Instant Pot Pita Bread - learn how to make homemade pita bread with the best techniques, tips & tricks. 100% fail-proof homemade pita pocket bread that's proofed perfectly in the Instant Pot, baked on a skillet or oven.
Easy Pita Bread Recipe
The right techniques will make soft, puffy, plush Pitas with pockets. The ones that don't puff up will also have pockets 😀 I'll walk you through the whole Pita making process step by step with smart tips & hacks.
There's nothing like warm, fresh, fragrant & soft homemade pita breads. Hands down better than the store-bought cold pitas that are generally several days old! Here's what you'll need for the recipe:
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements way below the post on the "Recipe Card". The list below is just a reference.
- White Flour: We prefer unbleached all purpose flour over bleached flour because it provides more structure to the finished product de to its dense texture. We love the taste too. However, bleached all-purpose flour works fine for this Instant Pot Pita Pocket recipe.
- Whole Wheat Flour.
- Active Dry Yeast: We will proof it with sugar and water. The yeast will feed on the sugar and become active and foamy. If the yeast doesn't foam up you need to discard and start all over again. However, if the yeast is not very old or expired proofing is super easy. I will show you how in the steps to follow.
- Olive Oil.
Expert Tip: An accurate measurement of each ingredient is essential to get a fabulous outcome. Use the same cups & spoons to measure your ingredients.
Tips & Tricks
- Proofing the yeast: Active Dry Yeast needs to be proofed. Always use Luke warm water to proof the yeast. Keep the yeast undisturbed for 10-20 mins. You'll have perfectly proofed foamy yeast to begin the recipe. This step is crucial for soft fluffy Pita Pocket bread!
- The Pita Dough: Whisk the dry ingredients first & than add the wet ingredients. This simple hack will reward you with a fabulous dough every single time. It's easy to manage & shape the dough this way.
- Kneading the Dough: Don't skip the kneading steps. The more you knead the dough and with your hands the better gluten will form in the dough and you will have amazing Pitas. I will recommend hand kneading here. But if it seems too messy for you let your stand mixer do the job for you. You might not have the same fabulous result with a stand mixer!
- When the dough is ready? The dough will spring back with every touch but won't stick to your fingers. It'll stretch but won't be sticky. It will have a smooth finish with a lovely sheen. Refer the Video tutorial!
- Proofing the Dough: Let the Instant Pot do the Job. You'll have a fabulously risen dough with amazing gluten in just one hour! Watch the Recipe Video way below the post.
- Avoid dry dough: Always keep the un rolled dough and rolled pitas covered with a fine muslin cloth. This will prevent the dough from drying out, cracking and forming a tough skin on top.
- Rolling the Pita Bread: Do not roll them too thin. ¼ inch thickness is what we are looking for today.
- Cooking the Pita Bread: A cast iron skillet over high heat makes amazing Pitas. You need to flip and press the Pitas from time to time with the help of your spatula. If not bake them in your oven on a baking tray, totally hands free option. I love the hands-on Pita making journey so yes, I chose the cast iron skillet route. 😀
- Creating the Pita Pockets: Cut the Pita bread into half (hemisphere). Gently flip open the pocket (the straight cut edge) with the help of a kitchen knife for those Pitas that won't puff up. For the rest well puffed Pitas it's a breeze to create pockets. Once, you cut them into half you will have a pocket automatically.
How to make homemade Pita bread?
**Steps in words below pictures.
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements way below the post on the "Recipe Card".
Step #1 Proof the Yeast
You have to proof the active dry yeast with sugar & luke warm water. Proofing is a method to check or make sure that the yeast is still alive & able to kick start the fermentation process.
Whisk everything together in a bowl and rest for 10-20 mins. The yeast will begin to feed on the sugar and ferment into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Foamy, frothy, bubbly texture is what we are looking for here after 10-20 mins. It means that the yeast is alive yayyy! 😀
Expert Tip: The water temperature is very important here. Use luke warm water (100-110 F or 40 C). If the water is hot it will kill the yeast. You have to re-start the process all over again.
Step #2 Form the Dough
Add all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to incorporate. Than, add the wet ingredients and mix with the help of a spatula or hand to bring everything together to form a dough.
The dough formed will be very sticky at this stage. It'll stick to your fingers and that's a good sign, it means you are on the right track. 😀 The sticky dough is all ready to be kneaded now.
Step #3 Knead the Dough
Sprinkle little all purpose flour on the clean work surface and turn out the dough, also, sprinkle some dry flour on top of the dough and begin to knead with your hands pulling and stretching. Our aim is to form a smooth dough here that's not sticky anymore but elastic.
Add little quantities of flour sparingly while kneading the dough. It will prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface or your hands. Do not add a lot of flour at a time.
I will highly recommend hand kneading here over machine kneading. It'll help form the best gluten in the dough and as a result the pitas will taste the best, they'll become super soft, puffy and so so good!
After about 15 minutes of stretching, pulling, kneading the dough you will have a soft dough that looks much smoother & elastic, just like the above pictures.
Keep on pulling the dough inwards with the help of your hands and shape it into a round ball.
The dough won't stick to your hands or fingers and won't be messy anymore at this stage.
Perform a small test to check if the dough is ready for proofing in the Instant Pot. Press your finger on the surface of the dough and gently pull it back. The dough should spring back and should not stick to your fingers. It should be stretchy but not sticky!
If this is the case you are ready to proceed to the next stage - proofing the dough. If not knead it more.
Step #4 Proof the Dough
Prep the Instant Pot first by spraying oil inside the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place the dough and rub oil on the dough surface. This will prevent the dough from drying out and forming a hard skin.
Cover the Instant Pot with a glass lid and set on the YOGURT MODE at NORMAL setting for 1 hour. When 1 hour is over the dough will rise, double in size and will be perfectly proofed with so much good gluten in there.
Look at that beautifully risen, perfectly smooth dough!
Expert Tip: No Instant Pot? Place the dough in a large bowl, rub with oil, cover and keep it undisturbed in a warm spot for 2-3 hours or until it rises and doubles up. You can also place the covered bowl inside the oven with the light on. This will expedite the process to some extent.
Step #5 Roll the Pitas
Gently deflate the proofed dough with the help of your hand. You can see the beautiful gluten formed in the dough, those little net like structures.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Smooth out each dough portion and shape them like small balls (refer the video, photo #27 above). They will be easier to roll into flat discs.
Keep all the smooth dough balls covered with a fine muslin cloth to prevent them from drying out. Bring out one portion at a time and roll it into a Pita.
On a lightly floured surface turn out the dough ball, gently flatten with the help of your fingers. Roll it into 8-9 inches wide disc that's about ¼ inch thick with the help of a lightly floured rolling pin. Lift, turn and roll, dust with extra flour as needed to prevent it from sticking.
Repeat the process until you are done with all the dough portions. Store the rolled pitas on a wax paper and keep them covered with a muslin cloth and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
Expert Tip: If the dough starts to spring back while rolling it out, stop and rest it for a few minutes and than continue rolling.
Step #6 Bake the Pita Bread
Bake Pita Bread on the Stove Top: Place a cast iron skillet over high heat. Brush it with oil and wipe off any excess oil. When the skillet is sufficiently hot place a Pita bread and cook for 30-40 seconds or until you see small bubbles forming on the surface.
Gently flip side and cook for 1-2 minutes or until brown spots form on the underside. Flip again and cook for another 1-2 mins or until toasted spots form on the other side.
The Pita will begin to balloon at this stage. If it doesn't or if it puffs up only partially gently press the sides of the pita with the help of a spatula or a dish towel. Once done store on a plate and cover with a clean cloth.
Bake Pita Bread in the Oven: Pre-heat the oven at 450 F or 232 C along with a baking stone or a baking sheet kept at the middle rack.
Arrange the rolled out Pitas on the hot baking sheet or baking stone and bake for 3 minutes in the middle rack. The pitas will begin to puff up after 1-2 minutes and will be done when fully ballooned (3 mins approximately). Bring them out stack and store, always keep them covered to keep them nice & soft.
Note: Ove baked pitas will not have the gorgeous toasted brown spots. But, they will be just as delicious!
Homemade Pita Bread is best consumed fresh. However, you can store them on the counter-top wrapped up with a clean cotton cloth for upto 24 hours.
Freezer Instructions: You can freeze homemade pita breads for up to 2 months. Wrap the pita breads in individual airtight plastic zip seal bags, or zip lock bags (suck out the air completely until the bag clings to the pita), wrap with aluminum foil and store in the freezer right away. The aluminum foil will provide extra protection & prevent freezer dryness or burns.
Thaw the Pita Bread on the counter-top or by defrosting the frozen pita in the microwave oven for 15 seconds, sprinkle few drops of water on individual bread for quicker thawing.
Re-heat them either on a hot skillet until warm or pop them in the microwave oven and warm them up. You can also re-heat them in the oven at 350 F for a few mins or until warm.
- Pita Pocket Chicken Gyros with lots of Tzatziki Sauce. This is truly the Greek way of enjoying Pita Bread.
- Stuff the Pita Pockets with Chicken Shawarma & enjoy with loads of Yogurt Shawarma sauce or even Yum Yum Sauce.
- You can always stuff those crispy Falafels inside Pita pockets and enjoy.
- Wrap these easy homemade pita pocket bread with your favorite stuffing and enjoy as wraps.
We love these
Instant Pot Pita BreadPrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
For Proofing the Yeast
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp regular white sugar
- 1 cup luke warm water , temp - 100 to 110 F or 40 C (** VERY IMPORTANT)
For the Pita Dough
1. Proof the Yeast
- Add all the ingredients mentioned above in the "For Proofing the Yeast" section. Whisk until the yeast is dissolved completely. Allow to rest undisturbed for 10-20 mins. You'll have a frothy, foamy mixture at the end. That means that the Yeast is alive & perfect for the recipe.
2. Form the Dough
- Take a large bowl, add all the flours, salt and sugar mentioned above in the "For the Dough" section. Whisk to incorporate all the dry ingredients together.
- Now, add the wet ingredients like - the frothy proofed yeast mixture, the olive oil and the ½ cup water. Mix with the help of a spatula first & than mix with your hands to form a sticky dough. The dough will be very sticky & messy at this stage.
3. Knead the Dough
- Sprinkle a little flour on the clean work surface, turn out the sticky dough, sprinkle some more flour on top of the dough and begin to knead it with the help of your both hands until a smooth, elastic dough forms with a fabulous sheen. Took me around 10-12 mins. The pulling & stretching technique of kneading helps a lot (refer the recipe steps + Video). Sprinkle flour sparingly as needed and knead more.
- The dough at the end should be elastic, should spring back when pressed with a finger but should not be sticky. It'll look very smooth, neat & shiny.
- Try to shape the dough into a smooth round ball. It's all ready for proofing in the Instant Pot.
4. Proof the Dough
- Spray the inner steel pot of the Instant Pot with any neutral oil or olive oil. Place the dough gently in the centre of the steel pot. Add 1.5 tablespoons olive oil on the dough and rub on the surface. This will prevent the dough from drying.
- Place the transparent lid of the Instant Pot. Set the Instant Pot on YOGURT settings at NORMAL for 1 hour.
- After the 1 hour cycle the Instant Pot will begin to beep. Remove the lid and you'll have a perfectly proofed Pita Dough almost double in size.
5. Roll the Pitas
- Gently deflate the risen dough with your hand and take it out on a lightly dusted work surface. Divide into 12 equal portions.
- Shape each dough portion into balls. Cover with a cotton cloth and allow the portions to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Take out one portion at a time on a lightly dusted work surface, sprinkle some flour on top of the dough ball and roll it into a circle about 8-9 inches wide with the help of a flour dusted rolling pin. We prefer ¼ thick pitas.
- Lift & turn the pitas as you roll them in order to prevent the from sticking. Dust with little flour sparingly as needed. If the dough springs back while rolling allow it to rest for about 5 mins and than resume rolling them again. Repeat the process until you are done rolling all the Pitas.
- Always keep the rolled out pitas on a lightly dusted surface or on a parchment paper & cover them with a cotton cloth. This will prevent them from drying out.
6. Bake the Pitas on the Stove Top
- Place a cast iron skillet over high heat on the stove top. Brush it with oil & wipe off any excess oil.
- When its sufficiently hot place a rolled out Pita and cook for 30 seconds or until you see bubbles forming on the surface. Flip and bake until brown spots form on the underside (!-2 mins). Flip again and bake until the underside is nicely toasted. The pita will begin to puff up now and balloon.
- If some pitas doesn't puff up or partially puffs gently press down the pita with the help of your spatula or a clean cloth and allow it to balloon.
- Store the baked pitas wrapped in a clean cotton cloth until ready to serve.
7. Bake Pitas in the Oven
- Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F along with a baking sheet or a baking stone in the middle rack.
- Place the pitas on the hot baking sheet or stone as many as can fit (leave about ½ inch space between the pitas).
- Bake for 3 minutes. The Pitas will balloon completely after 1-2 mins. Cover them with a clean cotton cloth and store until served.
- Measuring Units Used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.
- Always keep the dough, dough portions and rolled out pitas covered with a clean cotton cloth. This will prevent them from drying out and forming a skin.
- Skillet Bake: If the Pitas do not puff up or puffs up only partially you can gently press the pita with a clean cloth or your spatula. This pressure will help them puff up.
- Always use extra flour sparingly while kneading the dough and rolling out the pitas. DO NOT use too much flour. Just sprinkles of flour should be fine as needed.
- Proofing Dough without Instant Pot: Proof it in a regular large greased bowl covered and keep it in a warm place for 2-3 hours or until double in size. Even better keep the bowl inside the oven with the oven light switched on. This expédiâtes the proofing process.