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Helen Underwood’s pitta

Flatbread pockets that can be made with strong or plain flour.

Photo © Helen Underwood

Photo © Helen Underwood

This recipe was published in April 2020 as part of the Real Bread Campaign's #LockdownLoafers initiative.


Makes 12

600g  White bread or plain flour
15g Fresh yeast (or 7g dried)
300g Tepid water
2tbsp Olive oil
10g Fine sea salt


If you don’t have fresh yeast, follow the instructions on the packet for activation. Otherwise, add all of the ingredients to a bowl and, using a dough scraper or your hands, bring the mixture together into a rough dough. Take out of the bowl and knead/work for about 10 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Place back in a bowl dusted lightly with flour, cover and rest for an hour at room temperature.

After about an hour or so, remove the dough and divide into quarters. Take each quarter, squash it a little, then divide into three pieces and form each into a small ball with a tight seam underneath. Each piece should finish up as a smooth ball, with no edges or rough bits showing. Cover once more and leave to rest for a further 15 minutes.

Heat your oven to 240-250°C, with a heavy-duty baking sheet or baking stone in place.

Take the first four balls and roll out into ovals of even thickness and about 20cm long. Place them on a peel (lightly dusted with flour, semolina or rice flour) and scoot onto the baking sheet/stone, or on a silicone sheet that can be slid onto it.

Bake for about five minutes. They should puff up but not take much, if any colour. Remove from the oven and tear the corner off one to check it’s baked through. If it’s still doughy, put them back in for another minute or two. Otherwise, cover them with a linen or cotton cloth to keep them soft and pliable while you cook the remaining two batches.

When cool, they can be kept in an airtight container for several days. Alternatively, freeze them to use when needed – just pop the frozen pitta in the toaster, microwave or under a grill for a few minutes until warmed through but not crispy.

Recipe © Helen Underwood /

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder.

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Published Friday 27 March 2020

Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.

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