Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread

Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread is rich with whole grain flavor and a touch honey sweetness. It’s so much fun to watch the bread rounds balloon in the oven.

a hand lifting a pita bread off a stack set on a white cloth.

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

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


ingredients for sourdough whole wheat pit bread in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Sourdough Starter – Your starter should be at 100% hydration, recently fed and active. If your starter is not 100% hydration you will need to adjust the water or the flour in the recipe accordingly.
  • Whole Wheat Flour – This recipe was developed using 1/3 whole wheat flour and 2/3 bread flour. You can up the proportion to 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 bread flour for a heartier bread.
  • Bread Flour – Whole wheat flour doesn’t develop gluten as well as bread flour. Adding some high protein bread flour strengthens the dough so the pitas can puff up the oven.
  • Honey – For flavor, browning and moisture.
  • Olive Oil – To enrich the bread and add flavor.

The Process

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

whole wheat pita dough in a mixing bowl.
  • Combine the starter with the water and some of the bread flour to make a sponge.
  • Set the sponge aside for 30-60 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients.
  • Knead the dough for 5 minutes or until it clings to the hook and clears the bowl.
whole wheat pita bread rising in a glass bowl with a red lid.
  • Set the dough into a lightly oiled bowl.
  • Every hour fold the dough.
  • After about 3 hours the dough should be well-aerated and elastic. Give the dough another hour or two if it still seems sluggish.
  • Refrigerate the dough for up to 2 days at this point, or proceed with shaping and baking.
balls of whole wheat dough and rounds of whole wheat dough.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a tight ball.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough into a 6″ round.
pita bread in the oven before and after puffing. a stack of pitas in a white towel.
  • Bake 2 pitas at a time on a preheated baking steel, baking stone or baking tray.
  • Bake about 3-5 minutes until the pitas are completely puffed.
  • Stack the warm pitas and wrap them in a clean kitchen towel.


Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread is best the day it’s baked but will keep for 1-2 days at room temperature. For longer storage freeze the pita rounds in freezer bags for up to 3 months. To reheat, wrap the pita in foil and place in a 200°F oven.

a stack of sourdough whole wheat pita bread on a white towel.
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5 from 1 review

Sourdough Whole Wheat Pita Bread Recipe

Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread is rich with whole grain flavor and a touch honey sweetness. It's so fun to watch the bread rounds balloon in the oven.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time20 minutes
Rising Time12 hours
Total Time12 hours 50 minutes
8 Pitas
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  • 8 oz active sourdough starter (1 cup,100% hydration)
  • 8 oz warm water (1 cup)
  • 10 oz bread flour (2 cups, see note)
  • 1 oz olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • ¾ oz honey (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
  • 5 oz whole wheat flour (1 cup)


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, or in a large mixing bowl, combine the 8 oz active sourdough starter, 8 oz warm water and half of the bread flour. Mix until it forms a thick batter. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30-60 minutes.
  • If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook. Add 1 oz olive oil, ¾ oz honey and 1 ½ teaspoons table salt then mix to combine. With the mixer running on low, add 5 oz whole wheat flour and the remaining bread flour. Mix until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl and forms 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.
  • 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 60 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. This process helps to redistribute the yeast and develop the gluten.
  • Every 60 minutes repeat the procedure again. After about 3 hours 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).
  • Preheat the oven to 450 °F. Use the convection setting if you have it. If you have a baking steel or stone place it in the oven. Otherwise, place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. If you have a dark colored baking sheet use that.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Using a cupped hand on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a tight ball. Use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a 6” round. At any point if the dough springs back too much let it rest for 5 minutes before continuing. Once all the pitas are rolled, begin baking.
  • Place two pita rounds on the baking steel or pan. Close the oven and bake until the rounds puff up like a balloon, about 3-4 minutes. You don’t need to flip the bread. Remove the baked breads and wrap in a clean kitchen towel while you continue baking the remaining pitas.
  • The pitas are best the day they are made, but also freeze very well.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
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.


Serving: 1pita | 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!

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