If Neolithic man could make flat bread, odds are just about all of us can too. If you’re convinced you’re one of those people who’s simply not capable of making palatable bread, your self-image is about to change. The formula is:
16 ounces unbleached all-purpose (AP) flour (substitute whole wheat four for up to half if desired)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 1/4 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) olive or vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups (10.5 ounces) lukewarm water
Combine all the ingredients except the water in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and stir on low to combine. Add the water and continue stirring until all the ingredients are moist, about 30 seconds. Switch to a dough hook and knead 5-7 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Let rise in an oiled bowl for an hour, or for the best flavor, immediately refrigerate the dough overnight.
When you’re ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up for about half an hour. Remove the higher racks in your oven and place a baking stone on the lowest one. Preheat it to 550. Turn the dough out of the bowl and divide it into nine 3-ounce pieces. Roll each into a ball according to the bun shaping instructions under the How to Shape Buns and Rolls tutorial over to the right. Let them rest for 20- 30 minutes. Roll out to circles about 7 inches across. Let rest about 10 minutes.
When ready, simply pick up a pita and drop it onto the baking stone. Bake it for 2-3 minutes, until it puffs up, then gently, with tongs, turn it over. Bake another two minutes or so, until the breads achieve the desired color (the lighter the pitas, the more tender and flexible they’ll be…I like mine a little darker for flavor). Cool and eat.