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Sourdough Pita Bread

Sourdough Pita Bread is actually quite easy to make. Using sourdough starter instead of yeast extends the time, but it’s mostly hands-off. The payoff is a big boost in flavor and an amazing texture.

a hand grabbing a pita bread from a stack

Have you ever made pita bread at home? It’s so much fun to watch the rounds of dough puff up in the oven. I think you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make this delicious bread.

If you don’t already have one, I can show you how to make a sourdough starter and how to feed a sourdough starter.

A timeline for making Sourdough Pita Bread:

  • If your starter needs feeding, do that the night before or early in the morning of the day you want to make the dough.
  • Mix the dough in the afternoon. Allow it to ferment at room temperature during the day.
  • Refrigerate the dough in the evening before going to bed.
  • The dough can stay in the refrigerator for 2-3 days at this point.
  • Take the dough out first thing in the morning and let it come to room temperature.
  • Roll and bake the pita rounds once the dough is at room temperature.
  • You should have fresh bread by lunch time.

Scroll through the step by step process photos to see how to make Sourdough Pita Bread:

sourdough pita bread dough ready for rolling
After a night in the refrigerator, the dough is active and elastic.
a hand shaping a piece of sourdough into a ball
Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
a ruler measuring a round of dough
Roll each ball to a 1/4″ thick 6-7″ round. If the dough springs back, let it rest and re-roll.
a sourdough pita bread puffing in the oven
Bake the pitas on a dark colored pre-heated sheet pan or a pre-heated baking stone. They’ll puff as they bake.
a stack of warm sourdough pita bread wrapped in a kitchen towel
Wrap the warm pitas in a clean kitchen towel as they come out of the oven. They will deflate as they cool.

FAQs about making Sourdough Pita Bread:

Can I bake the bread the same day I make the dough?

Yes, start the dough early in the morning and skip the refrigeration step.

Why didn’t my Sourdough Pita Bread puff up?

If your oven is not hot enough the pita may not puff properly. If the sheet pan or baking stone is not pre-heated the pitas won’t puff. If the bread is rolled too thin in spots it may not puff properly.

How long does Sourdough Pita Bread stay fresh?

The bread keeps for 1-2 days at room temperature.

Can I freeze Sourdough Pita Bread?

Yes! Store the pita rounds in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

How do I re-warm the pita bread?

Wrap the pita in foil and place in a 350°F oven until warm.

a plate with a sourdough pita bread filled with salad

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

Since you’ve got your starter fed, peruse the entire list of My Best Sourdough Recipes. Have fun!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a stack of sourdough pita bread on a table
Print Recipe
4.60 from 191 reviews

Sourdough Pita Bread Recipe

If you’ve never baked Pita Bread at home, you’ll probably be surprised how easy it is. The addition of sourdough starter extends the time, but it's mostly hands off. The flavor upgrade from the starter makes it totally worth the time.


Prep Time30 mins
Bake Time20 mins
Rising Time12 hrs
Total Time12 hrs 50 mins
8 breads

Ingredients

  • 8 oz active sourdough starter (1 cup (100% hydration))
  • 8 oz warm water (1 cup)
  • 13 ¾ oz bread flour (2 ¾ cups)
  • 1 oz olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • ½ oz granulated sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, or in a large mixing bowl, combine the starter, water, and 1 ½ cups (7.5 oz or 210g) of the flour. Mix until it forms a thick batter. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30-60 minutes.
    8 oz active sourdough starter, 8 oz warm water, 13 ¾ oz bread flour
  • If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook. Add the olive oil, sugar and salt then mix to combine. With the mixer running on low, add the remaining flour. Mix until the dough begins to clean the bottom of the bowl and form a ball around the hook. If mixing by hand add flour until you can no longer stir, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface to finish by hand. Knead 5 minutes. Form the dough into a smooth ball.
    1 oz olive oil, ½ oz granulated sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
  • Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and set it aside at room temperature.
  • After 30 minutes uncover the bowl, lift one side of the dough and fold it into the middle of the dough. Repeat with the other three sides of the dough then flip the dough over. You're basically turning the dough inside-out to redistribute the yeast.
  • Cover the bowl and after 30 minutes repeat the procedure. Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes repeat the procedure again. Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes the dough should be ready.  By now the dough should be lively, elastic and airy. If the dough is still sluggish give it another hour or two at room temperature. 
  • Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate overnight (see note). Remove the bowl from the refrigerator in the morning and allow the dough to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 °F. If you have a baking steel place it in the oven. If you don’t have a baking steel, place a baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven to preheat. If you have a dark colored baking sheet use that. A dark pan will absorb heat better than a light-colored pan, so the bread will bake faster and puff better.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use a rolling pin to roll two pitas to ¼” thick and 6” around. If the dough springs back too much let it rest for 5 minutes and continue rolling.
  • Immediately place the rounds on the preheated baking stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake until they are puffed and the bottom is nicely browned, about 3-5 minutes. You don’t need to flip the bread. Remove the baked breads and wrap in a clean kitchen towel while you continue rolling and baking the pitas.
  • The pitas are best the day they are made, but they also freeze very well.

Equipment

My Book
KA Stand Mixer
Pizza Steel
Pizza peel
Rolling Pin

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Notes

To make whole wheat pita bread, use 1 cup of whole wheat flour in place of the bread flour.
The dough benefits from a long, cool rise overnight. But you can skip the night in the refrigerator to mix and bake the pitas in one day.

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 438mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!
Recipe Rating




Ann

Wednesday 12th of October 2022

Sooo sticky the dough - how to shape the pitas without having to add lots of flour??

Ann

Thursday 13th of October 2022

@Eileen Gray, It is aimed to be - I do by weight, but it could be off to start I suppose. The starter is nicely active. Should I just add more flour until it is not so sticky?

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 12th of October 2022

I make this bread every week and if I start with a nicely active and well fed starter the dough is beautiful after the fermentation. Is your starter 100% hydration? Are you using weight or volume measures?

Deby Gunter

Tuesday 11th of October 2022

Another great recipe! I'd never made pita pockets and was amazed at how they puffed up. We made them right before lunch and had a fresh pocket. So divine!

Brittany

Saturday 10th of September 2022

Very new to sourdough baking. I was worried about this because I kept it out on the bench overnight (coming out of winter here and fermentation takes much longer) and when I saw it this morning it felt so soft and squishy. I was worried it had over fermented. But I did some more research and learnt that pita dough is much more hydrated than regular bread dough and I decided to keep going with it as normal and it was a great success!!! I used an inverted cast iron skillet as a baking stone and it worked so well. They're so tasty too!

I will forever be using this recipe for pita bread. Thank you!

Eileen Gray

Sunday 11th of September 2022

Thanks, this is one of my recipes that I make constantly. I make a batch and keep them in the freezer.

Joana

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

Successful! Love this bread! I made it on the same day, and the results were so very good. I love finding new ways to use the sourdough starter mt daughter made during the pandemic. It was Easter evening of 2020 when the yeast was ready and she made her first sourdough loaf! She posted a picture of it, went to bed, and had a heart attack. She died the next morning. That has now been 25 months ago, and using this starter in various breads has been a joy and comfort to me. This batch -- my first -- was my learning one. I will make it again in two weeks as part of a house church celebration of Pentecost.

Eileen Gray

Monday 23rd of May 2022

Oh, my. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know it's a small thing, but how nice to have that starter as a connection to your beloved daughter.

Brianna

Monday 21st of March 2022

Simple, delicious and successfully puffed into pockets with same day baking!

I started the autolyse at about 9a and forgot to add the other part of the flour, sugar (subbed honey) and salt until closer to 11a. The bowl was near a crock pot during that time, so it actually started bubbling nicely… followed the recipe from then on with the stretch and folds, etc.

I “make” bread flour from AP flour by subbing 1.5tsp of vital wheat gluten per cup of flour (ie. Bob’s Red Mill). So far, it’s worked beautifully to bump the gluten content in bread and now pita. A much more cost effective way for me to have organic bread flour!