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Homemade Pita Bread and Hummus

April 4, 2013

Homemade Pita Bread, Hummus, and Baked FalafelPin it!

Paula learned how to make perfect pita bread! I possibly love her even more now.

It took a lot of trial and “error,” but without any real errors, since her pita bread has always been successfully delicious, just not always successfully puffy, as good pita bread should be. Now that we’ve finally cracked the code, it’s time to share the recipe with you.

But first! Why you should make your own hummus:

Hummus with Pine Nuts and PaprikaPin it!

I’ve gotten a lot of comments over the past few pesto-related posts about how I’ve inspired people to make homemade pesto. I’m here to say that hummus is another recipe you should add to your homemade repertoire. Unless you don’t own either a blender or a food processor– but even then, you could possibly borrow your neighbor’s… (I’ve done it.) The point is, hummus is pretty painless to make, and you can make it your way. No preservatives; you choose all of the ingredients; and you can mix things up a little: try making avocado hummus, smoky chipotle hummus, or– another favorite in our house– cilantro/jalapeño hummus (the recipe I am waiting to post until I’ve pickled my own jalapeño peppers).

Homemade Hummus with Greek Yogurt

I also have an entirely different (chickpea-less!) hummus recipe coming your way soon… but that’s another blog post.

Hummus and Tzatziki

Today’s version is my go-to traditional hummus recipe, with one non-traditional ingredient: Labne (soft Kefir cheese) or thick Greek yogurt. I love the creamy richness that a few good dollops of Greek yogurt give to the savory chickpea dip. Even if you don’t have Greek yogurt on hand, a spoonful or two of any regular, un-strained plain (dairy or soy) yogurt will also give the hummus a nice texture and tang. Top with a drizzle of good olive oil, and a sprinkling of paprika and pine nuts for the added fancy factor, then enjoy with fresh-baked pita. Or a carrot stick. Or a spoon.

Homemade Pita Bread, Hummus, and Baked FalafelPin it!

But let’s not get side-tracked here. This post is really all about pita. Paula’s recipe below has been adapted from several different sources– including The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison– and through trial and error, as I mentioned. Her tricks to great pita bread include:

  • Roll the pita out thinly, evenly, and in as round a shape as possible.
  • Bake it on a pizza stone, set in the lowest rack of your oven.
  • Make sure the oven is at 500 degrees. Some recipes state otherwise, but we want it hot.

Homemade Pita Bread and Baked Falafel

And if you don’t end up with perfectly puffy pita on your first or second try, don’t despair! It will still be good to eat, even if it’s not ideal for a pita pocket sandwich– you’ll still have delicious bread, fresh from the oven, for dipping in hummus or olive oil, and you can always bake it into thick pita chips.

Homemade Pita Bread and Baked Falafel

Stay tuned for another post soon with our– ok, Paula’s– easy baked falafel recipe and my favorite way to make tzatziki (garlicky yogurt sauce). We take Middle Eastern feasts quite seriously around here.

Homemade Pita Bread, Baked Falafel, and Tzatziki

p.s. I recently wrote about how I used to buy $3 department store cans of chickpeas when I lived in rural, western Japan… The tahini situation, though, was even worse: it was nowhere to be found. So for my weekly batch of blended hummus, I substituted a tablespoon of Japanese toasted sesame oil for the tahini– problem solved!

Homemade Pita Bread, Hummus, Baked Falafel, and Tzatziki

Homemade Pita Bread, Hummus, Baked Falafel, and Tzatziki

Print both recipes (Pita and Hummus). (PDF)
Print Pita recipe only. (PDF)
Print Hummus recipe only. (PDF)

RECIPES:

Homemade Pita Bread
(Paula‘s recipe.)

(Makes 10 pitas)

Ingredients:
~ 2 tsp. yeast
~ 1 cup warm water
~ 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
~ 1 1/2 cup white flour
~ 1 tsp. of salt
~ 1 tsp. of honey
~ 1 Tbsp. of olive oil
~ additional olive oil (or olive oil spray) for proofing the bowl

How to make it:

1. Add yeast to warm water and mix, then allow it to sit and become foamy. Meanwhile, combine the flours and salt in a large bowl.

Pita bread dough

2. Add the water and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and start mixing the dough by hand or with a rubber spatula. Add honey and olive oil and continue to mix. Once the flour is fully incorporated into the dough, transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter/surface for kneading. Knead for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Place in a large, lightly oiled bowl, spray the top of the dough lightly with olive oil, and cover with plastic wrap to proof for 45-60 minutes.

Pita bread doughPita bread dough

3. When the dough has nearly doubled in size, place your baking stone onto the lowest rack in your oven and pre-heat to 500 degrees.

Rolling out the pita bread

4. Once the oven is pre-heated and the dough has doubled in size, take your dough and divide it, using a dough scraper, into 10 balls. Place 8 balls under a damp, clean towel (or plastic wrap) so they don’t dry out as you work. Roll two pitas out into circles.* Place them onto the baking stone and bake for 4 minutes, turning them over after 2 minutes. Continue gradually rolling and baking two at a time, until done. Place pitas into a towel to keep warm, or transfer to a plastic bag once they’re completely cooled, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. (Best served warm on the first day with falafel and tzatziki or hummus!)

* Paula says: I’m horrible at this, my pitas are always shaped like states; I’m pretty sure I nearly created a Texas-shaped pita the last time I rolled some.

Print this recipe (pita bread)! (PDF)
Print both recipes! (PDF)

Homemade Pita Bread and Baked FalafelPin it.

Chickpea Hummus with Labne/Greek Yogurt

Ingredients:
~ 1-2 cloves garlic (or more, to taste)
~ 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, which is 1 3/4 cup)
~ 1 1/2 Tbsp. tahini (or 1 Tbsp. sesame oil)
~ 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
~ 3-4 Tbsp. Labne/Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
~ several Tbsp. olive oil, to taste, plus more for drizzling over at the end
~ sea salt, to taste
OPTIONAL:
~ black pepper, to taste
~ paprika, to garnish
~ pine nuts, to garnish

Homemade Hummus with Greek Yogurt

How to make it:

1. Pulse the garlic a few times in a food processor or blender, then add the chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice, and pulse a few more times.

2. Add the yogurt, then blend until nearly smooth. Pour in olive oil gradually– while processing if possible– and continue to blend. Season with salt and pepper; taste and adjust seasonings– adding more yogurt or lemon juice if necessary– then transfer to a bowl.

3. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of paprika and pine nuts. Serve with warm pita bread.

Print both recipes (Pita and Hummus)! (PDF)
Print Pita recipe only! (PDF)
Print Hummus recipe only! (PDF)

Hummus with Pine Nuts and PaprikaPin it!

Homemade Pita Bread, Hummus, Baked Falafel, and TzatzikiPin it!

Related recipe posts:
> Pita Chips with Labne Olive Oil Dip
> Shepherd’s Salad (Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Feta)
> Avocado Hummus

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70 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2013 9:37 am

    That would be like my dream lunch! I was always intimidated about making my own pita… but you have inspired me!!

  2. April 4, 2013 9:54 am

    I have never made pita before but I am now tempted! Thanks for the recipe!

    • April 4, 2013 11:43 am

      Yay; you’re welcome! You have a pizza stone, right? You should definitely try making some pita bread! (Paula says it’s very similar to making pizza crust.)

  3. April 4, 2013 10:03 am

    Those look amazing and really simple. I tried to make some hummus a few weeks ago, due to lack of tahini I attempted to make my own and the entire thing was a disaster! I have found a good lol supemarket which stocks it now though so will swing by there before my next attempt (and using your recipe above!)

    • April 4, 2013 11:45 am

      Thanks; I hope you can make some successful hummus on your next try! But also, did you see my note above about how I could never find tahini when I lived in Japan? I always used to just substitute 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil (and then I’d use a little less olive oil, to keep it from becoming too oily), but at least I still got that sesame flavor in there.

  4. April 4, 2013 11:17 am

    Looks wonderful. I’ve seen a few posts now about making hummus. After tax season is done it’s on my list to try. I love hummus. :)

  5. April 4, 2013 11:30 am

    Very cool to have homemade pita bread. You’re very lucky! ;) Lovely post here Allison.

    • April 4, 2013 11:47 am

      Thanks, Anne! I know; I am the luckiest! :)

      (Paula was originally going to guest post about her pita + falafel, while I wrote a separate post about my hummus + tzatziki, but then we decided to pair the foods differently in the two blog posts, since hummus goes with pita, and tzatziki goes with falafel– but I only made the dipping sauces!)

  6. April 4, 2013 12:38 pm

    I would love to try homemade pita, this looks too delicious :D

    Cheers
    CCU

  7. April 4, 2013 1:19 pm

    So of course I saw this just as I was heading out for lunch, which made my ham sandwich just all the more boring! My boyfriend Matt loves making hummus :) I have never attempted to make my own pita bread though. I’m inspired now- I even bought some yeast at the grocery store last weekend!

    • April 4, 2013 7:52 pm

      It’s food fate then! You should definitely try making pita soon, and have Matt make hummus to go with it. (That’s my trick to get fresh pita bread– I just ask Paula if she wants me to whip up some homemade hummus, and she nearly always decides to bake some pita!)

  8. April 4, 2013 1:30 pm

    Looks fabulous! I love making my own hummus & falafel. Great pics too!

  9. April 4, 2013 4:30 pm

    Oh my god that is such a gorgeous looking Pita Bread and the Hummus looks out of this world. I love making everything to home too and somehow it tastes even delicious. Love this post :)

  10. April 4, 2013 5:57 pm

    I’ve never attempted to make pita… sounds like a challenge. Hummus looks awesome too. Homemade is always better.

    • April 4, 2013 7:55 pm

      I agree; homemade is always better! Even the first bunch of times we tried homemade pita, it didn’t puff up into pita pockets, but it still tasted pretty great.

  11. April 4, 2013 6:08 pm

    I love homemade hummus. Never thought to add Greek yoghurt but sounds divine. It’s never crossed my mind to make pita bread…perhaps next time. Yours looks so delicious.

  12. April 4, 2013 7:19 pm

    Running to the kitchen to make homemade pita now! Thanks for sharing!

  13. April 4, 2013 8:53 pm

    This looks delicious! This is a favorite snack for my husband and I. We will definitely try this recipe out. Thanks for liking my cocktail post also!

  14. April 5, 2013 8:08 am

    This post is inspiring… I want Greek now! MMMM!! Luckily there is a good Greek place close to me. That will have to tide me over until I can make these recipes.

  15. April 6, 2013 8:55 pm

    I made your chickpea hummus tonight to go with some baked falafel and it turned out great, thank you so much!! :)

  16. April 7, 2013 2:47 pm

    Wow! This looks incredible! I love how you set this blog post up. I can easily follow it when the recipe listed and then the step-by-step with all the pictures! I frequently make hummus, but I’ve been wanting to try to make babaganoush. Have you tried to make this yet? I feel like it can’t be too much more difficult than hummus, but I’m not sure yet! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • April 9, 2013 11:27 am

      Thanks! I really appreciate this kind of feedback, about the usefulness of the step-by-step photos, etc. :)

      I have only made baba ghanoush a few times. The most recent time was a few years ago at a friend’s house, and we roasted the eggplants on her cast iron grill pan on the stove top first; it turned out so deliciously that it inspired me to buy my own cast iron grill pan, but I haven’t even used it for baba ghanoush yet! It’s really pretty simple to make though– and so good with lots of garlic, tahini, and lemon– I will try to post a recipe for it this summer!

  17. saltysweetsour permalink
    April 8, 2013 10:44 am

    I never thought about making pita bread at home – it’s something I think I’ll have to try!

  18. April 8, 2013 8:03 pm

    That recipe looks really, really good! I’ve always made an Alison Holst recipe which is great but I think I’ll have to give yours a go too.

    P.S. The best way to get really good tahini is to either find a Persian/Lebanese trading store on the net and order it from them or make friends with the owner of a Persian restaurant. That’s what I did and he let me buy some of the stuff that he shipped in. It was great!

    • April 9, 2013 11:24 am

      Thanks for the tahini tips! Luckily, since I don’t live in Japan anymore, I can get it from a local Eastern European/Middle Eastern market, but I wish I’d thought of ordering it off the internet back when I lived in Japan… :)

  19. April 9, 2013 8:41 am

    Love the addition of Greek yogurt to the hummus! Genius. And you’re right, homemade and storebought are worlds apart.

  20. April 9, 2013 6:42 pm

    Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus! I am waiting for it….please please don’t make us wait till those chilies grow…that is going to take forever to grow, it isn’t even summer yet! :) I love all kind of hummus and I’m eager to see your non chickpea hummus as well.

    • April 11, 2013 10:01 am

      Haha, I know; it’ll take forever– I kept meaning to pickle jalapeños last summer, but it never happened… The other hummus will be coming sooner, since it uses a spring ingredient, but I also don’t want to bombard people with too many hummus(es?) at once, if that’s even possible… :)

  21. April 10, 2013 11:20 am

    Tahini is sooo expensive… the sesame oil sub is a good idea!

  22. Nami | Just One Cookbook permalink
    April 10, 2013 10:13 pm

    I’m saving this recipe! I always want to make homemade pita bread, and thank you for sharing the good recipe with us! It’s nice to have blogger friends… they experiment and share the best result! Thanks to Paula! And the hummus! This is another item I haven’t tried it at home. I hear it’s easy to make, so it’s on my list too. Store bought can be quite expensive and I’m sure your own homemade version is better! :)

    • April 11, 2013 10:04 am

      Yay, that’s nice to hear! Your comments always encourage me so much, Nami! Homemade hummus should definitely go to the top of your list, especially since it’s so incredibly easy to make (and I never would have attempted homemade pita bread without Paula, but I’ve been making my own hummus for years).

  23. April 11, 2013 9:05 am

    Allison, I put a half cup of tahini in my hummus (I’m crazy about the stuff!), but your hummus looks wonderful too! In fact, this post has my mouth watering! Gorgeous pitas – tell Paula, Texas-shaped pitas are fine; but Florida-shaped pitas are no good!

    • April 11, 2013 10:05 am

      Haha, ok, I’ll make sure to tell Paula that! :)

      Tahini is pretty wonderful (I’m so happy to be able to buy it again since moving back to the states from Japan), but I’ve never tried adding quite that much to hummus– I’m sure it tastes great, though! Thanks for the suggestion, and thanks for stopping by & commenting!

  24. April 14, 2013 2:21 pm

    Oh, I wish that pita bread with the falafel peaking out was sitting in front of me right now!

    And I’m also wondering why it has been forever since I made hummus. So, I’ll be making it soon with your great-looking recipe.

    • May 4, 2013 12:17 pm

      Haha, well I’m sorry to tempt you with the photos, but glad to hear it’s inspired you to make hummus again soon! It is so simple to make– we don’t make it often enough around my house these days either… :)

  25. May 3, 2013 10:57 pm

    It’s hard to make hummus look good in photos but you have! Great post!

  26. May 31, 2013 2:46 pm

    Wonderful hummus with yogurt – will try it soon

  27. Larry Wells permalink
    July 16, 2015 11:20 am

    I just tried the hummus. I was skeptical about the yoghurt, but you are right. It’s a great idea.

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