Skillet (or oven) pita

Photo by Nancy Hann on Unsplash
Long before people figured out how to bake loaves of bread, they were making flat breads on a hot rock. In Greece this past summer I was on a quest to get the secret of a great pita and I think I found it on the Island of Crete.

In Crete, pita is baked in an oven as often as it's cooked on a griddle or in a pan. There are benefits to each method and how you end up cooking them changes the taste and texture a bit even though it's the same recipe. Try both and see which one you like better.

Skillet (or oven)  pita


360 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Combine all of the ingredients, mixing to form a shaggy dough.
  2. Knead the dough, by hand for 10 minutes until it's smooth.
  3. Place the dough in a bowl, cover and allow it to rest for 1 hour; it'll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk. 
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 6 pieces.
  5. Roll three of the pieces into 6-7” circles .You want these circles to be about an eighth of an inch thick. I pat them into circles and then finish with a rolling pin.
  6. If making on the stove top, cover the circles with cling wrap and one at a time, cook them as you would a pancake on a hot and lightly oiled griddle or skillet.
  7. Cook for three to four minutes, flip, cook for another three to four minutes then flip one last time for another minute or so. If baking in the oven, proceed from step 8.
  8. If baking in the oven, place the circles on a baking sheet lined with a  Silpat or baking parchment and allow them to rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 500°F. (Keep the unrolled pieces of dough covered. Roll out the next batch while the first batch bakes.)
  9. Place the baking sheet on the lowest rack in your oven, and bake the pitas for 5 minutes; they should puff up. (If they haven't puffed up, wait a minute or so longer. If they still haven't puffed, your oven isn't hot enough; raise the heat for the next batch.)
  10. Remove the pitas from the oven, wrap them in a clean dish towel (this keeps them soft), and repeat with the remaining dough. I deflate them gently while they’re still hot, it makes them easier to store and keeps them fresher longer.
  11. Store cooled pitas in an airtight container or plastic bag.