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I know that two days before Christmas I should be sharing something Christmas related with you. But I made these Pita Pockets last week and they were so good I can’t wait to tell you about them. How about I spin them to you as a great bread option for your Christmas turkey leftovers? Imagine a lovely turkey salad nestled in a homemade Sourdough Pita Pocket. There. Now they sound Christmas related.
I found this recipe on the internet for Sourdough Pita. But it measures out all of the ingredients using a scale (which I do not have in my primitive kitchen) and it doesn’t have the soak time needed to neutralize the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients, so I changed it. I also used this recipe for the baking instructions. The results were wonderful. Most of my Pitas even puffed properly so when I cut them I had the ‘pocket’. The few that didn’t became Pita chips for eating with hummus a couple of days later.
Sourdough Pita Bread (plan ahead, needs time to soak)
1 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or flour of your choice)
Combine starter, water, oil and salt until well mixed. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour, mix in. Add rest of flour 1/2 cup at a time (I used my freshly washed hands for this as the dough got too thick). Depending on the hydration of your starter you might need more or less flour than I listed. You want the dough to hold to itself more than to your hands. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Butter the top of the dough, give it a flip and butter the other side. Cover and let rest for 8-12 hours or overnight. At that point you could proceed to the next step or punch it down and let it rise again to give it a longer soak time.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface (I use unbleached flour for this). Divide the dough into balls. I made mine larger than golf balls but smaller than baseballs and ended up with 14 balls. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes or so.
With the oven rack as low as it will go, heat oven to 500 degrees. Heat your baking pan also.*
Using a rolling pin and your floured surface, roll out your dough balls into circles about 6 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick.
Bake each circle (on the lowest rack) for 4 minutes, then flip over and bake an additional 2 minutes. Remove from oven. Using a spatula press down the puff. Cover with a cloth. Repeat until all pitas are baked.
*I ended up with a pretty good rhythm for the baking part. I used 2 cookie sheets heating both of them up in the oven one on each rack. The lower rack is the only one used for baking, while the baking was in process for the first 4 minutes (before flipping) I left the other cookie sheet on the top rack. Then when I flipped the pitas I would remove the top cookie sheet and put my pitas on it (I could only fit 2 at a time). After the final 2 minutes baking I took out the finished pitas, removed them from the pan to a bread board, put in the ready to make ones on the bottom rack and put the empty cookie sheet back on the top rack to keep it hot. Repeating until all pitas were cooked.