whole wheat pita bread with one cut in half on parchment paper

Make whole wheat pita bread: oil free recipe

  • Author: Denise
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 20 minutes (mostly inactive)
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pitas 1x


Learn how easy it is to make healthier, oil-free whole wheat pita bread and you won’t ever buy it again. Flour, yeast, salt and water –the best pitas ever!



  • 1 cup warm water (not hot or boiling)
  • 2 tsp. active dry or instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 to 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt


  1. Add the warm water to a small bowl and sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of yeast over. Gently stir with a spoon and allow the yeast to sit for about 5 minutes until it is fully dissolved.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine 2 2/1 cups of flour and 1 ½ tsp. salt. Mix the salt in so it is evenly distributed. Measure out another cup of flour so you have it handy for kneading.
  3. Add the yeast and water to the bowl and start mixing with a spoon until you get a shaggy dough and all the flour is wet.
  4. Knead: Sprinkle some of the reserved flour onto you clean kneading surface and turn out the dough. Knead the dough with your hands for about 5-7 minutes, adding more flour as needed until the dough is smooth and elastic and doesn’t stick to your hands or the work surface. Stop and rest if your hands get tired and then resume the kneading. Try not to add more than another ½ cup of the reserved flour. It’s better to add too little than too much. 
  5. Rise: Clean out the bowl you used to mix the dough and either add a bit of flour to the bottom or sides or alternatively, lightly flour a sheet of plastic wrap. Place the dough either directly in the bowl or on the plastic wrap and into the bowl. Cover the bowl with the remaining plastic wrap or a cloth to help keep it warm. Find a warm place and let the dough rise for 1-2 hours until it has almost doubled in size. let the dough rise until it's doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 4500 F (2300 C). Grab the baking tray you will be using and put it the oven to heat for a few minutes.
  7. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured and clean work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and flatten then with your hand. Sprinkle a little of the reserved flour over them. You can leave them until you are ready to bake them at this point.
  8. Take the heated baking tray out of the oven and let’s start making pitas.
  9. To shape the pitas, flour your rolling pin and work surface and roll each piece into a disc that is about a quarter of an inch thick. You can use your hands to help form a more perfect disc if you are not an adept roller. Use more flour it they start to stick. Lay each pita on your baking tray and get them immediately into the oven before they start contract (all the elasticity at work again).
  10. Bake the pitas for 3-4 minutes. They should start to puff up pretty quickly. You don’t need to flip them. You want them to be a bit firm to the touch. They’ll be cooking from the inside, so it won’t take long.
  11. Take the pitas immediately from the baking tray and cover them with a cloth. Avoid stacking them until they have completely cooled.
  12. If you bake the pitas in batches and wait until the first batch is done before you start rolling again so the pitas will hold their shape.


  • Prep time includes the time for mixing, kneading, rising and making the pita breads.
  • Once the dough has risen, you can refrigerate it and use it as needed. The dough will keep for a week in the fridge.
  • Store leftover pitas in an airtight bag or container. To reheat, lightly sprinkle them with water and add them to a hot oven or toaster oven.
  • To freeze pitas, separate them with parchment or waxed paper and seal in an airtight bag. Frozen pitas will keep for about 3 months.
  • Category: On the Side
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keywords: make whole wheat pita bread

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