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Lebanese Bread (Pita Bread)

There aren’t many things that can open the heart more and bring a smile like smelling warm, fragrant home-baked pita bread! (Khebez in Arabic) There’s also the added excitement of seeing the dough puff up in the oven.
Lebanese Bread (Pita Bread)

This delicious puffy bread is an important part of every meal for many people from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Something that tastes this good might seem hard to make but it is surprisingly very basic and easy to do.


Preparation & Cooking Time: 2 hours


  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (Makes the bread sweeter but you can omit it if you like)
  • ¼ cup whole-wheat flour, preference freshly milled
  • 2 ½ cup unbleached all-purposed flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil



  • A Bench Scraper: Can help you scrape up random bits of dough stuck to your bench.
  • A Kitchen Scale: Is more accurate than a measuring cup


  1. Place 1 cup of water (room temperature) in a large mixing bowl along with the yeast (2 teaspoons) and sugar (1/2 teaspoon – remember, sugar not necessary). Stir to dissolve.
  2. Add only 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour & the whole-wheat flour (1/4 cup) and mix together. Place the bowl (uncovered) for about 15 minutes in a place at room temperature.
  3. Once the dough is foamy and bubbling, add salt (1 teaspoon), olive oil (2 tablespoons) and more of the all-purpose flour (around 1 ¼ cups).
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until it forms a mass. Dust it with some of the flour that remains, then knead it for a minute.
  5. Turn the dough onto your bench and knead it for a further five minutes until it is one smooth ball. As you are kneading, sprinkle flour on the dough as needed to help keep it from sticking to your hands.
  6. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it sit for about an hour to double in size. The time can vary as it depends on a multitude of factors on how fast your yeast will react so keep an eye on it every 15 minutes or so as it can double in as quickly as 30 minutes up to an 1.5 hours.
  7. Once you are happy with its size, take the dough out and knead it again for a couple of minutes to ‘knock it back’. Try not to add too much flour as the dough should be soft and moist.
  8. Now using a knife, divide the dough into 8 pieces and gather each piece and roll into a ball. Once you have finished all the balls, cover with a damp towel and leave them for around 10-20 minutes to allow the dough to rest.
  9. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F). Place a large cast-iron pan or ceramic baking tile on the bottom shelf of the oven to preheat along with the oven.
  10. Once the dough has rested, sprinkle flour onto your bench to keep the dough from sticking and now start stretching each ball of dough, using a rolling pin, into a flat circle about 20 cm in diameter (8 inches) and just over half a centimeter thick (a little less than ¼ inch). Make sure to keep the rest of the balls covered as you get to each one of them.
    1. Don’t allow any cuts or tears in your dough as they may create a weak point that prevents the dough from puffing up.
    2. Keep dusting the counter with flour if necessary.
    3. Keep in mind that the dough will shrink a bit while baking.
  11. After you have finished two or three pieces of flat bread (or however many your oven can bake at one time), put each piece in the oven & after 2 minutes it should be nicely puffed. Take the baked bread out and continue the process until you have baked all the bread. Be sure to keep an eye on the oven though as the bread bakes very fast and it’s only a matter of seconds between delicious bread and burnt bread (but don’t worry, you can use some of that for fattouch!). Once the bread is done, transfer them to a napkin-lined basket and cover it with a clean tea towel to keep the bread soft and fresh.
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