On a blue and white striped tablecloth sits a red plate with cucumbers, tomatoes and a cut in half pita pocket. One half is stuffed with cheese and sprouts, the other is open to show the pocket. Overlay text says How Do Pita Pockets Get The Pocket

How To Make Pita Pockets

Getting kids in the kitchen learning how food is made is a fantastic way to teach them some fascinating chemistry while they learn important life skills. The best part, these homemade meals taste so much better than store bought and they save you a ton of money. All things that will help set up kids for success in the future financially and health wise. Plus, kids are fascinated by kitchen science. Like the burning question, “How do pita pockets get their pockets?” We are about to find the answer!

Pita Pocket Recipe

On a blue plate against a white background sits a pita pocket cut in half. The top one is stuffed with sprouts and cheddar, the bottom is stuffed with cucumbers and tomatoes. Overlay text says Pita Pockets Kitchen Science and Recipe for Kids

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Have you ever had pita pockets? I grew up eating these pockets of yum! They were the perfect solution for a kid that was always on the run. My parents would pack those little bread pockets with cheese, meats, a few veggies and my favourite, sprouts, and send me on my way. Food in hand, onto another great adventure.

But I’ve always wondered, how do they get the pocket in there?

I mean, the bread is solid on the outside, but cut it in half and it opens up revealing the perfect pocket for stuffing tasty goodies into.

It’s like bread magic!

Or kitchen science, which is just as magical!

On a blue and white striped tablecloth sits a red plate with cucumbers, tomatoes and a cut in half pita pocket. One half is stuffed with cheese and sprouts, the other is open to show the pocket. Overlay text says How Do Pita Pockets Get The Pocket

How Do Pita Pockets Get Their Pockets?

The answer is a combination of heat and moisture. While baking pita pockets the outside of the dough starts to heat and crisp, while moisture is trapped inside where it turns to steam. We know gas takes up more space and expands. That’s exactly what happens inside our homemade pitas. The steam is a gas that pushes out against the walls of the dough blowing it up like a balloon. Since the outer shell of the pita is already crisping up and has gluten which is elastic, it resists rupturing, creating that perfect little pocket inside.

When you remove your delicious fresh baked pitas from the oven they will deflate as the steam inside cools. But sometimes that crisp outer layer takes on the expanded shape as it is baking and keeps a bit of the puffed up look.

Either way, your homemade pita pockets will taste amazing!

PITA RECIPE

Ingredients & Supplies

This will make 4 pitas.

A large cookie sheet
A large bowl
Rolling pin
Bread mat or board
2 cups of bread flour
1 cup of water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp of yeast
1 tsp of salt

Fox Run 4050 Marble Rolling Pin and Base, White[Thickness Upgrade] Silicone Baking Mat with Measurements, Amytalk Thicken, Heat Resistance, Reusable Non-Stick Pastry Mat Non Slip Rolling Mat Dough Board Dough Kneading Mat, Blue, Easy CleanKing Arthur Flour 100%s Organic Unbleached Bread Flour, 5 Pound

 

How to make pitas

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl ( no need to knead!!) until all the ingredients come together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the mixture rise for about 1 to 2 hours until it doubles in size.

Turn the mixture out onto a floured board and divide it into 4 balls. Rolling and flattening them with your hands until they are smooth disks. Let them rest for 30 minutes so they can rise again.

Take each disk and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about ¼ inch thick and 6  inches in diameter.

Place them on a cookie sheet and allow them to rest for 45 minutes.  You may need to do two at a time if your cookie sheet is smaller.

Meanwhile heat the oven to 475 F (250 C).

Bake the pitas until they puff up about 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool while wrapped in a clean tea towel.

The tea towel will help prevent the pita pockets from drying out too much during the cooling period. If they become too dry they will crack when you try and open them up. The tea towel will trap just enough moisture to keep them soft and pliable. Don’t put them in plastic. Your pitas will get soggy.

When you are ready to eat, slice them in half to reveal the pockets and stuff them with your favourite fixings.

What to put in Pita Pockets

Growing up my favourite way to eat pita pockets was with a sprinkle of cheese, some veggies like cucumber, chopped peppers, and tomatoes, and a handful of sprouts. Add a drizzle of mustard and I was set!

Now I like to get a bit more adventurous. We love making pizza pitas, filled with mozzarella, pepperoni and pizza sauce. Or one of my favourites is falafels or hummus, so good!

Of course, you can also fill them with your favourite sandwich fixins for a delicious sandwich with minimal bread.

I highly recommend doing this kitchen science pita making project with the kids, then filling up your pitas and heading out for a picnic! They will have so much fun!

On a blue striped table cloth sits and orange plate with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and a pita pocket cut in half. One side is stuffed with cheese and sprouts. Overlay text says How Do Pita Pockets Get their Pockets? Kitchen Science and Recipe for Kids

More BREAD science for kids

Irish Soda Bread
The science behind a loaf of bread
Delicious and easy bannock recipe

Pita Pockets

Learn the secret behind how pitas get their pockets, plus make delicious pitas with this easy recipe.

Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 pitas

Supplies

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl ( no need to knead!!) until all the ingredients come together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the mixture rise for about 1 to 2 hours until it doubles in size.

  2. Turn the mixture out onto a floured board and divide it into 4 balls. Rolling and flattening them with your hands until they are smooth disks. Let them rest for 30 minutes so they can rise again.

  3. Take each disk and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about ¼ inch thick and 6  inches in diameter.

  4. Place them on a cookie sheet and allow them to rest for 45 minutes.  You may need to do two at a time if your cookie sheet is smaller.

  5.  Heat the oven to 475 F (250 C).

  6. Bake the pitas until they puff up about 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool while wrapped in a clean tea towel.

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