The secret to this delicious sourdough whole wheat pita bread is whole wheat pasty flour! The pastry flour gives you the whole grain goodness without that heavy feeling that whole wheat can sometimes produce in a bread. Bake some these delicious, nutritious pitas up today!
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So, I must admit, pita bread is my second favorite vessel to hold yummy goodies like egg or tuna salads (sourdough English muffins are my personal fave!), but I LOVE the versatility of pita bread! Not only can you stuff the pockets with anything your heart desires, but you can also simply tear it up and dip it into your favorite hummus or olive oil. The combinations of using pita bread are limitless!
History of pita bread
For over 15,000 years, pita bread has been a staple in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions. Original pita bread was made from ancient whole wheat and barley grains that were grown in abundance. Pita bread is traditionally baked at a high temperature which turns the water in the dough into steam that causes the dough to puff and form the infamous pocket.
Pita is different than flatbread in that pita is often made with a leaven, such as sourdough or other fermented grains. Flatbread is usually made without a leaven. The air-filled pocket that is associated with pita bread is from that leaven. There are many stories on how pita bread got its name, but they all refer back to it resembling a “pocket” or pitta.
One of the first pita recipes involved combining ancient grain flour and water and leaving it sit to absorb wild yeasts in the environment. Could this be the first sourdough?
What is whole wheat pastry flour?
While regular whole wheat comes from the hard wheat berry, whole wheat pastry flour is made from soft white wheat berries and ground to a fine consistency. The soft wheat berry contains lower protein content than its hard counterpart, yet still retains the nutrients of the bran and germ. Whole wheat pastry flour produces a more tender and fluffier baked item than regular whole wheat flour.
Sourdough whole wheat pita bread nutrition
Sourdough whole wheat pita bread has lower salt content than regular bread. It is also lower in carbohydrates and saturated fat because of less surface area of bread content. Whole wheat pita is chock full of nutritious fiber that aids in healthy digestion and keeps you feeling full longer. One serving of whole wheat pita bread delivers approximately 160 calories, 30 grams carbohydrates, and 4 grams of dietary fiber.
How to use sourdough whole wheat pita bread
Historically, pita was used as a serving vessel for other foods like a plate or spoon. Pita is still used this way in many Mediterranean dishes. Known for its “pocket” inside, pita bread is used to hold delicious meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Pita bread can also be used as a wrap for gyros and sausage sandwiches.
Pitas can be cut into wedges and baked until crispy. These are wonderful for dipping into your favorite hummus, tzatziki, taboulehor, or baba ganoush. Wedges can also be used to scoop up a warm, chunky soup. Pitas are the perfect street food because you can pack that pocket with nutritious veggies and savory meats and take it on the go!
Ingredients to make sourdough whole wheat pita bread
- 1-cup fed sourdough or levain
- 1 1/2-cups warm water
- 1-teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2-cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2-cups all purpose flour
Combine starter and water until starter is mostly dissolved
Add salt, both flours and combine to form a shaggy dough. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Dump dough onto a floured surface and pull each corner up to stretch and folding it into the center. Repeat all four corners two times around. Cover with the bowl and allow to rest 15 minutes.
Repeat the process. The dough should become smooth and pliable. Place the dough into the bowl, cover and allow to bulk rise for 3-5 hours or until double in size.
Roll each ball to approximately 1/4″ thickness, or 6″ diameter rounds. Place each disc onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Cover with a tea towel and allow the pita discs to rise for about one hour or until slightly puffy. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Bake pita rounds 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.
What’s your favorite way to eat pita bread? Pita is truly one of the most versatile breads known worldwide. This recipe also freezes beautifully! Simply pop one out and either defrost in the microwave or allow to sit on the counter for 15 minutes and you will have a bread that’s ready to be filled to the gills with anything your heart desires!
Save it for later!
Sourdough Whole Wheat Pita Bread
- 1 cup Fed active sourdough
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- Combine water to sourdough starter and mix until starter dissolves
- Add salt, flour, and combine to form a shaggy dough. Cover and allow dough to rest for 30 minutes
- Dump dough onto a floured surface and pull each corner to stretch. Fold onto center of dough. Repeat with all four corners of dough two times around. Cover dough with bowl and allow to rest 15 minutes.
- Repeat the process as above. The dough should become smooth and pliable. Place the dough into the bowl, cover and allow to bulk rise for 3-5 hours or until double in size.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and divide into eight equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball.
- Roll each ball to approximately 1/4" thickness, or 6" diameter rounds. Place each disc onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cover with a tea towel and allow the pita discs to rise for about one hour or until slightly puffy. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake pita rounds 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Allow to cool completely.