Where’s the pop in my pita?

Have you ever made pita bread? It’s a great example of the Endless Quest for Success that baking can sometimes be.

Most of the things I bake are pretty reliable. If they’re not, I stop fussing and move on. But there are two things I bake that are a roll of the dice every single time: Popovers, and pita.

If you’ve ever played golf, popovers and pita are just like the perfect drive. Eyes on the ball, slow backswing, weight shift… and there it goes, the ball making a perfect 250-yard parabola down the middle of the fairway. “Ah, yes,” I think to myself. “NOW I’ve got it.”

And I step up at the next hole, do the VERY SAME THINGS I did not 15 minutes before, and shank one about 30 yards into the water.

I’ve tried every popover method possible. Making batter in a blender (vs. mixer); letting it rest (vs. not). Into a cold oven; into a hot oven. Peeking; not peeking. Aluminum pan, cast iron, silicone. Sometimes they pop; sometimes they just lie there like a puddle of cream-colored mud. And I swear they’re laughing at me. “HA—and you call yourself a baker…”

Pitas do the same thing. When I lived in Maine and baked in a big old cast-iron Garland gas oven, my pitas popped like crazy. They looked like little balloons in the oven, barely able to contain all of that steamy air in their thinly stretched skins.

But here, using an electric oven, my pitas lie quietly on their pan, rising just a half an inch or so. Just so I know that yeah, the yeast is working. But something else isn’t. Oh sure, the occasional pita will pop pretty nicely. But it’s so random… With three pitas on a pan, one pops, two don’t. I mean, what’s up with that? I can’t figure it out.

But I keep trying. And in the meantime, even when my pita doesn’t pop, it’s pretty darned good. I like to fold it around homemade tarragon chicken salad (with golden raisins and toasted almonds). And cut it into wedges for hummus.

And I comfort myself with the fact that, like the perfect golf shot, a popped pita is always a possibility, appearing in the oven just often enough to tease me into continuing my quest.

Like most yeast breads, pita dough isn’t complicated to put together. Simply put all of the ingredients in a bowl…

Mix to form a cohesive dough…

And knead till smooth, and just a bit sticky/soft.

Put the dough in a lightly greased container, cover it…

…and let it rise for about an hour. It won’t necessarily double in bulk. Though mine did, as you can see.

Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into 8 balls. They don’t need to be smooth, but they should be round.

Working with 2 to 4 balls at a time, flatten each into a disk.

Then roll into a 6” circle. Keep the other dough balls covered as you work, so they don’t dry out. Place the 6” circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you have a baking stone, you can pick the parchment up and slide it right onto the stone, pitas and all. If you’re not using a stone, you’ll just leave parchment and pitas on the baking sheet.

Now, the secret is a REALLY hot oven. Like, 500°F. I have trouble bringing our test kitchen ovens to that temperature, so my pitas often don’t pop. If I’m lucky, they kind of pop halfway, like this.

Most of the time they just kind of lie there and become golden, like this. Which is fine; they make a lovely, soft, wrap-type bread, perfect for wrapping around sandwich fillings, mopping up spaghetti sauce (I know, I’m mixing cultures here), or cutting into wedges and using as bread dippers.

In order to keep the pitas soft, stack them in a cotton towel as soon as they come out of the oven, and let them cool there.

Even when they don’t pop, pitas are a nice-looking, comfort-type bread: soft, golden, tasty. That’s why I’ll never give up my quest for perfectly popped pita: it’s so easy to love the failures!

Read, review, and rate (please!) our recipe for Golden Pita Bread.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Supermarket pita bread, 21¢/ounce

Bake at home: Pita bread, 4¢/ounce

Update: See comment from Cathie (Sept. 12) below. Her method worked just fine for me, except I baked the pitas 5 minutes, because they didn’t fully pop till 3 minutes. I used my favorite pizza crust recipe, as it’s so easy to roll out. Here’s a picture of the finished pitas; they’ve deflated a bit, but are still popped—yeah!


PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Dawn of Dawn's Recipes

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with this popover issue. Sometimes they’re beautiful! Other times they’re more like wet cake. Maybe we should form a support group…haha! I’m a little disheartened now to know the same issue can be had with pita bread. I was just telling my husband I would try making pitas soon. Looks like I might be in for another roller coaster ride. Well, at least with the pitas, they still look gorgeous, and quite edible!

    Dawn, that’s the thing – even when they don’t pop, they’re SO good – soft and pliable and just tasty. you just want to tear them in pieces and use them to mop things, like salad dressing in the bottom of the bowl, etc. Have fun – that’s what it’s all about. PJH

    1. Peter Pan

      Before baking in 450degree oven, put your pita on a hot, dry frying pan until it starts to bubble. Repeat on other side.

    2. PJ Hamel, post author

      Hmmm, that’s a new way of thinking about pita. Though it does sound like certain South Asian breads, made in a tandoori oven. Thanks for the tip! PJH

  2. stacey

    what about doing them on a pizza stone on the grill? I can usually get my grill up to at least 500 degrees (when I do pizza out there which is quite often!)

    Hey, gotta try that – thanks! – PJH

  3. Randi

    I’ve tried a few pita recipes and mine never pop!! Oh well. Could it have something to do with the convection oven?

    Sounds like we need a Pita Pop Support Group… – PJH 🙂

  4. Kaco

    I would suggest leaving your pizza stone in the oven and either cooking directly on it or putting the sheet pan on the stone.

    Inconsistent heating (over cooking time or throughout the oven) can contribute to irregularly risen food. It also would explain why your big heavy cast iron stove, with lots of mass to hold heat, would produce consistent food, and why other appliances do not. I like to leave my pizza stone in the oven all the time for all my cooking to increase the mass of the oven and improve efficiency/cost too. I would project that gas ovens would also produce poor results because the temperature swings are usually greater than electric ovens.

    Try heating the oven fully to heat the pizza stone through (on 500 deg or broil) then cooking at desired temperature to promote conductive heat transfer. This is helpful for pizza and other crusty items too.

  5. Eric


    PJ, PJ, PJ. What *are* we going to do with you?

    First we find out you’re addicted to frozen coconut cake.

    Now your pitas don’t pop.

    I agree – I’d use the pizza stone *and* do your usual humidity-enhancement methods in the oven – a pita’s puff is just a boule’s crust and ovenspring writ large. When I make pita from my aunt’s recipe, my “puff” ratio is usually 90% (the rejects instantly become pita chips while the oven is still warm).

    Maybe you need some kind of intervention. Poor thing.

  6. Mare

    It looks like you’re rolling them too thin. And not evenly. Try a touch thicker. Then bake on a stone preheated at least 45 minutes at 450 degrees. As soon as they puff, flip over for a few seconds. They’ll be great!

  7. Chris

    have to try this pita recipe…popovers are definitely my favorite breakfast food…many years ago I read in a novel about how the woman was heating her popover pan in the oven till it was hot before pouring the batter…now this was set in the 1800’s! So, just for kicks, did it and it works everytime…I use shortening…a dab in each cup and it gets sizzling hot…I also use grapeseed oil…now I am hungry. Such a simple gathering of ingredients produces heaven! Now to make pitas…my one cat will love this…she loves tiny shreds of pita when I have it. Funny, as I had been thinking of researching making pita, now I have a start.

  8. Laura Conrad

    Maybe the popover secret is pans? Mine always pop, and I always make them in offical popover pans. I think they’re aluminum with non-stick coating (somewhat worn by now).

    I did a lot of experimenting with my popover recipe, and ended up with just throwing all the ingredients (except the butter) into the bowl and whippint it all together.

  9. Jen Seymour

    I tried this recipe a couple of months ago and it didnt puff….however…

    The Pita I’ve made twice (and puffed beautifully twice) were from the recipe “Plain Pita” on your site. I try to bake with whole grains when possible -so I used the KA white whole wheat… I have a note that it used less flour than the recipe called for.

    I have an electric oven (standard 3/4 size NY city apartment oven) that I have a pizza stone in… I dont have a peel (yet!) so I just used my hands to transfer the dough to directly on the stone. The only problem with this is I had to learn how to drop it on the stone without wrinkling or folding it and do it quickly so I didnt let the oven cool down too much as I was doing the transfer. Still, with a little luck and practice I got it.

    I also deviated from the recipe in that I let the pita puff and brown for more like 2-3 minutes on one side, and then flipped as necessary (some browned faster than others- I suspect due to the length of time I left the door open between pitas). None of the pitas took more than 3-4 minutes in the oven total.

    I hope this helps!!

  10. Jude

    “They don’t need to be smooth, but they should be round.”

    Hi PJ. I find that this is actually a key step in getting the pita to pop. They have to be really tight balls right before flattening and sealed well at the bottom. Rest it a bit (about 10 minutes) before flattening to form a thin skin to help trap the air while baking. I also use a floured rolling pin to flatten, as evenly thick and as close to a circle as possible. It works even for 100% whole wheat pitas.

    Everyone already mentioned the hot baking stone — that’s going to help as well.

  11. Thomas Smith

    I’ve made pitas successfully (a receipe from a Julia Child cookbook) using an oven stone and peel. Mine don’t brown the way the ones pictured do, and I don’t turn them. HTH Tom

  12. Sherrill Libby

    I tried pita bread yeaers ago,did not have very good puff and I guess got dicouraged,will try this recipe.

    Ps I like evrything about your King Arthur,you are all so real[Do you know what I mean?

    Yeah, you mean, we’re not Betty Crocker or the Dough Boy? 🙂

  13. Pat

    Just read your pita bread story. They look pretty darn good to me flat or puffy. I just love home made bread…especially when it is warm.
    After seeing yours I’m going to give it a try.

  14. Linda Cloutier

    On the copy to be printed out there was no oven temp. I am familar with how pitas are in the Mediteranian aarea and iran so know they usually goin a out-door oven so figured that it might be 500″. My sourdough bread needs it that hot too. I will try it to see if i can get them to puff or pop but I sould like to wait until it is cooler . Love pita bread sandwiches this time of year.

  15. Daphne

    I agree with Mare: you need to roll your pita smooth. No dimples, or those will just be exaggerated when they rise. And for me, the two keys are a hot baking stone and smaller-sized pitas. If they’re too big or if the stone is cold, the bubble doesn’t form.

    Also, I use a different recipe from this altogether, so maybe that has something to do with it 🙂 But those are my pita tips.

  16. Suzie

    Perhaps adding a little pan of water would help? If you say they did better in the gas oven, that would be a more moist heat than the electric. I haven’t tried this for myself yet, but I think I will try on a pizza stone with a small pan of water on the bottom rack.

  17. Lee

    Just made these tonight. Four out of eight were nicely puffy, two others were half-puffed, all eight were delicious! just fyi I used about 1/4 tsp baking powder since I didn’t have the dough enhancer and I left the dough rising the whole time we were gone to the movie matinee. The oven went to 475 and I rolled them all very flat so neither of those things seemed to be a factor in puff/no puff. I used them with a yummy Mediterranean lamb recipe from here
    http://www.superiorfarms.com/pages/Recipes/mediterranean_burger.htm and some homemade tabouli.

  18. Annmaree

    The ‘No-knead’ way may work i.e. using a dutch oven. Failing that, try putting one in a baking tin covered by a lid or metal sheet.

    I understand it’s the evaporation of the water so maybe a slightly wetter dough might puff it up.

  19. SherryW

    I understand!! For the life of me I cannot seem to get muffins I make from scratch to rise to lofty heights! What’s the secret to high rise muffins? The pitas look lovely. Thanks for sharing your successes and failures with us! It makes baking so much more fun.

    Sherry, try this one: High-Rise Muffins. I just made them, and they really POPPED. It has to do with the consistency of the batter, and the way you put them together, basically. Have fun! – PJH

  20. KT

    I have another recipe for pita that always pops. The balls are formed by flouring your hands first. Then put the dough piece in your palm. With your other hand, pull the dough out from the sides, fold it back to the middle and press gently. Go all the way around the pice of dough. Put the ball, smooth side up on a sheet lined with cloth. Put a dry cloth on top and a damp cloth on top of that. Let them rise about 1-1.5 hours. Roll them out using 4 strokes in each direction on a floured board. Shake off the flour and place them 1/2″ apart on a dry cloth. Cover with a dry cloth and a damp cloth and cover all with plastic wrap. Let them rise at room temp for about an hour. Put one oven rack about 2″ from bottom and another 4 inches below the broiler and preheat until 475. Cook on an ungreased sheet for about 5 minutes on the lower rack and then turn on the broiler and brown for about a minute. Let the oven go back to 475 before you do the next batch. Those are the directions but I usually just bake them in a hot oven and don’t bother with the extra browning. They ALWAYS puff…no exceptions. Just be gentle with them.

  21. KT

    P.S. I think because these have a longer rising period, there is no need for dough relaxer or the baking powder. My recipe uses a bit less yeast…1 package active dry yeast to 9 cups flour, 1 T sugar, 3 c warm water and 1 T salt and oil.

  22. R

    There used to be a chain of Arabic restaurants in SE Michigan that closed their doors a few months back due to legal problems including tax evasion. I stopped going there when the problems were first publicized, but I missed their food, including the fresh from the oven pita loaves. So this is one recipe I’ll be sure to make.

  23. Camille

    I’ve had success with a recipe I found on the Farmgirl Fare blog — she recommends not using a pan or a stone, but rather you put each little pita round on a folded square of aluminum foil. I’ve made pitas this way and I’d say I get about an 80% success rate in pita popping. She says her recipe is mostly Bernard Clayton’s, and he wrote that “placing the rounds on foil rather than on a baking sheet or stone allows a softer heat to surround the dough. A direct thrust of heat from a baking stone would form a crust difficult to puff.”

    Thanks, Camille – that seems to make sense. I’ll give it a try- PJH

  24. PAT

    love pitas, never tried to make any, sounds tricky. How can we make low carb pita.

    Pat, don’t try to make low-carb pitas at home. You can try substituting whole wheat, which is at least a “good” carb, if not low… – PJH

  25. Lee

    Hi PJ, I made one of the pita recipes in the KAF Baker’s Companion (or was it THE pita recipe? I don’t have it with me) and all of them popped beautifully. BUT I found one side really thick and soft while the other side was thin and crispy. The thin side cracked when you ate it. Any tips on improving that? The taste was great but not practical for sandwiches. Thanks, Lee

    Lee, I’m kind of mystified by pitas. Maybe you could turn them over once they’ve popped, and finish baking with the soft side up? That might help – good luck! – PJH

  26. Dave

    I think the stone and the high heat are the essentials for pitas. I used to do them without thinking in a big old Blodgett I had and they never failed to pop. At home I get about the same results as you, even with the stone in the oven. Though they seem to pop better if I let them rest a bit before rolling and don’t roll them too thin. Stacey’s idea of the stone in the gas grill is great, and while I haven’t tried pitas there, I often bake other breads there. In fact, my (quarry tile) stones seldom leave the grill. I just hope I don’t jinx myself here, but I never have a problem with popovers… wonder what I’m doing wrong 🙂

  27. Rebecca

    This recipe is so easy that I’d love to get the hang of it. I tried these last night, and they popped all over the place. However, they were not soft at all, so now I have hollow pita “shells” rather than chewy bread. I had my oven at 500 and used a baking pan lined with parchment paper. The only things that varied from the recipe were that I added 1/2 t of baking powder (because I didn’t have dough relaxer) and I used active dry yeast, which I mixed up with the water before adding to the other dry ingredients (the recipe called for instant yeast). Any ideas where I might have gone wrong, maybe by not letting the dough rise enough or by over-kneading?

    What if you’d taken them out of the oven nearly as soon as they popped? Sounds like over-baking… Probably it’s because you can actually get your oven to 500°F, where mine here only goes to about 450°F. Try, try again- the experiments are fun, anyway. – PJH

  28. Janet Kinnie

    I don’t get why anyone has any trouble with popovers. 1 Cup flour, 4 eggs, 1 cup milk, pinch of salt. I use a metal balloon whisk to beat it together until smooth, pour batter in battered old muffin tins which have been pre-heated to 475 and bake. I have no idea where I got this recipe — my children (who are in their mid-forties — grew up on them and they are still favorites.

    Now I must try pita.

  29. Cathie

    *smiling* Pita bread is not a recipe, but the technique.

    100% popping pitas from a Lebanese baker:

    Oven preheated to 450 F (if the pitas don’t pop the first time, or if your oven cools down too much from having the door constantly opened, turn it up to 500 F)
    ANY plain bread dough (egg and sweet doughs might work too, but I haven’t tried them)
    One long-handled metal spatula
    (optional but works best) one breadboard for cooling

    Let your dough rise; form into smooth balls as if you were making dinner rolls and let rise, covered (plastic works best) again.

    When you roll the rounds out, use plenty of flour and roll them 1/4 inch thick (and smoothly; that’s more important than round). Let them rise a little but not long, just long enough to roll out half a dozen or so. One at a time (until you get the hang of it) and making sure you don’t puncture them with a fingernail or anything, place a round directly onto your oven rack. Close the oven door. It will pop within two minutes. Remove with spatula and place on breadboard or smooth towel until you have a bunch of them. You can brown them under a broiler if necessary.

    When they have cooled, put whatever’s left into sealed plastic bags for storage. Any that did not stay soft will soften up very nicely that way.

    If you have trouble keeping the edges of the rounds from drooping between the slats of the oven rack, roll them a little thicker. Practice will help, also; tis a matter of how you place them in the oven. When I get impatient and just toss mine in (three at a time), I usually have some droopage. If it’s not much, it corrects itself with puffing. If it looks like a disaster in the making, I use the spatula to reposition the round before it puffs.

    My flour tortillas (baking powder dough rather than yeast) often do the pita popping thing in a really hot iron skillet–once you get the hang of this technique, tis fun to experiment!

    Hope this helps!!

    Whoa, Cath – I need to try this ASAP. Maybe this morning – Thanks – stay tuned- PJH

  30. Jonathan S


    The second time the dough rises (after you roll it into a ball) how long should this rise be? I am making this recipe right now (doing the 2nd rise right now). I have had 0 success with pita’s puffing before, so we’ll see how this recipe works out. I’ll post once its done.

  31. Jonathan S

    OK, this is an update to 2 hours ago. I have baked all of my pitas. I followed the original “Golden Pita Bread” recipe on KAF (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/RecipeDisplay?RID=63), and following Cathies recommendations, the pita’s puffed very nicely. As an experiment to see what was the actual cause of the puffing, I put my pizza stone on the bottom shelf and it preheated along with the oven. During the pita making, I threw a pita on it, and out of all 8 pita’s, it was the only one to not create a pocket (well, the last pit a I made may not have a pocket, it didnt puff much for some reason). So it seems that cooking it on the oven wire rack really helps getting the puff. The only problem with this recipe is that because I cook it on the wire rack, the pita has big parallel marks from the rack. While thats not a *big* deal, I just thought I”d put that out there. The only thing I can think of that may help is laying a layer of aluminum foil on the wire rack and laying the pita on that. If anyone tries that, let me know how you make out. As far as the pita taste, its really great and tastes as delicious and as soft as Israeli pita’s.

    Yeah, isn’t that strange? You’d think the oven stone pitas would pop. But no… I kind of liked the crosshatching from the rack. I actually laid a cooling rack (grid style, not parallel slats) on the oven rack to support the pitas better. The rack made just a faint pattern in the floury surface of the pita. Anyway, my husband ate nearly the whole batch this weekend, so I guess they’re A-OK. Thanks for sharing, Jonathan. – PJH

  32. Kate

    I’ve never had any trouble getting pitas to pop. Any bread dough seems to works. I like a water bread, but take your choice. The trick: Don’t flip them over when you’re rolling them out.

    Now if you can solve the mystery of pop-overs, I’m listening!

    I THINK I solved the mystery of popovers… stay tuned in the next few weeks… – PJH

  33. Carol

    I made these pitas this morning and all popped! I used my breadmaker to mix and rise the dough. I put the pitas on a nonstick vented pizza pan and baked for 7 minutes @ 500* for 7 minutes. It worked great! (The only problem I have is the high heat sets off my smoke/heat detectors and scares the dog.)

    Carol, glad they worked for you. Maybe you could unplug the smoke detector just while you’re baking (and remember to plug it in again afterwards by putting a note to yourself on your cooling rack). I have to take a yardstick and poke mine on the ceiling when I’m baking something at really high heat… PJH

  34. Cathie

    Oh! It’s been quite a while! I only came back to this entry because I was looking for Fudge Drops and remembered I’d commented here… Jonathan, glad you tried the recipe even though I wasn’t back to answer you–my apologies!

    PJ, a cooling rack would solve the droopage problem VERY nicely! What a grand idea! But please make sure it isn’t nonstick–no guarantee about fumes at that high temp, yanno?

    I don’t know whay the pizza stone doesn’t work so well, because the floor of a gas oven works great and when pitas were invented, they were cooked on a griddle over an open fire. *shrugs, puzzled*


    Thanks for checking back in, Cath – I just used a plain aluminum/chrome cooling rack… PJH

  35. Vadim

    Thank you all for your contribution.
    Yesterday I made yet another attempt at making pitas. I lived in Israel for 6 years and I would only be happy if anything came close to the pitas there.
    I made pitas before but they always had couple of issues.
    did not open. Opened but one side will be thick and other very thing.
    After reading this discussion I carefully followed some of them and miracle.
    almost perfect pitas. I was very satisfied with the result, both the look and the taste.
    Here is a suggestion. Try zaatar. It is middle eastern mix of spices. When you are making your next batch leave on or two to experiment.
    you roll and flatten the pita just like usual, but before you put it in you rub on it a little olive oil and then cover it with the zaatar. Put it in for the same amount of time. It will not rice, just bubble. It is so delicious.
    If anyone is curious what were my steps and recipe please let me know i will be more than happy to share.


    Vadim, we actually used to sell za’atar here at The Baker’s Catalogue, so I’m familiar with it. Great idea with the pita, thanks – PJH

  36. karenbrat1

    Haven’t made any of the pita recipes here yet, but once you make your own you’ll never go back to storebought. The recipe I use is whole wheat pita from the book Flatbreads and Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas. I vary it by using sourdough starter in the sponge. Mouthwateringly delicious hot from the oven with a schmear of butter, or dipped into homemade hummus. Yummus!

    Yummus is right… 🙂 PJH

  37. Kevin Slark

    I got my pitas to pop, I turned my oven up to 550 (it’s a 1950’s Wedgewood) and they cooked perfectly in about two minutes. I then made them at my girlfriend’s today in an electric oven and they were just flat bread, does an asbestos-lined oven hold in more heat?
    Puff or not to puff is the question. High temperature is important here. Perhaps your girlfriend’s oven is not able to reach such a high temperature as 500 degrees. An oven thermometer is a good investment if she does not have one already. An hour of more for preheating to 500 degrees is not uncommon. Here are some other tips in trying to achieve that “puff”.

    1. After dividing the dough and shaping into small balls, cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
    2. Roll each pita as thin as you can get them and as evenly as you can, too. Otherwise, one end will puff while the other may not.
    3. Some bakers spritz the pita with water before baking.
    4. Some have better success “cooking” the pita in a very hot iron skillet on the stove. 2-3 minutes on each side should do it.

    Good luck! Elisabeth

  38. jenniferrozens

    I made a double batch of this dough this morning. I’m using it for the “pita” part of Spanakopita. I have the pie in the oven – baked it for 12 minutes at 500 and then turned it down to 350 for 30 minutes. Luckily I had leftover dough which my husband thinks is the bees knees as pitas with his soup (homemade Tomato Lemon Kale). Thanks so much for this recipe!

  39. donna

    I used pizza stones preheated in my oven and when i put the pitas on i first flipped them upside down so the part that had been on the counter was now up. When your dough forms a skin(the side that was face up on the counter) it will no longer rise. Try this method and see if it helps.
    Thanks Donna, that sounds like a good technique to try out. ~ MaryJane

  40. karima

    I used a shortcut of baking them in oven by cooking them on a skillet (tawa), on stove and they all popped up like a balloon, also I rolled the pita on flour not oil, so i got perfect pita bread. Also frying them on tawa has a technique, which is, heating the tawa very well in the start, then cooking the bread on lower fire, just for 30 seconds seeing bubbles, then flip the bread then u will get pop, flip again for more golden colour..done

  41. Skippy

    I’ve been making this recipe frequently for a few months now (why not? It’s so easy!). I started out with white AP flour, then I switched to half whole wheat, and now have made it quite a few times with 100% whole wheat. The first time I did all whole wheat, I noticed that the dough was very dry, so I added more water. Since then I’ve been adding water to the dough in varying amounts, just guessing as I go along. Sometimes the dough has still been pretty dry, other times so sticky I had to knead more flour into it to make it manageable. So my question (finally): Is there a specific rule for how much more liquid you should add to a recipe when you sub whole wheat for AP? Like “x Tbsp per cup of flour” or something like that? Thanks!!!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Two teaspoons of extra liquid for each cup of whole wheat flour often works well. In truth, though, flour is greatly affected by the environment’s humidity. It is always best to adjust the dough by feel.~Jaydl@KAF

  42. Khaireddin

    Hello all,
    As help to all pita bread lovers out there, I would like to share my experience in making pita bread; I’m Palestinian where I grow up in typical Palestinian village watching my Mother making dough and backing Taboun bread to feed 10 kids on almost daily basis. My mother used no measurements to prepare bread and always come out perfect.
    Now I’m living in a Country where it is impossible to find any kind of flat bread in the market, to satisy my carving for Taboun bread and pita bread I start playing with making my own bread. I tried different recipes using house hold oven that goes up to 250o C, with no real luck sometimes it puff and most of the time did not, I know that higher temperature is needed and it is not the recipe. I decided to make my own oven that can heat up over 250o C, I had an old 40 liters grill oven as shown in included photo, I pay bass the thermostat (easy to do) inserted unglazed clay tile inside it and backing pits became a Joy I get them perfect all times.
    Oven Specs.
    1. Oven shall have minim 55 watts/liter.
    2. 28 liters and larger will allow to pack.

  43. Leanne

    Popping pittas is all about humidity. The dough has to be constantly covered and out of any drafts. I use flour sack towels and mist them to keep them slightly damp. As I roll out the dough before putting them in the oven I may flick some water drops on them from my wet fingertips if the first batch doesn’t pop. Then I bake them in an old O’Keefe and Merrit stove in the basement cranked up to 500 F just like my Lebanese grandma did. Baking bread with her every weekend when I was child is a priceless memory.

  44. Adam Slovik

    I have the opposite problem – they puff up nicely, but the top part of the pocket is paper-thin! Very hard to stuff anything into it. Any suggestions

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      One thing you might want to try is baking the pitas quickly rather than letting them rest for 15 minutes while the oven pre-heats. Instead, pre-heat your oven before you start to roll out the pitas. Once you have rolled out enough pitas to fit on your stone or baking sheet, put them into the hot oven. Sometimes during the rest period the pitas can start to rise, causing the top layer to separate. Baking them right away can prevent this separation. You can also try flipping the pitas halfway through baking to encourage more even heat exposure on both sides of the pita. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  45. Hilario

    After the pita is rolled, flip them over to bake and see if that gives you the pop and even sides you seek.


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