Love and Olive Oil

Turkey Gyros and Homemade Pita Bread

Turkey Gyros and Homemade Pita Bread

Ok, so just because my last post was so – monumental? – doesn’t mean I’m ignoring you. We’ve still been cooking, and eating, and taking pictures of things… but surprisingly we’ve also been repeating things. Like that Darn Good Pasta Salad? Yea. Made it three times since I posted it. This gem of a red-lentil-soup? A few times more. And well, to be honest, sometimes I just want to sit down and eat something when we finish it, rather than spending time trying to take pretty pictures of a piece of fish that fell apart in the pan. Yes, that happens too.

Anyways, on to the food. Because that’s the reason we’re all here, right?

One good, new thing we made this week (well, mostly new) was this…. a twist on the typical gyros with homemade pita bread. For the gyro meat, we used Alton Brown’s gyro recipe that we had made before… but seeing as ground lamb is not easy to find (can you tell I just LOVE our grocery store?) we used ground turkey instead. Not too bad – different flavor for sure, but good.

But the best part was the homemade pita bread…. made out of necessity, because when was the last time you actually had a really good pita bread from the grocery store? Thought so. They must have finally realized it too because our grocery store even stopped carrying them – completely. That or they just moved them. Either way, I couldn’t find them, and didn’t really want to eat them if I had, so I decided to make it myself.

Making Pita Bread

I will never buy store brand pita bread again. It wasn’t too hard to make it, and the results were beyond delicious. Plus, you get to watch them do this in the oven:

Pita Bread Baking

So I guess that explains where the pocket comes from… another food mystery has been solved!

Sometimes the pocket worked, sometimes it didn’t. Even the pocket-less pitas were good, so don’t toss them! Some of ours also got a bit too crispy. I pressed as much steam out of them as I could without cracking them – but the recipe isn’t kidding when it says put in a plastic bag right away. The steam builds up inside the bag, and softens the bread into the pita bread you’ll recognize. For the really crispy ones – I first covered the bread with a damp tea towel. That softened it enough to get the pocket flatter, at which point I put it in the bag.

Homemade Pita Bread

Makes about a dozen. Recipe from About.

1 package of yeast, or quick rising yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teapsoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.

Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a small depression in the middle of lour and pur yeast water in depression. Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic. Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. When the dough is no longer stick and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded.

Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated. Allow to sit in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 deg F. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to preheat your baking sheet also.

Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.

Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes. Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking. Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags. Pita bread can be stored for up to a week in a pantry or bread box, and up to a month in the freezer. Be sure to use freezer bags when storing in the freezer.

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  1. Turned out awesome!! Very easy to make, and delicious results! I think next time I’ll pay closer attention to spreading out the circles to the specified width (or wider). Mine were a bit small and round. I’m still very happy with them though! If I knew pitas could be this easy, I would have been making them for years!

  2. Love these pitas! I ran out of regular flour so I used bread flour, and it worked fine. Also I made the dough in the dough cycle of my bread machine, with quick rising yeast, and it worked well. Went along great with your turkey version of Alton’s gyros! Thanks!!

  3. Wow, today I made these. They are fantastic. Thank you so much!
    (I also blogged about it ^^)

  4. Yum! I can’t wait to try it! Falafel here I come!

  5. I am making these right now! We are having a “Greek” Thanksgiving…a new theme. We are all practicing for the day. Thanks for the quick easy recipe. I will let you know how they turn out! Shari

  6. I’ve been wanting to make that recipe of Alton’s for awhile but I always forget to get lamb meat but I always have turkey so I’ll have to try that.

    And I don’t know what part of town you are in but if you have Publix nearby they should be able to help you if you want to make it with the ground lamb.

  7. these are on my list to make
    i have a recipe bookmarked!


  8. yum! i love pitas — i am bookmarking this recipe!

  9. I didn’t say it wasn’t messy! :) You are very lucky to live in such a place.

  10. I made pita bread once, and only once — got flour all over the oven and the kitchen floor, but it was fun! Fortunately I live near a wonderful pita bakery, where the bread is fresh and cheap, so I don’t think I’ll ever make it again.

  11. Those look really quite fun to make! I’m all over it :)

  12. Thanks for the recipe! I am so excited to try it.

  13. What fun. I will be trying this one out!

  14. that is some incredible puffage! i’m equal parts impressed and jealous. :)

  15. Amazing! I can’t believe they puff up like that. I’d be glued to the oven window just watching them cook the entire time. You’re so brave for trying this.

  16. Wow…I am going to try this. They look really tasty!

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