Easy Homemade Sourdough Pita Bread Recipe

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Soft, chewy, great texture sourdough pita bread is a perfect match for your meal. A quick and healthy alternative for sourdough bread if you’ve run out of it.

Pita bread goes with vegetables, salads, cheese, hummus, and meat. You can make as many varieties of fillings and side dishes with these sourdough pita pockets as you can imagine.

It’s also a wonderful bread for a summer barbeque and picnic season. 

Jump to Recipe

Why you need to bake sourdough pita bread:

Homemade pita bread even can’t be compared with store bought flatbreads like tortillas. You can’t find something similar in your nearest grocery store.  

Sourdough pita bread
Sourdough pita bread

After we’d moved to Portugal, I tried to find the usual products for our family. I was looking for our comfort food to help us cope with all the stress. In summer, we usually make lavash cheese pockets with parsley and dill grilled on the open fire. I didn’t find lavash, but probably every supermarket has packs of tortillas. I was surprised how a thin layer of flatbread can destroy the whole taste of a dish, an absolute disaster. 

As I mentioned, family food traditions are very important to me. That’s why I decided to prepare something easy and similar to lavash but without wildly rolling the dough with a rolling pin. I searched the recipes and made my choice to bake fluffy sourdough pita bread. The dough includes simple ingredients you probably have at home: flour, water, leaven, olive oil, and salt.

Sourdough recipes frustration

I found a great sourdough pita recipe on the A Knead to Bake Youtube channel. A good thing about this pita bread recipe is that it doesn’t have ingredients you may not have heard of (like a feather of the phoenix). But it has one special ingredient, a sourdough starter. (If you don’t have your sourdough starter follow this post: How To Make a Sourdough Starter?)

Have you ever had this experience when you’re looking for the best recipe, and you’ve finally found it, but you don’t have enough sourdough starter or time to make it? I had this several times. It’s totally frustrating.

A life-changing method

The main purpose of baking sourdough is to eat healthy homemade bread. Making such an effort is beneficial, but it definitely should have common sense. 

My family eats bread every day, with almost every meal. I’m not a big fan of completely yeasted bread because of its flavor. Although adding a small amount of commercial yeast to wild yeast can become a life changer. Actually, it was. 

I was lack of time and an active sourdough starter, I decided to add a small amount of commercial yeast to my active discard. It helps me to speed up the fermentation process and prepare warm pita bread just in time for our dinner.

Now this upgraded recipe is my magic wand. 

How to Make Sourdough Pita Bread:

Follow this quick and easy beginner-friendly recipe, and you’ll be rewarded with the result. You need basic ingredients to have much fun baking. Let’s start!

1. Prepare and Weigh All the Ingredients

Use the kitchen scale to prepare the ingredients. 

  • 340 gr all purpose flour or bread flour (I use Caputo 00, Caputo Pizzeria)
  • 60 gr whole wheat flour
  • 160 gr sourdough starter
  • 220 gr water
  • 20 gr extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 gr fine sea salt 
Note: 
If you want or need to speed up the process without losing the benefits of the sourdough recipe, use the schema: the leaven +  a pinch of commercial yeast. 

80 gr of sourdough starter or active discard

Choose your option:

- 3 gr of fresh yeast 
- 1gr of active dry yeast 
- 1gr of instant yeast

Simply add the yeast to the water while mixing all the ingredients. You don't need to use warm water to activate the yeast. Room temperature water is all you need.
Sourdough pita ingredients
Sourdough pita ingredients

2. Make the dough

This dough is easy to mix. So I do not really use a stand mixer very often to avoid extra cleaning. Choose your method 😉

Ingredients for sourdough pita in a mixing bowl
Ingredients for sourdough pita in a mixing bowl

Mixing by hand:

In a large bowl, add weighted ingredients in the order: water, sourdough starter (leaven), yeast (if you want to speed up the process), all purpose/bread flour, whole wheat flour, fine sea salt, extra virgin olive oil.

Combine everything with a spoon to let the flour moisturize. Finish kneading the rough dough by hand for approximately 10 minutes. The dough should become smooth. There is no need to achieve good gluten development for flatbread.

Mixing with a stand mixer: 

In a bowl of a stand mixer, add weighted ingredients in the same order: water, sourdough starter (leaven), yeast (if you want to speed up the process), all purpose/bread flour, whole wheat flour, fine sea salt, extra virgin olive oil. Use the dough hook to mix the ingredients for 3 minutes at a low speed, and turn medium speed for another 5-10 minutes. Please adjust the time and speed according to your conditions. 

Round the dough to a clean working area and cover it with reusable plastic wrap. 

Dough for sourdough pita bread
Kneaded dough for sourdough pita

3. Proofing

Let the dough rest for 4 hours in a warm place at 24-26℃ / 75-78℉ (with the light on in the oven or at room temperature on hot summer days). Or wait until the dough rise is doubled.

Note: If you use yeast to speed up the process, your proofing will take 
2 hours at 24-26°C / 75-78°F.

You can also proof the dough in the fridge overnight. You need to shorten the time of warm proofing to 2 hours. The next day you just need to continue from this moment.

Proofed sourdough pita bread
Proofed sourdough pita bread

4. Preheat your oven

Before shaping the dough, you need to preheat your oven. The oven temperature is extremely important. Because to make good pita bread, you need a very hot oven.

Here are some of the variations:

1. Baking in the oven with a baking sheet (tray)

Preheat for 30 minutes with a tray in the oven at 250℃ / 500℉.

2. Baking in the oven with a baking stone or pizza stone.

Preheat for 1 hour with a baking stone in the oven at 250℃ / 500℉.

If you are going to fry pitas in a pan or grill them, you also need to preheat. 

5. Shaping 

Remove the proofed dough on a lightly floured surface and divide it into eight equal dough balls. Dust the rounded dough with flour.

Cover them with a clean kitchen towel or a plastic bag for 10 minutes. 

Preshaped dough
Preshaped dough

The next step is to lightly flour the surface and take one dough ball using a scraper. Roll the dough from the center to the sides with a rolling pin. Don’t roll the dough too thin, as it needs to puff up.

I like to bake sourdough pita bread in the oven four pitas at a time. It reduces the time and effort. If you are going to try my method, you need to roll out four pitas. I place each pita on a plate one into another, dusting the top with flour to avoid sticking.

Rolling out sourdough pita
Rolling out sourdough pita

6. Baking

Actually, there are at least three varieties of baking pitas. You can bake them in the oven or fry them in a pan. But you’ll have the best results with a grill or a barbeque. This last one is absolutely mind-blowing. Let’s follow all the methods to puff the pita bread with a blast of steam.

1. Baking in the preheated oven with a baking tray or a large pizza stone.

Carefully put four pitas on a hot baking surface and bake them for 5 minutes. Shorten baking to 3-4 minutes if you don’t like baked golden-brown spots.

Sourdough pita bread baking
Sourdough pita bread baking

Remove baked pita bread on a cooling rack. I prefer to spray water on hot pitas, it helps to make them soft. Then transfer pitas into a plate with a kitchen towel to soften.

Repeat the process with the remaining pitas. 

2. Frying in a pan.

Put one pita on a preheated pan for 1-2 minutes. Then flip it over and fry for 2 more minutes.

Place pita bread on a cooling rack, spray water on it, and transfer it to a plate with a kitchen towel.

Repeat all the process with the remaining pitas. 

Freshly baked sourdough pita bread
Freshly baked sourdough pita bread

Enjoy Your Homemade Sourdough Pita Bread

Fill these perfect little pockets with whatever you can imagine. My family’s best choice for the filling is grilled chicken, sauce, cherry tomatoes, capers, salad, and cheese.

Sourdough pita pocket filled with grilled chicken, salad, cheese, tomatoes and capers
Sourdough pita with filling

How to Store Sourdough Pita Bread

If I have leftover pitas, I store them in an airtight container for 1 day. The next day I fill them in with grated young cheese, cottage cheese, and a mix of chopped parsley&dill.

Fry them in a pan to melt the cheese. The taste is out of heaven. Trust me 😉 

Sourdough pita bread filled with young cheese, cottage cheese and parsley&dill mix
Sourdough pita filled with cheese
Sourdough pita bread

Sourdough Pita Bread Recipe

A Knead to Bake
Sourdough pita bread is a healthy and quick substitute for sourdough bread. It's also a great recipe for beginners.
Fill these sourdough pita pockets with your favorite filling and enjoy!
Prep Time 9 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 pitas

Equipment

  • 1 kitchen scales
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 dough scraper
  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 1 plastic wrap (clingfilm)
  • 1 kitchen towel
  • 1 baking tray or pizza stone
  • 1 cooling rack

Ingredients
  

  • 340 gr all purpose flour or bread flour
  • 60 gr whole wheat flour
  • 160 gr sourdough starter (leaven)
  • 220 gr water (room temperature)
  • 20 gr extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 gr fine sea salt

Instructions
 

Prepare leaven

  • Mix and stir properly:
    55 gr of sourdough starter
    55 gr of water
    55 gr of all purpose or bread flour

Mix and knead the dough

  • When the leaven is ripe, mix in a mixing bowl all the ingredients: water, sourdough starter (leaven), all purpose or bread flour, whole wheat flour, fine sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth.
  • Round the dough and put it into an airtight container or a mixing bowl with plastic wrap.

Proof the dough for 4 hours

    Preheat the oven with a baking tray or pizza stone inside for 20-40 minutes at 250℃ / 500℉.

      Shaping

      • When the dough is proofed, release it into the lightly floured surface.
      • Divide the dough into 8 equal parts with a plastic scraper.
      • Round the divided dough balls, flour them, and cover them with the kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Leave the dough balls to rest for 10 minutes.
      • In 10 minutes, roll up every ball from the center to the sides on a floured surface with the rolling pin.

      Baking

      • Put the rolled dough into the hot baking tray or pizza stone.
      • Bake them for 5 minutes at 250℃ / 500℉.

      Cooling

      • Place the baked sourdough pita bread on the cooling rack and spray it with water. This helps to make them soft.

      Enjoy your homemade sourdough pita bread!

        Notes

        If you want to speed up the process, use commercial yeast and sourdough starter (or even active discard).
        Add:
        80 gr of sourdough starter or active discard
        and one of these options:
        3 gr of fresh yeast 
        1gr of active dry yeast 
        1gr of instant yeast
        Simply add the yeast to the room temperature water while mixing all the ingredients.
        The proofing time will take 2 hours at 24-26°C, 75-78°F.
        Keyword Sourdough pita bread
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