Pita is served at most meals in the Middle East. It’s used for dipping, or to make delicious sandwiches (like falafel) in the pocket. In the Middle East, pita is made in brick ovens, where very high heat can be achieved. It is very hard to duplicate in a home kitchen, but this recipe, combined with high heat, comes very close.
1 package of yeast, or quick rising yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Za’atar
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a small depression in the middle of flour and pour yeast water in depression. Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic. Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. When the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded. Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated. Allow to sit in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place on a floured surface and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 F. and make sure rack is at the bottom of oven. Be sure to also preheat your baking sheet. Roll out each ball of dough into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle the garlic powder and Za’atar on top of the dough.
Bake circles for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes. Remove pita with a spatula and add additional pitas for baking. Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags. Pita can be stored up to a week in a pantry, and up to a month in the freezer (using freezer bags).