to 475 degrees. You want it to be HOT! If you have a pizza stone you can put that in your oven to heat up or you can instead use a large baking sheet. Either way put them into the oven cold and let them preheat.
- Once your dough has risen again take one out at a time and roll them into a flat disc shape. You want them to be 7-8" in diameter ( around 1/4" thick.) Roll 2-3 out at a time and then open your oven and put them in. Be careful!!
- Set your timer for 3 minutes and have fun watching them balloon up!
- Some may not balloon up but that's okay. Take them out after the 3 minutes and put them on a plate. Cover them with a towel to help soften them up.
- Repeat with your remaining dough.
- I find it works best to let the oven heat for a couple of minutes between each batch since you've opened it up twice for the batch before.
- If for some crazy reason you don't eat them all in one sitting you can store them in an airtight bag for a couple of days. They are actually really yummy toasted up in the oven with some salt and herbs and served as chips.