The Rolling Mistake To Avoid For Perfectly Even Pita Bread

Falafel stuffed in pita bread
Falafel stuffed in pita bread - uniqueton/Shutterstock

Heaven-sent for stuffing with scrumptious filling like falafel or lamb — fluffy, freshly-made pita bread is surprisingly simple to make and doesn't require a lengthy proof time. However, if your pita isn't puffing up perfectly when baking, you may be making a mistake when rolling out your dough. Unlike the top of a bread loaf, which can essentially grow as high as it likes without issue, a good pita needs an even thickness across its entire surface to create those characteristic pockets in the middle.

Rolling the pita dough out to a uniform thickness ensures that it bakes evenly, and fills up with steam the whole way through. Similar to the way a tortilla or chapati fills with hot air as it's heated over an open flame, pitas also balloon up to form the cavity in the center. This occurs because the exterior of the pita cooks and sets in the oven quickly, while the moisture dough generates steam that gets trapped inside as it rises. If the dough is overly thick in some areas, those sections will remain flat while the thinner spots cook through. This effectively prevents the trapping of that steam, and therefore the separation of the crusty halves.

Read more: 30 Types Of Cake, Explained

Use Dowels To Evenly Roll The Dough

Rolling out pita bread dough
Rolling out pita bread dough - Anchiy/Getty Images

A useful trick to avoid this problem is to place a pair of dowels on the counter on either side of your workspace to guide your roller. This will eliminate the risk of rolling out unevenly. Remember you don't want to go too thin either, or your pita may not hold together or will contain holes.

Bear in mind that pita bread will slowly collapse after it's removed from the oven, but this is no reason to be disheartened as the pockets will remain intact. Allowing the steam to slowly dissipate will create a pita with a fluffy interior but for an even softer texture, try wrapping them in a cloth to trap in more moisture. Once you're confident with your recipe, why not experiment with adding in extra flavors, such as poppy, sesame, or Nigella seeds?

Finally, all is not lost if your pita doesn't puff up — use Greek-style pita breads to make wraps like souvlaki where the fillings are piled straight onto the middle instead of inside a pocket. Leftover pita is also perfect for transforming into baked pita chips. Simply chop your pita into triangular wedges, coat in oil, sprinkle over some seasonings, and bake. Other creative ways to use pita bread include turning it into garlic bread or layering it up in a sweet and creamy bread pudding.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.