Pita bread can be eaten when the bread is still hard, but it is more delicious when it is soft. Pita bread is a great addition to any meal, especially sandwiches. Softened pita bread makes it easier to take a bite, but it can be time-consuming. If you don’t have time to wait, I will show you how to soften pita bread in the oven, fryer, and microwave.
To soften pita bread:
- Moisten a large, soft cloth with hot water.
- Dampen both sides of the pita bread.
- Put the dampened pita bread into a plastic bag.
- Close the bag and seal it with a twist tie or bag clamp.
- Heat the bagged pita bread in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Open the bag and serve.
Also, you can soften the pita by heating it a little longer than usual or by placing it in an airtight bag with wet paper towels overnight.
What Is Pita Bread?
Pita is a kind of bread made with special flour with a slightly higher amount of gluten. The dough is kneaded, shaped into balls, rolled out into rounds, and baked.
The pita lies flat while it’s baking but then, as the moisture is released from the interior and expands inside the loaf, the bread balloons and splits.
It originated in Western Asia and Egypt and is used to make sandwiches, similar to how tortillas are used in Mexico. Also, it is used in the eastern Mediterranean, Balkan countries, and Africa, especially in East African cuisine.
The English and French names are spelled pita in American English and Canadian English; other spellings found occasionally are pitta (in British English) or pytta.
How to Soften Pita Bread
The best way to soften pita bread and other hard bread to make it as fresh as new is by turning on the oven. There are some other ways too. So here is a step-by-step guide.
How to Soften Pita Bread in the Oven
Freshly baked pita bread is delicious, but it tends to harden once it cools. If you have a few leftover pitas that are too tough to chew, you can soften them up in the oven.
First, place the pita bread in the oven and let them heat up for a few minutes until they’re soft enough to eat. Then, wrap it loosely in foil and heat it in a 350°F regular or convection oven for five minutes. Or drape the wrapped pita over your oven rack for one to two minutes. Be careful not to over-toast it (it will get crisp) or leave it in too long (or it will dry out).
Whether you’re looking to get perfectly soft, fluffy pita or toasting your pitas to perfection, an oven is one of the best and safest ways to accomplish either task.
How to Soften Pita Bread in the Microwave
You can soften pita bread relatively quickly in the microwave for a quick snack. Just gather your microwave, paper towels, and pita bread to get started.
The best way to soften up a pita bread is to wrap it in a paper towel and dampen it before heating it in the microwave for 20 seconds. Then, put your pita bread in the microwave and heat it for 20-25 seconds max. You don’t want to heat it up too long as this will dry out your pita bread.
You don’t want to heat it too long as this will dry out your pita bread.
How to Soften Pita Bread in the Air Fryer
Softening pita bread in the air fryer is very simple. Just preheat the air fryer on 260F for 3-4 minutes. This process does not require any oil, making it healthier than softening it in the oven, and of course, this method is much faster and easier than warming it up over a stove.
Once you take your pita bread out from the air fryer, let them sit for at least 30 seconds so that they can cool down to a temperature that is comfortable for handling.
However, the outcomes may vary depending on your particular air fryer, how it is calibrated and when it was made.
How to Soften Pita Bread on Stovetop
There are a few ways to soften pita bread on the stovetop. The microwave is usually the fastest way to soften pita bread, but sometimes you need to soften several pieces at once or don’t have a microwave handy.
If this is the case, use one of these easy techniques for softening your pita bread:
- Toast the bread in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat—oast the bread over an open flame on your gas stovetop.
- Heat the bread on an electric stovetop using an electric coil burner.
- Heat the bread in a regular oven set to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about two minutes, until softened.
Softening pita bread on the stovetop is easy and maybe an option if you don’t want to heat your oven or have an oven.
Whichever method you choose, be sure not to overheat the pita, or it will become even harder to chew.
How to Prepare Pita Bread
You can prepare pita bread in many ways. It is best to have a pita oven to prepare them. If you don’t have a pita oven, you can use your kitchen oven and bake the pitas.
To cook pita bread on a griddle or large skillet, preheat an ungreased griddle or skillet over medium heat. Then, lay the pita circle on top of the hot surface and cook each side until they puff up, about 30 seconds per side. They should start to bubble on the top and bottom and be golden-brown when they’re done.
To prepare pita bread in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
- Carefully place the pita bread on a cutting board and make two cuts from the edge to the center of the bread.
- Try not to cut all the way through.
- Repeat four times, so you have eight wedges of bread.
- Apply olive oil on both sides, and then sprinkle some salt.
- Bake for about five minutes until slightly crispy.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately and if you are not ready to eat it, then store in an airtight container.
However, an authentic pita recipe is easy to make at home, and the results are well worth the effort. With a simple dough made of flour, water, salt, and yeast, you can bake several flatbreads perfect for dipping into hummus or using as pocket bread for sandwiches. Plus, pita can be frozen to enjoy later in the week.
How to Keep Pita Bread Soft and Warm
There are many methods for keeping your pita bread warm and soft. The most common methods involve heating in a conventional oven, oven, or microwave. You can also use the menu method to keep pita bread warm.
If you want to keep pita bread soft and warm:
- Use an oven.
- Put pita bread in an airtight plastic bag or wrap it in foil.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and then place the wrapped pita in the oven for 5-7 minutes. The pita should be warm when you remove it from the oven.
Meanwhile, If your pita bread has turned stale, don’t throw it out. Instead, warm it in the oven or microwave to revive its freshness. To keep pita bread fresh and soft, store it in an airtight container or put it directly into the refrigerator.
How to Warm Pita Bread for Gyros
One of the best ways to warm pita bread for gyros is either in a skillet over medium heat or in an oven. Once the pita bread has warmed and you can fit a spatula under it, it is ready to use.
To warm pita bread for gyros. Just cut the pita in half along the equator, brush with olive oil, spread out on a baking sheet, and toast in a 350-400 degree heat oven for about 3 minutes. The pita will puff up and fill the baking sheet.
Meanwhile, to preserve the texture and pliability of the pita, we suggest lightly steaming it and then warming it in a dry pan or the oven. It can be done by adding a bit of water to the bottom of a deep skillet and bringing it to a simmer. Next, place the pita in the pan with the wet cloth, turn off the heat, tightly cover, and let sit for 1-2 minutes. Remove wet cloth before serving. Warmed pitas can also be heated in a toaster or under the broiler.
Once warm, pita can be used for making thin pocketless sandwiches or as an appetizer for dip and vegetables.
Every step given in this post on how to soften pita bread depends on which kind of pita bread you buy, but in general, you can pop it in the microwave for roughly ten seconds. If you don’t want to do that, you can use your oven or a toaster oven to heat it up and soften it. You will then be able to squeeze the bread, and it should be soft enough to mold.
- 1 Bowl
- 1 Pan
- 15 oz bread flour
- 3 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- In the bowl of a mixer, combine the yeast, sugar, and water to make the pita bread recipe. Blend until the yeast is dissolved. Wait 5–10 minutes until yeast foams before removing.
- Using the dough hook, mix the flour and salt for 6 to 8 minutes. You might also combine the components by hand.
- The amount of flour required by the dough may vary somewhat from what is specified in the pita bread recipe, depending on the type of flour used. The dough for your pita bread should become an elastic ball and a little bit sticky after some time of mixing.
- When ready, brush the dough with olive oil, set it in a bowl, and wrap it with a kitchen towel and plastic wrap. Until it doubles in size, let it sit in a warm location for at least 20 minutes. For this recipe for pita bread, this step is crucial. The pita bread becomes soft and fluffy after the initial proof. If it’s winter, warm up the oven for a minute or two before turning it off and letting the dough rise there.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and use your hands to gently deflate it. If it is excessively sticky, help yourself with a little flour. Divide into 6 equal-sized balls that weigh around 145g/ 5 oz apiece.
- Prior to shaping, give the pita bread balls a 15-minute rest. The dough will relax and become simpler to shape during this second proof.
- Use a rolling pin to shape the pita bread, or stretch it into a 20 cm circle with your hands. While hand stretching results in a softer, fluffier pita, rolling a pita will yield one that is crunchier. If the dough rebounds, wait a few minutes for it to rest before rolling it again.
- Pita bread can be given a more traditional appearance by pressing down firmly with your hands to create dimples or by poking holes in the top with a fork.
- A nonstick frying pan should be heated to medium heat before adding a small amount of olive oil and removing any leftover oil for a quicker baked pita. Each pita bread should be baked for about 3 minutes on each side, until soft and faintly coloured. To keep the moisture within during baking, if your pan has a lid, put it on.
- Use steam to make the pita for it to be fluffier. A piece of aluminium foil should be cut to fit your pan. Olive oil should be liberally distributed and sprinkled over it. Your pita should be shaped and put on the foil. Over medium-low heat, pour a generous amount of water into your plan; it should instantly begin to steam! Immediately place your pita inside and cover with the lid. Steam it for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove it, turn it over, and cook it for an additional two to three minutes on the foil.
- When you flip your pita bread, lightly press it with a wooden spoon on the pan to give it additional colour.