What makes Greek souvlaki so unique, juicy grilled meat aside, is, of course, the pita bread. The Greek pita resembles very much the Arabic flatbread, but unlike them, our pita breads are leavened. Their taste is neutral and pita are soft and flexible so that it can wrap around the grilled meat and tzatziki or home-made gyros I made last week. The best part about pita bread? It’s the easiest bread you will ever make.
Head straight to the recipe.
In Greece we love pita bread so much, it is unthinkable to have a BBQ without grilled pita bread or tzatziki. My first attempt on pita bread was in London, in a tiny kitchen. Greek pita, unlike the very popular Arabic flatbread is very hard to get by. You will need to go hunting to get a proper one. And whilst I love Arabic flatbread, using it for souvlaki is as close to sacrilege as any Greek can ever get.
The idea of the home-made pita bread came from the chef of the Olive tree, a small Greek taverna close to Arsenal station that is unfortunately long gone. The Olive tree was one of the very traditional Greek taverns where the owner would be the chef as well and the waiter would be the husband, family-run in proper Greek style. The chef came out to meet and greet us and of course, ask what we thought of the food. I for one couldn’t be happier to get the real Greek souvlaki. In our brief chat, she fleetingly mentioned she is making her own pita breads. I felt the light bulb lighting up, why hadn’t I thought of this before? She quickly told me the process, one of the easiest things and she also shared a little secret: you have to get the best flour you can get your hands on. Tip noted and experiments commenced. Fluffy, soft and flexi pita breads were one supermarket trip away.
Tips for the best pita bread
To be truthful you need so little to make pita breads, not even a trip to the shops is necessary. Pita breads hold the bare basics of any kitchen: strong flour, salt, water, milk, and of course yeast. My first attempt, I admit was not the most successful. In my haste to make them, I didn’t allow the yeast to work properly. Not that the result was disappointing, it just resembled more a flatbread than fluffy pita bread. To avoid this, treat your yeast with love and mainly warmth.
Fast action yeast needs 30 minutes to 2 hours to get activated and leaven the dough. My tip for success and the added bonus of accelerating the process is your oven. Switch it on at the lowest temperature for 10-15 minutes, whilst you are preparing the dough. Once the mix is ready, switch off the oven and let the dough rest in its warmth. The pita bread dough is going to double in size within half an hour.
Below, I share the basic pita bread recipe that can proudly accompany souvlaki or dips. Don’t hesitate to experiment with herbs and spices. I have a soft spot for fresh thyme and oregano leaves, which are really great when mixed in the flour. Definitely check the cupboards for black sesame seeds or poppy seeds, a teaspoon is more than enough to get things a little more interesting. If, however, you forget whilst making them, don’t worry, a light dusting of sweet paprika or the classic salt and dried Greek oregano will still work
I hope you enjoy making this pita bread. Try them out with aubergine dip or hummus. Don’t hesitate to replicate the original Greek souvlaki experience at home! From Athens with love, Eugenia
Greek pita bread (flatbreads)
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I hope you enjoy making this pita bread. Try them out with aubergine dip or hummus. Don’t hesitate to replicate the original Greek souvlaki experience at home!
From Athens with love,
21 thoughts on “Greek pita bread”
Looks tasty. But I have no patience.
It is delicious, as for patience you only need a little – there is a tiny bit of magic working with dough 😉
Magic–I like that!
I love pita bread and had no idea it was this simple to make at home! Thank you for the recipe. Actually I made last night Perfect Homemade Pita Bread using the Pita oven, the perfect flat bread oven or any style bread oven.
Hi Chris, this good old staples are really easy to reproduce at home. It only takes a little practice and very simple utensils any household has. They carry a bit of old wisdom with them. Glad you enjoyed yours!
What type of measurements are the flour, milk and water?
(It might be that it’s obvious to an English reader, but for a Norwegian at least, it’s hard to guess)
Looking forward to testing the recipe as soon as I figure that part out 🙂
Hi Jens, thanks for your comment, some things had slipped out (ooops) I am always using metric so it is grams and ml for liquids. Hope it helps!!
Hei Jens – 100ml = 1dl 🙂
Hi, Have just returned from Greece & love your pita!! Was delighted to find your recipe, and am in process of making some…just a query… do you not have to knead the dough? Mine looks a bit lumpy, and wonder if this is ok. (I’m proving it at the moment, with fingers crossed. 🙂 Thanks, Val.
Sorry for the slightly late reply, you knead just enough to mix really, it’s the yeast that makes it all work. How did it work out?
Hi Eugenia, Well, they didn’t work out too well…so tried them another day, and this time I kneaded the dough, it rose a lot more that time… were not as fluffy looking as yours though 🙁 … better luck next time. Thanks for replying.
Hi Valerie, sorry it didn’t work out, I hope next time it will work out better. Even flat though they should be great as crackers, especially if you drive them off in the oven 😉 Better luck next time! best, Eugenia
Would soya milk work??
Hi Helen, I haven’t tried it but please let me know how it works out if you do try. 🙂
It works really well 🙂
How long can you store these. Can you freeze them.
Hi Jules, once cooked you can keep them in the freezer, almost indefinitely – they will dry out in the fridge however. So if you have too many, it’s best to wrap and freeze them. Once you need them again simply reheat and they taste just as good.
I know a tsp is a teaspoon but what does “tspns” mean
Hi Angie, it’s teaspoons, I hastily dropped the vowels – I shouldn’t have! sorry to confuse you.