Pita bread is a soft, flat bread used for many things. It is usually found in the Middle East, Greece, and the eastern Mediterranean. It is baked in a hot oven. Because gyros are so popular, their use has spread worldwide. Pita often has a pocket that you can stuff, and it can also be used as a thin, triangular cracker that goes well with hummus.
Wheat flour and yeast are used to make pita bread, a flatbread. It is eaten in Middle Eastern countries by itself or with things like dips, grilled meats, and falafel, which are fried chickpea balls. Pita has a neutral taste and a hint of a bready smell, making it a great way to carry dips and meats with strong flavors.
This pocket can be filled with falafel, grilled meat, vegetables, hummus, labneh, olive oil, za’atar, tahini, or baba ganoush, turning the pita bread into a handy snack. Pita is also used to wrap shwarma and other grilled meats like souvlaki. You can also deep-fry pita pieces and serve them as pita chips.
What is Pita Bread?
The word “pita” comes from Greek, and this type of bread has been made in the Middle East for thousands of years. Pita bread is a flatbread made with yeast, water, and flour. In some recipes, a little sugar and salt are also added. Usually, it is baked on a stone, and herbs and spices can be added to the dough to make it taste better.
High temperatures bake most pitas (450 F to 475 F). The dough’s water turns into steam, making the Pita puff up and make a pocket. When the Pita comes out of the oven, the layers of baked dough are still separate, so the bread can be opened to make a pocket. Greek-style Pita is usually flatter, which makes it great for wrapping.
Pita is made in modern commercial bakeries on automatic lines that make thousands of loaves per hour. The ovens get up to 800 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much hotter than traditional clay ovens. Each loaf is only baked for one minute. The pitas are cooled by air on conveyor belts for about 20 minutes before they are shipped or put in commercial freezers.
Pita vs. Naan
Pita and naan are both popular flatbreads that are similar and can be used in place of each other. While Pita is usually round and associated with Mediterranean food, naan is oval and served all over the Middle East and India.
Naan is a bit bigger than Pita, and it usually has yogurt or eggs to make it softer, and it doesn’t have the pockets that many types of Pita have. Also, naan is usually used to dip curries and other similar dishes, while Pita is more often used to wrap sandwiches or put them in.
How to Use Pita Bread?
Pita is a nice light bread that goes well with any meal and can be used in many different ways. Most souvlaki and gyro sandwiches in Greece are made with the kind that doesn’t have pockets, and the thin kind with pockets is best for falafel, hummus, baba ganoush, and other Middle Eastern foods.
Pita is also a great salad bowl, and it can be used as the base for things like pizza or to make grilled sandwiches instead of heavier bread. You can cut Pita into triangles and toast them to make crispy pita chips to eat with hummus and other dips.
Some Ways to use Pita Bread
Pita is the most important kind of bread in Middle Eastern food. It’s a soft, lightly risen bread similar to naan and flatbread. On the other hand, Pita is baked at a higher temperature, making the dough round puff up and leave the well-known pocket. So, you can roll, top, or dip naan and flatbreads, but only Pita can be stuffed.
Most of the time, we think of Pita as a way to eat falafel. The crispy balls and salad are put inside the pita pocket, and the tahini sauce drizzles. But Pita is a tasty bread that can be used in many different ways. So, here are some ideas for ways to use pita bread that are fun and different.
Toasted Pita Triangles-
You can use the oven or a broiler to toast pita bread. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the Pita into triangles, and serve with dips like hummus or baba ghannouj.
Use Pita as a Spoon-
Pieces of Pita can be used as spoons for bean dishes like full mesdames or salads like tabouleh made with finely chopped ingredients. This makes eating fun for kids.
Put sauce, cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings on pita bread and bake until the cheese is melted, like the pizzas made with English muffins.
Toasted Pita Bread-
Pita bread can be a more filling alternative to toast that can be toasted in the toaster or oven. For a light breakfast or snack, spread jam, butter, hummus, or your other favorite spread.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Pita-
Kids who don’t like crusts will love these. Spread the peanut butter and jelly on the inside of the pocket. For a warm sandwich, you can also put the sandwich in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds.
How to Make Pitta Bread?
Pita bread is a flat bread from the Middle East. When it’s baked, it puffs up, making a hole in the middle. As it cools, it flattens out and loses shape, but the pocket stays the same. Then, each half has its pocket when you cut it in half. The first time I made pita bread, I did it on the stove, and it was so exciting to watch the bread rise. Then I started making pita bread in the oven and found that it got even bigger.
- 2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Step 1- Mix the yeast with 300ml warm water in a large bowl. After 5 minutes, when the yeast is bubbling, add the flour, salt, and olive oil. Make a soft dough from the ingredients. Don’t worry if the edges look a little rough.
Step 2- Put the dough on a lightly floured surface to work with. Knead the dough for 5–10 minutes until it is soft, smooth, and elastic. Try knitting the dough with as little extra flour as possible, just enough so it doesn’t stick to your hands. This will keep the pittas light and airy. Once the dough has been kneaded, please put it in a bowl that has been lightly oiled, cover it with a tea towel, and let it rise for about an hour.
Where to Buy Pita Bread?
If you want the freshest pita bread, you can make it yourself or go to a market in the Mediterranean or the Middle East. There, you’ll probably find the cheapest loaves. Several online stores also ship out fresh pita bread every day.
At least one brand of pita bread is sold in most supermarkets, and it is often near freshly baked artisanal bread in the bread aisle or deli section. There may be white, whole wheat, low-carb, or gluten-free options.
Check the expiration date and how soft the Pita is before buying it. Many stores buy Pita in large quantities, freeze it, and then put it out to thaw. Loaves that feel softer are more likely to be fresh, while loaves that feel firmer may have been frozen and thawed.
What does it Taste Like?
Pita is a flatbread that tastes about the same as other flatbreads. Most of the time, the texture is light and airy, with a dense, chewy bite, and it works well as a base for strong tastes.
Even though you can make pita bread taste great by letting it rise for longer, naan bread is usually better in terms of flavor. Since pita bread is so simple, the dish it goes with makes it taste better. Pita bread isn’t as tasty on its own as naan.
It has a tangy, sourdough-like flavor and is thicker, softer, and puffier than any homemade or store-bought pita I’ve tried. It tastes great with or without a filling or dip, and Molly writes that it would also make a pretty good sleeping bag.
What are the Health Benefits of Pita Bread?
Unless it is made with refined wheat flour, pita bread has all the good things that wheat does, like carbs, protein, and fiber. Pita is low in fat and has iron, selenium, calcium, and magnesium as trace minerals. It can have more nutrients if you eat it with healthy dips like tahini, hummus, labneh, and tzatziki. If pita bread is made from whole grains, it can give you thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and niacin, among other B vitamins.
Here are some ways pita bread is good for your health.
- Provides energy
- Reduces glucose levels
- Promotes weight loss
- Aids in digestion
- Can you provide some proteins
Improves gut health and digestion:
If the pita bread is made from whole wheat, it has insoluble fiber, which comes from the grain’s bran. It can feed the good bacteria in the stomach because it is a prebiotic. So, eating pita bread can help your body digest food and keep you from getting constipated.
Could lower glucose levels:
Whole wheat pita bread, which is high in fiber, can even help lower blood sugar levels and keep them from going too high.
May prevent colon cancer:
Eating whole grains like wheat can lower your risk of colon cancer. Whole grains have fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that lower the risk of colon cancer.
Pita bread is often forgotten as a side dish because hummus, baba ganoush, and tzatziki steal the show. But you can’t enjoy these dips if you don’t have a pita, giving these dishes the crunch and bites they need.
It’s one of the oldest types of bread we know about, and there’s evidence that people ate it 14,500 years ago in the Stone Age. In the past, wild cereal grains were used to make bread, and wheat and barley were used instead.
When pita bread is being cooked, it tends to puff up in the middle, making an air pocket. Pita can do more than add flavor and texture; it can also be good for your health.