pita on the stovetop

click on image to see more photos of making pita on the stovetop

pita cooking on stovetop (photo ejm Feb2006) On Saturday, we decided to see if pita bread could be cooked on the stovetop. And as it happens, it can. In fact one has more control and the pita turns out even better.

We used our tava but I would think a cast iron frying pan would work just as well. Note that the pan is not oiled.

I rolled out two discs before we started cooking the bread. As I was rolling out the second disc, T heated the tava over medium high heat. As I continued rolling out the rest of the dough, T placed the first uncooked disc on the unoiled hot tava. Almost immediately, little bubbles appeared and the pita rather quickly took on a uniform lighter colour. The half cooked pita was turned over and left for about 30 seconds or so to continue cooking on the other side. Then using tongs, T moved the pita from the tava to rack over med high to high heat. T continued using the tongs to move and turn the pita around on rack so it puffed all over.

As he did that, I interrupted my rolling to slap the second disc onto the tava.

Sometimes, if great care isn’t taken with the tongs, a little hole will appear to deflate the pita. When that happened, T tried as best he could to seal the hole with the tongs so that the rest of the pita could continue to puff. Once the first pita was done, T moved it onto a plate on the counter and covered it with a large lid. He then began to attend to the disc that was on the tava.

And so we continued with eight discs. I was rolling frantically trying to get done before discs 7 and 8 were finished so that I could photograph the procedure. It really doesn’t take long to cook pita!

It is a bit more fiddly to cook pita on the stovetop but we think it might use a little less energy because the oven doesn’t need to be turned on. And the final result was great. The pita were lovely and soft. The pita were so inviting that on Sunday morning we were forced to have hard boiled eggs and chili paste again. Fabulous!!
 

5 comments about “pita on the stovetop

  1. bingo

    Great series of photographs, especially where the pita is gradually puffing up until it’s completely puffed.

    It sounds very exciting to make; and sounds wonderful to eat. Maybe next weekend I’ll give it a try. One of our favourite lunches is falafels + tabbouleh + tahini on pita. Having fresh pita would make it fabulous.

    You mention that you don’t need to turn on the oven, but one of the pictures shows them in the oven … was the oven not turned on?

  2. ejm Post author

    The oven really isn’t at all necessary. Oops. I guess I didn’t label the photograph page correctly. It shows two separate cooking days. The first section at the top of the photograph page are photos taken on a day that we used the oven to cook the pita. The second section below the words “pitas can also be cooked on the stovetop” are photos taken on the day that we cooked all the pita on the stovetop.

    And yes, freshly made pita is great! I hope it turns out for you… mmmm felafel… what a good idea.

  3. bing

    I confess that I usually use a mix (Cedar brand http://www.cafearabica.com/store/merchant.ihtml?pid=107&lastcatid=23&step=4). You just add water and let it sit for a couple of hours, then form the mixture into pucks and fry in about a quarter inch of oil. They’re pretty good baked, too.

    But we have made them from scratch too. You have to use dried beans, not canned. You soak chickpeas and fava beans overnight, then grind them up to a coarse meal, then add finely chopped onion garlic and parsley, toasted & ground cumin and coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper.

    We _were_ going to have falafels and pita today, but changed our minds in favour of leftover dal and naan from last night. Maybe next week, and maybe I’ll make them from scratch.

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