Whether you’re packing lunches for your kids or yourself, it’s comforting to know exactly what goes into them. Here’s a weekend project with a big pay-off: homemade pita breads, made with just a few natural ingredients you may already have in your pantry. You can tuck any of your favorite foods inside, from hummus and peppers to leftover grilled kabobs, and have an easy meal in minutes. Bonus: they’re perfect for taking on the go.
Bake a big batch, then store for up to 3 days in an airtight container or for 2 months in the freezer. Get creative — we love them stuffed with curried chicken salad and apples.
Whole Wheat Pitas
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups white bread flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. olive oil
Put 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water in a small bowl and stir in the yeast and sugar. Cover and let stand in a warm place until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the whole wheat and bread flours and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture, olive oil and the remaining 1 cup lukewarm water. Using the paddle attachment, mix until a dough forms. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead until the dough is elastic and springs back when gently pressed, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a dish towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat a pizza or baking stone in a 450°F oven for 30 minutes. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Form into a log and cut into 12 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time and keeping the remaining pieces covered, roll out each piece of dough into an oval or circle, about 1⁄8 inch thick. Place on the prepared baking sheets, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Working in batches, carefully place 3 or 4 pitas flat on the preheated pizza stone and bake until fully puffed and slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Keep the pitas warm in a slightly damp towel while cooking the remaining pitas. Makes 12 pitas.