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Making homemade Middle Eastern flatbread is so much easier than you think, and you’ll never go back to the stuff in bags again, guaranteed!

The perfect, easy, user-friendly pita recipe. It took a few tries to get it just right, but now I’ve got it down, I’ll happily pass it along to you.

This is a basic, no skills required bread, but even though it’s a simple process, you’ll still get that primal thrill when you turn flour and water into pillowy rounds of soft, warm bread. Rip it, cut it, fold it, wrap it, or stuff it — it’s a wonderfully versatile bread.

The supermarket brands are usually dry and cardboard ~ ish. This bread is soft and chewy. I’m going to be using the word soft a lot, I can tell, but that’s what I love about it. For this first recipe I’m sticking with all-purpose flour, I think it makes a more appealing pita.

I used my stand mixer for the 5 minutes of kneading, and that made the whole process a breeze. That kneading turns a sticky blob into an elastic dough that rolls out easily. Use the same principle you would for pie dough; you want to start with a round disk, and roll from the center out, constantly shifting your rolling pin around the circle to keep it even. You might not get a perfect circle, it doesn’t matter at all.

The dough cooks right on the stovetop, on a hot griddle or pan, in just a couple of minutes. Get the pan hot, at medium-high heat, and leave it there. My gas burner goes from 1 to 7, and I kept it at mark 5. The dramatic puffing that you see is a little unreliable…sometimes it puffs, sometimes it doesn’t, but the bread is great either way.

The puffing is what makes the inner pocket so that you can cut it and open it up, but I don’t generally use my pita that way. You may prefer the thicker, ‘pocketless’ version. The minute they come off the heat you wrap them in a clean kitchen towel. The steam softens the bread and gives it the perfect texture.

When they’re cool, store them in zip lock bags.