Admittedly, I don’t have a lot of time for baking – or cooking of any kind really – these days. That’s why I love this gluten-free pita bread recipe. They’re fast, and they’re easy. No yeast, no problem. The versatility of gluten-free recipes never ceases to astound me.
Who ever heard of baking powder pita bread anyway? I certainly hadn’t until I found a recipe at Gluten-Free On A Shoestring. Of course, I had to modify it to use my preferred flours, and used a “baking” technique I’d learned to use on yeast and gluten containing pita – that is, they weren’t baked at all – I fried them!
I’ve found that frying them works better for making them “poof”, and, equally as important in this late summer heat, doesn’t heat up the house like the oven does.
The biggest drawback to making baking powder pitas rather than yeast pitas, is that the pockets often don’t fully develope. Not to worry! it’s easy enough to “loosen” the pocket with a sharp knife.
Of course, I admit that during my “loosening” of pockets, I often cut right through them. Er… oops. I guess I need fine motor skill practice?
You’ll note that I include millet flour in the recipe. While I’m a big fan of using cheaper grains, such as rice, I tend to add millet or sorghum in bread recipes because unlike recipes like gluten-free egg noodles, your breads won’t be taking on the flavors of whatever they’re cooked in. Rice is bland! That being said, you can use all rice if you so desire.
Gluten-Free Pita Bread Recipe
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup less 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
- 2 tablespoons of millet or sorghum flour
- 1/2 teaspoon guar or xanthan gum
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 extra-large egg
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup milk
Blend dry ingredients in stand mixer or food processor. Pour in wet ingredients and blend until smooth. You want the dough to be something like chocolate chip cookie dough in consistency. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water.
With wet hands, divide dough into 3 or 4 balls.
Skillet method: heat a lightly greased cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.
- Flatten Pita dough into a round disc. Again, with wet hands – this keeps the dough from sticking to everything without adding dryness.
- Place on the skillet and fry for 3-4 minutes, flip, and fry 3-4 minutes more until nice and brown.
- Remove and cool on wire rack.
I found when making wheat or spelt pittas, putting a lid on the skillet really made them “pop”. Unfortunately, it didnt seem to make a difference with the baking powder variety.
Oven method: pre-heat oven to 400°.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. With wet fingers, shape dough into discs and place 1/2 apart on cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Flip pittas, and bake 5-7 minutes more.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
- With either method: when pitas are cool enough to handle, cut in half, and with a sharp knife, loosen the “pocket”. Stuff with your favorite filling and enjoy!
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