Perfectly Puffed Pita: 5 Tips

Pita bread is a flatbread of Middle Eastern origin. This bread is simple to prepare and full of healthy grains. At times, however, achieving the signature hollow core or “puff” can prove tricky.

Puff Secret: Steam and Heat

The key to a perfectly puffed pita loaf is the combination of steam and heat. The steam will become trapped inside the pita and, toward the end of baking, begin to inflate as a result of the heat. If the dough is too dry or the oven is not hot enough, the pita will not puff.

Use Wet Dough

Be sure that the pita dough is wet enough to generate the steam that will inflate the loaf when placed in a hot oven.

Roll a Thin Pita

When rolling out the wet dough, be sure that the resulting pita is very thin. This will make the bread more conducive to puffing.

Do Not Slash

Experienced bread bakers know that a standard loaf of western bread, such as an artisan baguette, is slashed across the top with a serrated knife just before entering the oven. Pita should not be slashed because then there would nothing to trap steam in within the loaf.

Use a Very Hot Oven

Be sure that the oven is hot enough. A standard temperature for baking pita bread is 500 degrees Fahrenheit. An oven lacking the proper heat will not allow the steam grow and hollow the pita.

Watch a Pita Puff to Perfection

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Talk back! What's your favorite flatbread? 10 comments

Heather (Where's the Beach) 6 years ago

YUM. I love pita bread!

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betherann 6 years ago from Montana Author

Thanks, Heather! I adore all flatbreads. Yum!

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Patti Ann 6 years ago from Florida

Wow - I never thought of making pita bread - We eat a lot of it in our house.

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betherann 6 years ago from Montana Author

We do too, Patti Ann! I am also guilty of not baking enough...

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askjanbrass 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Add me to the list of those that don't bake enough (though I will admit, I do get into these stretches where I bake all the time). Regardless, great tips! I've only tried making pita bread once before, and to no avail. I'm going to try these suggestions next time (hotter oven and slightly wetter dough) and see what happens. Cheers!

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betherann 6 years ago from Montana Author

Good luck, askjanbrass! I'd love to hear how your next pita-making adventure goes.

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TheSablirab 6 years ago

I think I may be too impatient for baking, but I may just have to give this a try!

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betherann 6 years ago from Montana Author

Let me know how it goes, Sablirab! Baking is such an art.

Pam Jacob 4 years ago

Can anyone help me.. I have attempted making gluten free pita bread twice now and the bread tastes great but I can not get them to puff. Please can anyone help?

Abdul 4 years ago

Gluten is necessary for the puffing. No gluten means no puffing.

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