Gluten Free Pita Bread

Over a year ago I tried to make gluten free pita bread, but was under the misconception that rising them prior to rolling would be fruitless. Now that I’ve experimented more, I know this not to be the case. When someone recently asked me for a yeast-free pita bread recipe, it was a reminder that I needed to give them another go. And I’m absolutely thrilled how they turned out. I don’t know if it’s because it’s been about 10 years since I’ve had one or not, but they taste like gluten pita bread to me! This recipe was adapted from its gluten cousin Pita Bread Recipe on About.com. You can serve this pita bread with hummus dip, or use it as substitute for gluten free bread, as I did in one of the images below, with chicken salad. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Currently, I use my Gluten Free Naan Recipe (Indian Flatbread) for pita bread as they are amazing as you will see by their reviews. In addition, they are so simple to make!

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Gluten Free Pita Bread

Rating: 51

Yield: Makes 8 - 10 6-inch pita breads.

Gluten Free Pita Bread

An easy gluten free pita bread recipe; is also dairy-free; and made by hand mixing; bakes up in about 6 minutes. They don't taste gluten free at all!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water, heated to 110°F
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch + more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°F.
  2. Add honey to warm water; stir to dissolve; add yeast; stir to moisten; set aside until foamy on top, about 5 minutes or longer.
  3. Add dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl; whisk well to combine.
  4. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture; pour in yeast mixture and add egg whites.
  5. Lightly flour a surface with potato starch; with lightly dusted hands, knead dough until smooth and no longer sticky. You may also knead it in your hands once it's not so sticky.
  6. Oil a large bowl with oil; roll the dough around the bowl to coat; cover with plastic wrap or a lid; turn oven off; place bowl in oven, with door open about 6-inches, to rise for about 45 minutes.
  7. Pinch off pieces,about 1/3 cup; roll into balls; allow to rise for approximately 10 minutes.
  8. Place oven rack on lower shelf; add baking sheet to lower shelf; preheat oven to 500°F.
  9. With a rolling pin (I used a pastry roller), roll each ball out to about 6-inch disks, between 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick, tapering the edges. If you'd prefer the ends to be all even, lie a saucer over the top of the dough and trace around it with a knife. (I suggest testing out a single or small one first, about 3 - 4-inches, before baking an entire batch.)
  10. Using a large spatula or 2 spatulas (I used a pizza spatula), transfer a few disks onto the preheated pizza stone (or baking sheet); bake for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up and is lightly brown in a few areas on the bottom.
  11. Turn each one over; bake for an additional 2 minutes. Bake the first side a little longer if you desire them to brown a bit (in spots).
  12. Immediately place in the pita bread in a ziplocked bag and seal closed. This allows the steam released to soften the pita bread. They will deflate on their own.
  13. Repeat above process with remaining disks.
  14. Once they are softened in the bag, which takes about 1 - 2 minutes, slice them in half or just take 1/3 off the top; slice portions open that are not already split; stuff them with your favorite filling. Or make larger ones and cut them in quarters to dip in hummus.
  15. Freeze any unused pita bread; and defrost at room temperature or microwave on low.

Tips

I find the thinner you make them, the more they puff. However, it takes a really hot surface to cause them to puff up. You will find the same rings true for frying dough.

The next time I try these, (and that will be very soon) I am going to add a little oil to the wet ingredients to see if it helps in browning. Tapioca starch usually does this, but potato and cornstarch do not brown as well.

http://glutenfreerecipebox.com/gluten-free-pita-bread/

This entry was posted in Additive-Free, Bread, Casein-Free, Corn-Free, Gluten Free Recipes, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes, Kids, Lunch, Nut-Free, Soy-Free. Bookmark this blog post.

21 Responses to Gluten Free Pita Bread

  1. Barbara says:

    I have a corn allergy so I can’t use cornstarch. What would you suggest I use in place of that? Can I just use more potato starch or will that change the texture?

  2. Julie says:

    I had trouble with them poofing in the oven also. I used a pizza stone, preheated. Did I roll too thin or is there some trick that eludes me?

    • Hi Julie,

      They should become bubbly. Some portions stick together and others bubble up and separate. I am not sure how thin you rolled them, but I can’t imagine them being too thin, as that is difficult to do unless you used a lot of starch to roll them in. The more starch you use on the floured surface, the tougher they will become.

      I hope this helps you!
      Carla

  3. Libby says:

    Hi,
    I’m wheat, rice and corn intolerant. Is there another flour that could be used in place of the rice flour? I don’t have a problem w/tapioca flour. Thanks.

    Also, love your site. I’ve just now discovered it and am exploring everything, you’re very generous with your knowledge, thank you for that.

    Best,
    Libby

    • Hi Libby,

      You can try substituting the rice flour for sorghum flour, however, rice flour puffs up much more than sorghum. It’s really hard to replace it.

      I share what I know because I remember having so much trouble figuring out the purpose of each new gluten free ingredient I discovered.

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying my site. I’m looking forward to communicating with you in the near future!

      Carla

  4. Crys says:

    I tried and tried… Two batches one day after another and my pitas didn’t puff, bubble, separate, not to mention they were hard as a rock. Any ideas? My yeast activated and there was foam on top, my original dough ball had risen, but the pinched off dough balls didn’t do much rising.
    I made a good thing out of a bad one and froze the pita circles and used them for gf personal pizza crusts. I may use up the rest of my flour *maybe it was damp* and make some pretzles with this dough. It did kinda taste like the inside of a fresh baked pretzel. I just need to figure out how to get that brown buttery outside without using butter… As I am intolerant.

    • Crys,

      Sorry to hear you’re having problems. Using a pizza stone is the best method. I read on several other sites that others had success with using a baking sheet. So, I added it. Did you use baking sheet or pizza stone? Either way, you need to preheat the baking sheet or pizza stone well. I had one batch not puff up when the pizza stone cooled off. They were tough and not puff up, as well, but not hard as a rock.

      Great thinking on the mini pizzas!

      You may brush each disk with a little olive oil before baking to assist in browning. I noticed when I had one in spot of the pizza stone that had some oil on it, that one browned nicely.

      Hope these tips help.

      Carla

      • Crys says:

        Thank you for replying. I had been using a cast iron skillet turned up side down. This was my husbands suggestion and I figured it was the next best thing to a pizza stone, as my baking sheets can’t go in an oven that hot. I have those silly dual lined baking sheets so your cookies don’t brown on the bottom. One thing i did was bake the pita for 6 minutes on the first side but there was no puffing anyway. That might have been what made them hard. I wonder if i was not kneeding the dough enough? I’m so used to reading that gf bread dough is more like a batter. Would you say that your dough is the consistency of gluten dough when you are kneading it? I, also, was rolling the dough as thin as I could; between 1/8 and 1/4” thick. There was excess tapioca starch that was still powdery on the surface after it was cooked. So maybe i am incorporating too much starch when i am kneading.

        • Hi Crys,

          You’re very welcome.

          I neglected to add how much flour to add when rolling. I will update that now. I create so many recipes, I honestly do not recall how much I used in this recipe. By the photo above, it appears I lightly floured the rolling surface. I always use starch, not flour. Tapioca starch is the worst starch to use for rolling, as it creates a chewy texture, and may be the reason for your hard pita bread, especially if you used a lot. Try potato starch next time, if you can tolerate it.

          I assumed tapioca starch and potato starch would work okay in this recipe, however, perhaps not. I’ll remove the suggested substitutes, as I used potato starch and cornstarch. Sorry if that was the reason behind your failure.

          I suggest just baking one pita bread using potato and cornstarch, and if it doesn’t work out well, adjust the amount of starch you use. If I remember correctly, the dough is between a soft gluten free bread dough and gluten pie dough.

          Let me know how it goes. If you can get a pizza stone that would be best.

          Carla

  5. Leanne says:

    Quick question – I live in Australia and can readily get potato flour and tapioca flour but is the potato and tapioca starch different to potato and tapioca flour?

    • Hi Leanne,

      In the U.S. tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same thing. Different manufacturers call them by different names. However, in the U.S. potato starch and potato flour are completely different. I read on another blog that in Australia they use the names potato starch and potato flour for what we call in the U.S. potato starch. Our potato starch in the U.S. is fine white powder. Our potato flour is closer to a rice flour, and is light yellow in color.

      I hope this clarifies things for you.

      Carla

  6. Harriet says:

    Can’t wait for the yeast free version. Maybe even some naan? I am so bread deprived it isn’t funny! Thanks Carla! I know you’ll get there soon!

  7. Cynthia says:

    Find any gluten and yeast free?

    Thanks!

  8. Jo Anna says:

    Is the temperature a typo? It just seems low, but I am new to gluten free baking.

    Thanks,
    Jo Anna

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