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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 7-8″ 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

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.

Did you make this recipe?

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

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Kelsey Lawson

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

Not really sure what I did wrong but I tried to use whole wheat flour but didn’t quite understand the note of the 1 cup replacement. I used the same amount that was required of bread flour but my dough was waaaaaay to wet and did not poof up when cooked. They were still raw on the inside:( was so excited to try this but I’m a little sad it didn’t work for me. Any suggestions?

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

To make whole wheat pita bread instead of using 2 3/4 cups of bread flour in the recipe, use 1 3/4 cups bread flour plus 1 cup of whole wheat flour.

Rebecca

Thursday 21st of January 2021

I’ve made pita bread in the past using different recipes. Came across yours and this one was the most superior one. Clear and easy recipe to follow and they all puffed up beautifully! My husband said that these pitas were the best he’s ever had! Making them again next week for my birthday. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe.

Christina Sanyour

Monday 11th of January 2021

Astounded!!! I never thought pita bread would be able to impress me! What a trustworthy recipe! No tricks! Used type 0 flour and left in the refrigerator for just under 24 hours. Fabulous results, puffy, delicious, great texture.

Mireille

Sunday 10th of January 2021

Hi! I have made this recipe a handful of times now and always got delicious, flavorful putted pitas, thank you so much!

I do have one question tho, the pitas in your photo appear grilled, while mine come out completely white. They are baked through but have no colour. I tried getting my oven 10 degrees hotter, leaving the pita in the oven for longer, and even, out of desperation, pan frying the baked pita in olive oil. None of there added the coloration I was after. Is there something I should know? I bake on a preheated pizza stone. Thank you!

KC Tan

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

Many thanks for the recipe. It produced one of the smoothest dough I have ever made. Three out of the eight pitas puffed up fully. For the rest, the center were flat while the edges puffed up. I wonder why as I shaped them quite consistently. I baked them two at a time. In some cases, one puffed up fully but the other did not. Anyway, they all taste good and flavorful.

Eileen Gray

Monday 4th of January 2021

Usually, they will fail to puff if spots are rolled too thin.