Greek pita bread recipe

Greek pita, easy to make at home!

What makes Greek souvlaki so unique, apart from the succulent grilled meat and refreshing tzatziki, is, of course, the pita bread.

Preparation time
from 30' up to 2 hours
Cooking time
6 minutes
Serves
6 greek pita

Ingredients

  • 350gr strong flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 15gr fast action yeast (or double the amount fresh yeast)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tspns sugar
  • 2 tspns extra virgin olive oil
  • 150ml milk
  • 100ml water (lukewarm)

Pita, the traditional Greek bread

The Greek pita bread resembles very much the Arabic pita, but unlike them, pitas are leavened. Their taste is neutral and pita bread is soft and flexible so that it can wrap as a gyros pita around the grilled meat and tzatziki or any other filling of choice. The best part about pita bread? It is the easiest bread you will ever make.

In Greece we love pita bread so much, it is unthinkable to have a BBQ without grilled pitas or tzatziki. Although common practice is to get greek pita from the store it is one of the easiest breads you can make at home. It requires very little waiting time and only a few basic ingredients you definitely hold in the pantry: flour, salt, water, milk, sugar, yeast and a bit of olive oil.

Once these ingredients are combined, the dough will need to rest in a warm place and double in size. It takes from 30 minutes up to 2 hours depending how warm your kitchen is. If you are in a bit of rush, there is a little trick to accelerate this process. Whilst you mix the dough, switch on your oven on the lowest temperature setting for 10-15 minutes. Once the dough is ready, switch off the oven and place in the mixing bowl. The oven has the warmth necessary for the yeast to work and leaven the pita bread dough. Then you can go ahead and fry them.

My recipe is for the basic pita bread. Once you go ahead for such a lovely homemade treat, I would suggest you improvise a little. Do not hesitate to add fresh herbs, a few thyme or oregano leaves will give a special touch to the pitas. If you have flavoured salt, such as rosemary salt, add this instead of plain salt. It is a great addition and a very good match for your grilled meat. If you plan to use the pita as bread for tzatziki or any other dips, definitely check your cupboards for spices and herbs. Other interesting ingredients are black sesame or poppy seeds in the dough. If, however, you forget whilst making them, do not worry, a light dusting of sweet paprika or the classic salt and oregano will still work wonders.

How to cook

Traditional Greek pita, the recipe!

  1. 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt and sugar.
  2. 2. Slowly start integrating the water, milk and olive oil. You should get a supple dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. 3. Leave the dough in a warm place to rest and rise until it has doubled in size (30 min -2 hours)
  4. 4. Once the pita bread dough has risen, lightly dust a surface and cut in 6 pieces.
  5. 5. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball in 20 cm rounds, approximately 5mm thick. Turn the dough clockwise to achieve the round shape. Then, lightly score with a knife or pinch each pita with a fork.
  6. 6. Heat up a skillet, brush with a bit of olive oil and cook the pita bread on medium heat for 3 minutes each side.
  7. 7. Use immediately for your souvlaki or dips. Alternatively you can store the pita in airtight bags to keep them moist.