This recipe is from the New York Times Cooking, minus the salt and with instant rather than active yeast. I've also modified the recipe to clarify the ingredients and method.
Servings: Makes 8 pieces, about 6-7 inches
Sodium: No sodium
Time: 1 hour active, 1 hour inactive
35 g (1/4 cup) whole wheat flour
250 g (about 2 cups) plus 60 grams (about 1/2 cup) all purpose flour, divided*
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
236 g (1 cup) lukewarm water (about 100°F to 110°F) *add more whole wheat by using 125 grams of whole wheat flour and 125 grams all purpose flour in place of the 250 grams all purpose flour. All remaining ingredients stay the same.
1) Set aside 60 grams (1/2 cup) of all purpose flour to be used for flouring your work surface, kneading and rolling. The NYT recipe says to use this sparingly, but I found I needed to use all 60 grams of it, about half in the kneading process, and the remaining half in the rolling, and the pita bread comes out great.
In a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. The dough is very wet and shaggy. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, covered.
2) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (use that 60 grams of flour you set aside earlier). Knead for 3 minutes, then rest for 10 minutes (covered), then knead again for 3 minutes. If you find the dough isn’t ready after these two rounds of kneading, do another round. For this dough, I’ve found that it’s enough to knead it to a point where you can form a nice ball. It may not pass the windowpane test but as long as it holds its shape it should be fine.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, covered, for about 1 hour until it doubles in volume.
3) Place a pizza stone, cast iron skillet, or sheet pan in the oven on the lowest rack and preheat the oven to 475°F. If you're using a cast iron skillet, turn it upside down.
4) After the dough is finished rising, punch it down and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each into the shape of a ball. Let the balls rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Then roll each ball into an 8-inch disk, about 1/8 inch thick. Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour as needed. If the dough doesn’t roll out easily, let it rest another 10 minutes and try again.
Be careful not to break or tear the dough as you roll it out (or transfer it to the oven) or else the pita won't puff up and form a nice pocket.
5) Transfer each rolled out piece of dough to the hot pizza stone and bake for 2 minutes. I spread my fingers out wide and place the dough on my palm and then flip it onto the hot pizza stone. The dough will puff up like a balloon! Then use tongs to flip the bread and bake for an additional minute. You can place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the stone/pan/sheet pan, also. Get the dough in fast and don't let the oven lose too much heat as you open the door. Even though I could easily fit 3 pieces of bread on my pizza stone, I bake just 1 piece at a time because this is still new to me and I want to just focus on that one piece. The pita will be pale, don't expect it to brown. Set aside on a wire rack to cool and serve hot! I like a little color on mine, so I'll toast them on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet with a touch of olive oil, or grill them before serving.
-Use a scale to measure the ingredients whenever possible, especially flour. If you don't have a scale, King Arthur Baking has this great video on how to measure flour accurately.