Soaked, Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Posted · 18 Comments


Readers: So sorry!! I forgot to add to this post the most important part about soaking grains and whole flours, adding an acid medium such as cultured whey, yogurt, kefir, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. A post is in the works about soaking grains!!

I’m so excited to share this recipe. A couple weeks ago, I made a Greek dinner for the fam! Homemade lamb gyro’s with homemade pita bread and homemade tzatziki sauce. It was so fun to have made everything at home including the greek yogurt for the sauce. The pita bread was especially fun to make. I found my original recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. It turned out just right and was so fun to watch it “puff” in the oven. After making this, I knew I wanted to try a soaked version using whole wheat spelt flour. It took a few tries to get the recipe to puff just right, as the dough tends to get moist in the soaking process. So after different trials and different variations in ingredients, I finally was able to get my pita’s to puff just right creating that pocket. They were warm, earthy and perfect for our BLT’s! Now that I’ve gotten them to puff I would like to add a bit more honey and maybe Vital Wheat Gluten to get these babies to rise a bit more. For the meantime, here is a recipe of what I’ve done and a video to show you how they puff like magic in the oven!



Soaked, Whole Wheat Spelt Pita Bread

Makes 7 Pitas

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon acid medium such as whey, yogurt, or kefir and enough water to equal 3/4 cups.
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tsp water, temperature 110-115F
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Method:

The night before:

  1. In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, 3/4 cup water and oil. Let it sit overnight covered with a dish towel on your counter or in your oven.

    This is what the flour looks like “soaked.”

  2. The next day, activate your yeast. In a small bowl add 1tsp of honey, 2tsp of 110 – 115F water, and the yeast. Let sit for 8 -10 minutes or until the yeast has bubbled.
  3. Add the yeast mixture and salt to the dough and incorporate by mixing with a wooden spoon.
  4. Once everything is mixed, turn your dough onto a floured work surface and begin to knead. Knead for 10 minutes adding a bit more flour as necessary. You want your dough to be elastic and not stick to your counter. However, the dough will be slightly stickier.
  5. Once you are done kneading the dough, place in a bowl that has been light coated with oil. Cover and set aside to rise for 90 minutes.

  6. When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down divide it into 7 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it’ll be easier to shape.
  7. While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.
  8. After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on parchment paper. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough, transfer to the parchment paper and use a rolling pin to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick – 6 inches in diameter. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

  9. Keep the discs on the parchment paper and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.
  10. Once the discs have risen for the last time, place a pita on the hot baking surface in the oven. They should be baked through and puff after 3 – 5 minutes.

18 Responses to "Soaked, Whole Wheat Pita Bread"
  1. Liz says:

    Wow Diana! I love pita bread, I am just to scare to make it, it looks so complicate… Although yours look authentic! Besos, Liz

  2. Marillyn 'Mare' Beard says:

    Oh and I love the picture of the stack of pitas :o)

  3. Chow and Chatter says:

    this is great well done i am proud of you too lol

  4. Ashley says:

    we make homemade hummus all the time. I can't wait to try these with it. Thanks, great post.

  5. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Thanks for sharing this unique pita recipe! The pitas look awesome!

  6. Arabic Bites says:

    Wow this looks so good! I love pita bread.

  7. girlichef says:

    Wow! These are so cool!!! I definitely need to give them a try…thank you for the great tips and motivation :D

  8. Butterfly says:

    Thanks for the youtube video and the pics are great…Just Wow!!!

  9. Cookin' Canuck says:

    How fun! I can't wait to try this.

  10. Erica says:

    Great job Diana!!!!! I love the video and the pictures.

  11. Hummingbird Appetite says:

    Loved the video! It was very cool to watch the pita puff up!

  12. Emily says:

    Wow, this is a great recipe! I will definitely be trying this sometime. I've wanted to try making pita bread, but couldn't find a soaked version. Thanks!

  13. Cook 4 Seasons says:

    Hi Diana,
    I am huge fan of soaking grains and am now dabbling with the flour. I can't wait to make these pitas. Let's hope they rise better than most of my bread;-)
    Thanks for stopping by my site – glad you like it!

  14. Auburn says:

    Hello Diana,

    I hope you'll see this comment. I just wanted to let you know that I tried your soaked pita recipe with great results. However, there seems to be an omission/error in the water quantities you list because, in my experience, after soaking the flour (in 3/4 cup of water), the next day I had to add a lot more than the "2 tsp" of warm water. I wound up adding another almost a full cup of water (which makes sense, considering that the soaked 100% whole wheat bread I've been making regularly this year takes approximately 1.5 cups of liquid per 3.5 cups of flour).

    If you have a kitchen scale, would you mind weighing the flour and update this post next time you make this recipe? The flour I used weighed 370 grams.

    Also, I went ahead and, once I had added enough water to make the dough elastic, I added 3 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten which, I think, gave the pitas a lovely texture.

    I baked them directly on the oven rack and they ballooned up beautifully in three or so minutes.

    Great flavor and texture. I had never made pitas before and these lovely things turned out perfect. I'll never buy pitas again.

    Many thanks for sharing this recipe.

  15. Diana Bauman says:

    Auburn,

    Thank you so much for trying this out and filling us in on what you had to change. It actually seems like you have perfected this recipe! I'm actually do to make another batch here in the next week, so yes, I will definitely weigh the ingredients! I've actually started to follow bread making recipes that weigh their ingredients to get the perfect volume. I don't understand why this hasn't been the standard. It's only been since this summer that I've started making bread and still have a LONG way to go!! I'm interested in your soaked whole wheat bread recipe, if you wouldn't mind sharing or even guest posting, that would be AWESOME!! Please email me at diana@phileodesign.com.

    Thanks again Auburn!

    Diana

  16. Auburn says:

    I just emailed the recipe.

    I'll never understand why it hasn't been the standard either. Kitchen scales are not that expensive…

    You came up with an outstanding recipe for the soaked pitas. The vital wheat gluten did, indeed, enhance rising and texture. They turned out perfect with a crumb just dense enough (they didn’t completely deflate and made the perfect pocket for sandwiches) and very soft. There's one big problem, though… They only lasted a day and a half. =D

  17. Auburn says:

    Hi Diana,

    Did you get my email? Just wondering.

  18. Carla says:

    Thanks for posting this! I've been searching for instructions on soaked pitas and I finally found one on your site. Looks great…I am a former Spanish major, local/traditional food lover, and my mom and I both lived in Madrid for a year in university and are avid Spanish foodies and big supporters of latienda.com! Will look forward to more from your great site. OH! Question–
    where do you get your seeds for the pimientos de padron? My husband and I ate them on our honeymoon (on the Camino de Santiago) and continue to wish we could have them here. Thanks!

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