The children were nestled, all snug in their beds, while visions of vegan pita bread danced in their heads…
Are we confusing the popular ‘The Night Before Christmas‘ poem with a pleasing pita bread recipe? Possibly. But, you have to admit, there are times when you dream of warm, soft, pillowy pockets waiting to be filled with heaps of hummus and a variety of veggies.
Pitas are particularly useful when you’re eating on the run or just can’t be bothered to use a plate. They’re super handy, incredibly tasty, and even more heavenly homemade. If you’ve never tried making pita bread from scratch, this is totally the time to try it. Grab your skillet and let’s puff up these perky little pockets from the Beyond Chopped Liver cookbook by Kenden Alfond!
What Is the Difference Between Naan and Pita Bread?
That’s a great question! Although both are flatbreads made from a basis of flour, active dry yeast, water, and salt, there are a few differences:
- Naan traditionally includes dairy yogurt or egg in the bread dough. These added ingredients give the dough a thicker texture when cooked. (You could always use a vegan yogurt or plant-based egg substitute to make your own naan.)
- Naan is baked in the oven, while pita bread is usually made in a skillet on the stove top.
- Pita pockets have less calories on the whole and call for less oil than naan bread.
How to Serve Up Your Vegan Pita Bread
Since pita breads are so very versatile, it’s really fun to come up with festive ways to formulate and fill these puffy pockets. These are only a few of our own ideas––we’d love to hear about your favorite ways to enjoy this stovetop-baked bread!
- Salad Storage – The absolute best solution to salads-on-the-go! Mix up a batch of chickpea tuna salad, potato salad, vegan chicken salad, three bean salad, tabbouleh salad, or even a vegan Greek salad with tofu feta. Throw in a few romaine leaves for added crunch and off you go!
- Simple Sandwich – This one is super easy. Think about whatever you love in a sandwich and just throw it into a pita pocket. How about nut butter and jelly, vegan deli meat and cheese, or a simple hummus with thinly sliced veggies? Quick and really delicious.
- Pita Chip Partay – A favorite snack! When your pita breads are on the brink, baking homemade pita chips is the perfect plan. Cut into triangle pieces (like you would cut a pizza) and lay out on a parchment covered baking sheet. Give them a spritz of spray oil, a few shakes of garlic powder (or cinnamon sugar), and bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Deeelish!
- Sweet & Savory Saves the Day – If you’re thinking that basic pita bread sounds a bit boring, you can jazz it up in more than one way. For a sweeter bread, consider adding finely chopped dried fruit (like currants or raisins), orange zest, or a dash of cinnamon. When savory is more your style, mix in garlic, onions, smoked paprika, or maybe even a little nutritional yeast. Yum!
Craving Some Crunch?
When your food is super soft and squishy, your mouth wants to rebel and demands another texture. Give your delicious pita bread dough a bit of extra bite by adding chopped sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame seeds to the mixture before cooking. You’ll not only gain healthy fats and fiber, but also a little more crunch for your munch.
Because they are homemade and have no preservatives, this homemade vegan pita bread recipe won’t last as long as commercially made pockets. If you store your leftover pitas in a bread box on the countertop, they will last for 2 days. Please do not refrigerate or they will dry out and be as pleasant to eat.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to eat your remaining pitas in that time frame, wrap each one individually securely in plastic wrap (or using a vegan wax wrap) and place in a sealed freezer-safe container. You can freeze them for up to one month.
Equipment You’ll Need
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Clean Kitchen Towel
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Rolling Pin
- Sharp Knife
If you try this Vegan Pita Bread recipe, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Fa
Pita is a yeast-leavened, round flatbread with a puffy pocket, commonly eaten in the Middle East and neighboring countries. It’s made with flour, olive oil, yeast, salt, and a touch of sugar to aid in fermenting. Once you make this bread homemade, you won’t want to go back to store bought. So warm and delicious!
- 2½ cups (300 grams) of all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1½ cups (360 mls) of lukewarm water, divided
- 1½ teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon of light brown sugar
- 1 cup (125 grams) of whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of canola or olive oil
- Combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of lukewarm water with all of the yeast and sugar into a mixing bowl. Mix with a fork.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to ferment for 30 minutes until thick and frothy.
- Add 1 cup of all purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour , ½ cup of lukewarm water, and salt. Fork mix until a sticky dough comes together.
- Transfer to a clean, floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes, gradually adding ½ cup of flour and a teaspoon of olive oil. The dough will become smooth and springy to the touch.
- Shape dough into a ball and place into a mixing bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
- Tip the risen dough onto a floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8-10 equal pieces and form each into a ball with your hands.
- Cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Roll each ball into a flat circle, cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Lightly oil the skillet and heat over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- One at a time, cook pitas in the hot skillet for 1-2 minutes each side until they puff.
Added variations to the end of Step 4:
- Crunch – add chopped pumpkin or sunflower seeds to add flavor, texture, and nutrition
- Sweetness – add chopped raisins or currants, orange zest, or ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- Savory – add chopped, baked garlic, and ½ teaspoon of turmeric for a savory, golden pita
Keywords: pita, bread, homemade bread, diy pita, dairy-free, egg-free bread, vegan, vegetarian, pita pocket
About the Author
Kenden Alfond is a psychotherapist based in Paris, France who started Jewish Food Hero as a community service project to support personal and environmental health. Before she was even a teenager, she decided to become a vegetarian and is now 99% vegan. She created Jewish Food Hero in 2015 to try and get healthier Jewish food onto people’s tables all around the world.
More Jewish-Inspired Recipes To Try:
- Vegan Noodle Kugel
- Latkes With Caramelized Onion
- New York Style Bagels With Vegan Lox
- Coconut Rum Raisin Vegan Tapioca Pudding
- Vegan Matzo Ball Soup
- Passover Matzo Pizza
- Chopped Liver Vegan Style
- Ate Nights of Hanukkah Recipes
- Passover Seder Celebration Ideas
This Vegan Pita Bread recipe was reprinted with permission from the Beyond Chopped Liver: 59 Jewish Recipes Get a Vegan Health Makeover cookbook by Kenden Alfond (Turner Publishing, February 23, 2021). Photography by Rachel Mendelson. Article written by Gina House and edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this article contains affiliate links to help support our work at World of Vegan!