How to Make Turkish Pita Bread
- 1 tablespoon active dry or moist fresh yeast (crumbled)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1-¾ cups warm water (110°F)
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup milk
- 1-½ tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon black caraway seeds
- Cornmeal, for dusting
- In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar, and ½ cup of warm water. Stir and dissolve the yeast well. Let the mixture stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes, until frothy.
- Sift 1 cup of flour into a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and stir well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for 30 minutes, until the mixture has the texture of a sponge. Sift the remaining flour onto this mixture. Add the salt and remaining 1 ¼ cups warm water, and stir well.
- Turn out the dough onto a cool, lightly-floured work surface (preferably marble), and sprinkle it with flour. Dust your fingers with flour so they won’t stick to the dough, and knead the dough for 10 minutes until it’s firm and not sticky. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Let it rest for 1 hour, or until the dough doubles in size.
- Heat the oven to 450°F. Place a pizza stone or quarry tile on the middle rack of the oven.
- Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently punch out the air and flatten the dough. Form the dough into a cylinder, and then cut it into 4 equal pieces with a sharp knife. Shape each piece into a ball, then press each ball with the heel of your palm to flatten it. Cover the dough balls with a damp cloth and let them rest for 20 minutes.
- Use the heel of your palm to flatten each piece of dough some more, and then roll it out into an 8-inch circle, with the outer edge of each round approximately ½-inch thick.
- For the glaze, lightly beat together the egg and the milk. Dip your fingertips into the egg glaze and press it firmly all over each round of dough, dipping your fingertips back into the glaze as necessary. Sprinkle each round with the sesame seeds and the caraway seeds.
- Sprinkle cornmeal over the pizza stone or onto a baker’s peel. Arrange the rounds of dough on the stone and bake the bread in batches for about 10 minutes each batch. The bread will be lightly golden on top when they are done. Serve warm.