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Chef John's Pita Bread

Rated as 4.71 out of 5 Stars

"Unlike lots of other baked products which are better from a bakery, this is so far superior to the stuff you get at the grocery store, it's not even close. And in addition to being delicious to eat, it's also extremely easy to make!"
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3 h 15 m servings 187
Original recipe yields 8 servings (8 pita breads)


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  1. Place yeast into the work bowl of a stand mixer and add 1 cup warm water and 1 cup flour. Whisk together and let stand 15 to 20 minutes for mixture to rise and make a loose sponge. Mixture will bubble and foam.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and salt into sponge; add 1 3/4 cup flour. Mix at low speed, using a dough hook attachment, until dough is soft, supple, and slightly sticky. If dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add up to 1/4 cup more flour, a little at a time.
  3. Knead dough with machine on low speed until slightly springy and still soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and form into a ball.
  4. Wipe inside of bowl with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil. Turn dough around in bowl to cover with a thin film of oil; cover bowl with foil and let sit until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  5. Remove dough from bowl and place onto a floured work surface. Lightly pat into a flat shape about 1 inch thick. Use a knife to cut dough into 8 pieces.
  6. Form each piece into a small round ball with a smooth top, pulling dough from the sides and tucking the ends underneath the bottom.
  7. Cover dough balls with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on a work surface and top of a dough ball; gently pat dough ball flat with your fingers, forming a flat, round bread about 1/4 inch thick. Let dough round rest for 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
  9. Brush a cast-iron skillet with remaining 3/4 teaspoon olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Lay pita bread into hot skillet and cook until bread begins to puff up and bottom has brown spots and blisters, about 3 minutes. Flip, cook 2 more minutes, and flip back onto original side to cook for about 30 more seconds. Pita bread will begin to puff up and fill with hot air. Stack cooked breads on a plate; when cool enough to handle, break breads in half and open the pocket inside for stuffing.


  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 187 calories; 3.6 33.1 4.8 0 511 Full nutrition

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  1. 375 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Almost perfect first time! I just watched the video for the first time - saw why I had to use a knife to make pockets! If you do not smush bubbles you will not get a good pocket! I used an elect...

Most helpful critical review

I followed this recipe to the letter and my pitas didn't puff up. I guess I'm going to have to find another pita recipe.

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

Almost perfect first time! I just watched the video for the first time - saw why I had to use a knife to make pockets! If you do not smush bubbles you will not get a good pocket! I used an elect...

I tried making pita bread in the past and every time I failed miserably so of course I was skeptical that I could successfully prepare pita bread using your instructions (It's not you---it's def...

SO TASTY! I see a lot of complaints about non-puffs, well, mine didn't either but they tasted better than any flatbread I've ever bought in my life. I started smooshing the bubbles on the last f...

It is a simple and fool proof recipe. I hand kneaded the dough because I don't have the dough mixer attachment. It took me 15 minutes to knead the dough and I used about 2 table spoon flour whic...

I follow the same steps except the last one. I preheated the oven to 500 degrees. Placed the rounded dough in a heavy baking sheet, as much as it takes (depending on the size). Baked for few min...

Really tasty bread. Mine didn't puff up like the video but I didn't have a stand mixer to make these. I did get a pocket, but I had to sort of help open it up a little..

This was a wonderful recipe! The dough was so simple to make and I easily found a way to make and eat dinner while waiting the two hours for it to rise. When I placed the pitas in my skillet it ...

I love bread. Lately I've been loving flat breads, andy I've been trying to eat less sugar, so I was happy to try this recipe and stop having to buy pita bread every week. Watching the included ...

Great recipe! The only thing I can't figure out is how Chef John rolls out the pitas with as little flour as he does. My rolling pin wants to stick. But, the flavor is great! People, if yours ar...