Pita bread is served at just about every meal in the Middle East. It can be used for dipping, or to make delicious sandwiches in the pocket. In the Middle East, pita bread 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. 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.
2. Combine flour and salt in large bowl.
3. Make a small depression in the middle of flour and pour yeast water in depression.
4. Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic.
5. 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.
6. Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated.
7. Allow to sit in a warm place for about 3 hours or until it has doubled in size.
8. Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 F (260 C) degree. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to also preheat your baking sheet.
9. Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.
10. Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turnover and bake for 2 minutes.
11. Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.
12. Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags.