How to make the best Israeli pita bread: ingredients, method and tips

Samantha J. Gross
Beef and salmon pitta: Bala Baya

There are lots of Middle Eastern restaurants in the capital, but for Israeli-born chef Eran Tibi, none of them the embodied the cuisine of his homeland.

Earlier this year, Tibi brought his version of Tel Aviv-style eating to London, when he opened Bala Baya in Southwark.

"London is the perfect blend of cultures where people are curious, adventurous and expect excellence," he says. "It's a fantastic way to challenge myself and the team."

Here, the rising star chef shares how to make the best pitta at home:


Strong bread flour x 500g

1 tbsp of salt

2 tsp of sugar

Water x 300g (or ml)

Melted butter (or vegetarian fat like Olivia) x 20g

Dry yeast x 2 sachets (14g)

Eran Tibi


1. Mix bread flour and salt together in a bowl

2. In a separate bowl mix the following:

2 tsp of sugar

Water x 300g (or ml)

Melted butter (or vegetarian fat like Olivia) x 20g

Dry yeast x 2 sachets (14g)

3. Leave this aside for 5-10 mins and wait for bubbles to appear.

4. Create a well in the flour and salt mixture and add the second mixture in a bit at a time, keep kneading this for four minutes slowly and once everything is mixed knead this for another four minutes but faster than the first time.

Upstairs at Bala Baya

5. Place dough into a clean bowl and prove for 45 minutes. Once ready, bash it back down and form about 100g balls for a nice one per person portion or to 60g for two per person portions. Flatten it down with a rolling pin, turning it 90 degrees constantly until a perfect circle forms with about 5-6mm thickness. Cover with a damp cloth quickly as they tend to dry very fast. Let it rest for about 20 minutes.

6. Turn your oven on maximum heat about 250 degrees. Place a dry, clean oven tray in the middle shelf and let it heat up in the oven for a good five minutes.

7. Now it's time to act quickly. Open the oven and take the tray out and shut the oven door quickly to keep the heat. Then flour the hot oven tray, place the pittas on the hot tray and put them back in the oven for five minutes. Then quickly repeat this action flipping them on the other side quickly for a further four minutes.

8. Leave to cool covered with a dry cloth over a cooling rack and pack in a plastic bag to store.


Stuff it with any leftovers! Or add toppings to create the most amazing open sandwich or they’re perfect for mopping up any dips or sauce you love. They’re also freezer friendly and still taste super amazing after being defrosted.

Eran Tibi is head chef at Bala Baya, Arch 25 Old Union Yard Arches, 229 Union St, SE1 0LR;

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