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Pita Bread Recipe (Oven or Stovetop)

This homemade Pita Bread Recipe puffs up beautifully to form that perfect pocket inside. Watch the video tutorial and learn how to make Pita Bread in the oven or on the stovetop.

We love recreating our favorite Mediterranean recipes from Greek Salad to Tzatziki Sauce. If you are a fan of Mediterranean flavors, this Pita Recipe is a must-try!

Pita breads cooing on a towel

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Ingredients for Pita Bread

Pita dough is made with these basic pantry staples:

  • Warm water – should be 110˚F to 115˚F on a thermometer
  • Instant yeast – 1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp of instant or rapid rise yeast
  • Sugar – to help jumpstart the proofing process
  • Flour – we love a combination of mostly all-purpose flour to keep the pita very soft, with a little whole wheat flour to add flavor and color
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – use extra virgin for the best flavor
  • Salt – we use fine sea salt. As with any bread, salt is critical for a great tasting bread.
Ingredients for making pita bread

How to Make Pita Dough

  1. Proof Yeast – In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, sugar, yeast, and whole wheat flour. Whisk and set aside for 15 minutes until foamy. 
  2. Add remaining flour, olive oil, and salt and stir until shaggy. 
  3. Knead – Turn out onto a clean surface and knead for 5 minutes. It will get less sticky as you knead. If it’s too sticky to knead, sprinkle with a little flour and continue kneading. Dough should be soft and tacky to the touch. 
  4. Proof Dough – Grease a clean mixing bowl 1 tsp olive oil. Add dough and turn to coat in oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm (100˚F) place 45 minutes, or at room temperature 90 minutes, until doubled in volume. 
  5. Preheat Oven – Once dough has doubled (if using oven method) preheat oven to 500˚F with a baking stone or inverted baking sheet on the bottom rack position and let stone heat up for at least 20 minutes.
Step by step instructions for making dough for pitas

How to Form Pita Bread

  1. Divide Dough – Punch dough down, transfer to a clean surface and cut into 8 even pieces. Cup your hand around each dough ball and roll on the counter until you no longer see a dimple underneath. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and rest 15 minutes to let gluten relax for easier rolling.
  2. Roll Dough – Generously dust work surface and dough ball and press gently into a disk with your fingertips to disperse bubbles. Roll dough balls to 7” wide and less than 1/4” thick. Makes sure disks aren’t sticking to the counter. Keep rolled disks covered with a damp towel. Do not stack pitas. Let disks rest 10 minutes before baking for better puffing.
How to form pita bread dough step by step instructions

To Bake Pita Bread

Place 2 pieces of dough on the fully preheated pizza stone and bake at 500˚F 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or until puffed. Transfer to a rack for 5 minutes then cover with a dry towel so they don’t dry out. Repeat with remaining pitas.

Pita bread puffing in the oven

Stovetop Pita Bread

Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium/high heat and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay pita on the hot skillet for 30 seconds. As soon as you see bubbles, flip the pita and cook 1 minute – it will puff then flip and cook 1 minute.

Pita bread puffing on a cast iron skillet

Why did my pita bread not puff up?

After many batches (and a freezer packed with homemade pita bread), we identified all of the tips and tricks to get that mesmerizing puff and perfectly formed pocket in the center.

  • Fresh Ingredients – Make sure your ingredients are fresh and yeast or flour is not expired
  • Generously flour the counter before rolling the dough. If the dough sticks to the counter while rolling, the pita may tear causing steam to escape so it won’t puff properly. 
  • Preheat baking stone – Place the stone in the oven while it’s preheating to 500˚F and make sure it’s in there for at least 20 minutes. The dough being in contact with a super hot surface is what causes trapped steam to swell and puff up the center of the pita. 
  • Preheat cast-iron – Place over medium/high heat. You know it’s ready when you add a drop of water and it sizzles and evaporates instantly.
  • Forming dough balls – roll the dough until you no longer see a dimple at the bottom (which can prevent the pita from puffing properly, or cause a tear/deflating).
  • Use your fingertips to press the dough into a small disk before rolling it out helps to disperse the air bubbles in the dough which helps it rise more evenly. 
Perfectly puffed pita bread

Common Questions

What is Pita Bread?

Pita is a quick-cooking, yeast-leavened flatbread that puffs up when it’s cooked to form a pocket in the center.

What is the difference between pita bread and naan or flatbread?

Pita bread is a lighter bread that is leavened with yeast, while flatbread is not. Naan usually has an egg and yogurt base.

Can I omit the whole wheat flour?

Yes, you can just use all-purpose flour and the pita bread will still work great. Whole wheat is traditional and adds a little color and hint of nutty flavor.

Why is my pita bread dry?

To keep the dough from drying out, it must be covered with a damp kitchen towel after rolling into dough balls and into disks. Also, cover the pita bread with a dry kitchen towel 5 minutes after it is cooked or it will get dry.

Soft Pita breads stacked in bread bowl

How to Serve Pita Bread

Pita bread can be served so many ways. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Gyros – fill with gyro meat, lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, and Tzatziki Sauce.
  • Fajita Pitas – put Chicken and Mushroom Fajitas or Shrimp Fajitas over pita bread and serve.
  • With Dip – slice up the pita bread into wedges, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve with Tzatziki or Hummus.
  • Stuffed Pitas – Cut pita bread in half, open the pita pocket and fill with Chicken Salad or Tuna Salad.
  • Toasted Chips – Cut pita into wedges, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake in a single layer at 375˚F for about 10 minutes.
Pita Pocket center for filling and serving

Make-Ahead

  • Room Temperature: Once pita breads are at room temperature, transfer to a zip bag and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Once pita bread is at room temperature, transfer to a freezer safe zip bag. When sealing the bag, remove any excess air then freeze up to 3 months. You can lightly stack multiple pita breads in a bag, but don’t pack them in or it will be difficult to separate later.
  • To Reheat: Warm pitas in an oven, air fryer, toaster or microwave until thawed and just warm.
Made ahead pita breads ready for freezer

There’s no match for soft and fresh homemade pita bread. Let me know how you love to enjoy pita.

More Homemade Bread Recipes

These easy bread recipes will make you feel like a pro. Enjoying a warm slice of homemade bread makes the process completely worthwhile.

Homemade Pita Bread Recipe

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Homemade pita bread stacked

Homemade Pita Bread is easy to make and puffs up to form a stuffable pocket inside. We included instructions for baking in the oven or cooking pita bread on the stovetop.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $2-$3
Keyword: homemade pita bread, pita bread
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Course: Bread
Calories: 198 kcal
Servings: 8 pita breads

Ingredients

Instructions

How to Make Pita Dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, sugar, yeast, and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour. Whisk to combine then set aside for 15 minutes until puffy and foamy on top.

  2. Add olive oil, 2 1/2 cups flour and salt and stir together with a wooden spoon until shaggy.

  3. Turn out onto a clean smooth surface and knead vigorously for 5 minutes. The dough should feel sticky to your hands but will get less sticky as you knead and should not be sticking to the counter. If the dough is too sticky to knead, sprinkle with a little more flour and continue kneading. Dough should be soft and tacky to the touch.

  4. Wash and dry the mixing bowl and grease the inside of the bowl with 1 tsp olive oil inside the bowl. Add dough and turn to coat in oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm (100˚F) place for 45 minutes, or at room temperature about 90 minutes until doubled in volume.

  5. If Baking Pita: Once dough has doubled, preheat oven to 500˚F with a baking stone or baking sheet on the bottom rack position. You need to let the stone heat up for at least 20 minutes or the pita won’t puff properly

How to Form Pita Bread:

  1. Punch dough down and Transfer dough to a clean surface and divide into 8 even pieces. Cup your hand around each dough ball and roll until you no longer see a dimple or seam underneath. Cover balls with a damp kitchen towel and rest 15 minutes for gluten to relax and make it easier to roll them out.

  2. Place a dough ball onto a surface generously dusted and press gently into a disk with your fingertips to disperse bubbles. Roll dough balls to 7” wide and less than 1/4” thick. Move the disk several times while rolling to ensure it doesn’t stick to the counter. Keep rolled disks covered with a damp towel so they don’t dry out. Do not stack pitas. Let disks rest 10 minutes before baking and they will puff better.

To Bake Pita Bread:

  1. Place 2-3 pieces of dough on the preheated pizza stone and bake at 500˚F 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or until puffed. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack for 5 minutes then cover with a dry towel to keep the pitas from drying out.

Stovetop Instructions:

  1. Preheat cast iron skillet over medium/high heat and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay pita on the hot skillet for 30 seconds. Once you see bubbling, flip the pitta and cook for 1 minute – it will puff then flip and cook another minute.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Pita Bread Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 198 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Sodium 440mg19%
Potassium 88mg3%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 1IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Alice Glock
    July 23, 2021

    I was excited to find your video and look forward to trying out the recipe. I haven’t succeeded with other recipes/directions I have found, but much appreciate the exactness of thoroughness of your video, which I am sure will make a difference.
    My husband is gluten sensitive so I will later try a gluten-free flour…and report back since others have asked about it here.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 23, 2021

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes, Alice! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Theresa
    July 22, 2021

    Hi Natacha
    I will definitely make these pitas

    when it cooler loved watching the video thank you for sharing the recipe

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 22, 2021

      I hope you love the pita recipe! Thank you for that encouraging feedback.

      Reply

  • Gretchen
    July 21, 2021

    I’ve done minimal baking with yeast, but this recipe was easy to follow. It described how the dough should look and feel, and so I knew when it wasn’t right, and knew to add more flour. It was easy, took very little time, and they are tasty.
    I’ll definitely make these again!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 21, 2021

      Hi Gretchen! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Annamarie
    July 21, 2021

    Hi Natasha. Thank you for this recipe. I was interested in the scale you use. Did you attach a link for that?

    Reply

  • Jean Wimmer
    July 20, 2021

    Natasha, I made this recipe today using the stovetop method and they look amazing! I was having trouble getting them to inflate and realized I was waiting too long to flip them when the bubbles appeared (30 seconds was too long for me)….probably the heat of my Iron skillet. The bubbles were popping and letting the air escape so they didn’t inflate. Once I started turning them as soon as a few bubbles appeared they inflated perfectly. I was so proud….LOL! Thanks for a fun recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 20, 2021

      I’m so glad it worked out, Jean!

      Reply

  • Patrick Quinn
    July 19, 2021

    One quick question: Getting quick rise yeast is no problem but I have a jar of dry active yeast in the refrigerator. Could I use that instead (realizing the rise times will be longer) or do you need the quick rise yeast to get the “puffiness” and hence the pocket in the finished product?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 19, 2021

      Hi Patrick, I have always made this pita recipe with quick rise so I can’t speak to active dry but I would assume it should work fine with a little longer rising time.

      Reply

  • Lissy
    July 18, 2021

    Can you make this with almond flour?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 18, 2021

      Hello Lissy, I haven’t tried this with almond flour yet to advise. I also checked the comments and none have shared their experience using almond flour so far. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes!

      Reply

  • Pat
    July 17, 2021

    Being gluten free, can the gluten free general purpose flour be used in these recipes?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 17, 2021

      Hi Pat, I haven’t tested this with gluten-free flour to advise on the outcome. If you happen to experiment, I would love to know how you like that.

      Reply

  • Heather
    July 17, 2021

    Hi Natasha,
    I enjoy watching your videos and have made a few of your recipes.
    I am wondering, do you have any low carb/keto recipes?
    Heather

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 18, 2021

      Hi Heather, great to hear that you’re enjoying my recipes and videos. Here are some healthy recipes that you can try.

      Reply

  • Mahnaz
    July 17, 2021

    I love u Natasha ❤️🌹

    Ur pita recipe awesome I made different recipe 👎

    I bake ur recipe pita bread delicious and so easy
    Thank u ❤️🌹🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 17, 2021

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Mahnaz!

      Reply

  • Mary Vazquez
    July 16, 2021

    Hello Natasha! I just saw your video on how to make pita 🫓 bread. You definitely inspired me. My husband and I truly enjoy your videos. As a matter of fact my husband always says he would like for us to be your neighbor so you can share with us😂. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that we are definitely subscribed to your channel and truly enjoy everything you make. In all honesty my husband is the chef of the family and when he wants to make something he’s never made before he looks up to see if you’ve made it and then looks up several videos until he designs the recipe on how he wants to make it. You know what the funny thing is? He speaks only Spanish and some English but he does understand it. Well, we are fans! Keep up the excellent work you’re doing! Sincerely, Mary

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 17, 2021

      Aww, that’s the best and sweetest comment! Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Mary. I’m all smiles and so happy to hear you and your husband are enjoying my recipes! I hope the videos and images are helpful to him!

      Reply

  • April
    July 16, 2021

    This was delicious! Super easy to make.

    Reply

  • Natalie
    July 16, 2021

    We love pita bread for so many things! Your recipe is fool proof & makes such perfect bread!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 16, 2021

      Hi Natalie, thank you for sharing your wonderful review. I’m so glad to hear that.

      Reply

      • Dedere
        July 17, 2021

        Hi Natasha. Mine didnt puff at all and i followed all of the instructions. They came out like a naan bread consistancy. Any idea where i could have gone wrong?
        I love your page and your recipes.
        Thanks. 🙂

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          July 17, 2021

          Hi Dedere, oh bummer, I haven’t had that experience, but I would make sure you are using non-expired instant yeast and not altering any ingredients or steps. I hope you give it another try soon!

          Reply

  • Kara
    July 16, 2021

    My daughter had a blast watching these puff up in the skillet! 🙂 We had them stuffed with chicken salad, and they were delish!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 16, 2021

      It’s always exciting and the kids love to watch that process also. Thanks for sharing your great review.

      Reply

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