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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 have one, you can learn How to Make a Sourdough Starter. Then I can show you how to Feed and Maintain Sourdough Starter or How to Keep a Small 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

Sourdough Pita Bread

Yield: 8 rounds
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rising Time: 12 hours
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 40 minutes

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.


  • 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) active sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 240 ml) warm water
  • 2 3/4 cups (13.75 oz, 385g) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 25g) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz, 14g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and set it aside at room temperature.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. Preheat the oven to 450°F. If you have a baking stone place it in the oven. If you don’t have a baking stone, 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.
  8. 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"-7” around. If the dough springs back too much let it rest for 5 minutes and continue rolling.
  9. 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.
  10. The pitas are best the day they are made, but they also freeze very well.


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.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Bruce MacKinnon

Wednesday 7th of July 2021

close to perfect/ the center was not done at 8 min, but I bake at 6500 feet. Im trying increase oven temperature to 475 and increasing flour by 2 tbsp and starter by 1/4 cup/we'll see.



Tuesday 6th of July 2021

I made this recently & it was stellar! Worked exactly as directions indicated & made beautiful pitas with perfect pockets. I did a batch & a half as I needed a dozen pitas & it was no problem. Added my home ground whole wheat in the proportions recommended & still had lovely fluffy breads with that sourdough flavor & whole grain goodness. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Susu B

Thursday 27th of May 2021

I have tried so many recipes for pita bread this one is the best by far, I was able to make it with whole wheat flour. When rolling each bread, I used grain bran instead of flour it was superb and very healthy. Thank you


Sunday 16th of May 2021

These are so delicious, wonderful taste and texture! I’ve had fresh sourdough bread, even pancakes, but this is my favourite. I found the cooking time to be closer to 10 minutes. I just kept checking every couple of minutes until some nice browning happened.


Friday 7th of May 2021

I really love this recipe, but I’ve been having issues with the dough sticking badly to the counter when rolling it. When I try to pick it up, it stretches and rips, and becomes too thin to puff up.

I’ve made the recipe 4 times, and the first 2 times it didn’t happen. The only difference is that I’ve been letting it stay in the fridge for longer (16+ hours), and letting it fully come to room temperature before rolling. The first 2 times I was impatient and the dough was still cool when rolling. All 4 times I’ve weighed ingredients, and am always using peak starter that I fed with a mixture of wheat and AP flour beforehand.

This last time, I rolled the pitas directly on parchment paper, and transferred the whole thing to my baking sheet. This worked great, they puffed beautifully, but did not brown on the bottom. Still tasted good though, very fluffy and cooked through. I figured out that if I scooted them off of the parchment paper after they puffed, about 3-3:30 mins into cooking (since I’m using a baking sheet and not a stone, they usually take closer to 6 mins to fully cook), then I still got the browning effect.

Does anyone have advice for me? Am I just letting it ferment in the fridge too long? This recipe is also the first time I’ve used my rolling pin, so I might be missing some rolling-common-sense.


Wednesday 19th of May 2021

@Emma, the stickiness is from your dough hydration. My guess is that your AP flour has a lower gluten content than the bread flour called for in the recipe. Keep in mind that you should reduce the amount of water by 2% (gluten absorbs 1.9x) for every 1% reduction in the protein content of your flour. AP flour generally has about 2% lower protein content than bread flour, so I'd reduce the water content by 7g when using all purpose flour.

Which bring me to the small error in the recipe. It says 240 ml water, while it should say 224 ml. Water is approximated to have the density of 1 at room temperature. So measure out 224g and you should get the ~68% hydration the author was shooting for.

Finally, try cooking the pitas on the stove top - I've found that using a heavy cast iron skillet works best. You get a very good brown crust. And you can let the dough stay in the fridge for up to 3 days, so retarding time is probably not the issue.

Eileen Gray

Friday 7th of May 2021

The dough is easier to handle when it's a little cool. Also a longer fermentation will change the texture of the dough. When I've had this dough get very sticky on me I just use plenty of flour when rolling. Flour your hands, the table and the rolling pin.

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