When Kel and I moved to the boonies, one of the items I didn’t even think about missing was whole wheat pita bread. But miss it I did. In D.C., there were two Whole Foods within walking distance of my office and several good bakeries nearby, so getting whole wheat pitas was never a problem. By contrast, the stores where I now shop offer bland, hard, refined pitas that have that unidentifiable commercial bread taste. I wasn’t having any of that, so I went in search of recipes.
Pita bread – though one of the easiest breads to make (I now know) – was a mystery to me. How on earth was I going to get that pocket in there? Turns out the magic happens in the oven. Without you even asking. It’s very cool to watch the flat rounds of dough puff up. The jumping off recipe for this came from Epicurious. I upped the whole wheat flour, omitted the olive oil and added flaxseeds (cuz they look great) and dried thyme for that nice warm, summery flavor they impart.
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
1 tsp. agave nectar
1 1/2 cups warm water (105–115°F)
2 cups bread flour or high-gluten flour, plus additional for kneading
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tbsp. flaxseeds, optional
1 tsp. dried thyme, optional
1 tsp. salt
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, working in just enough additional flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in an lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Set oven rack in lower third of oven and remove other racks. Preheat oven to 500°F.