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Gluten Free Pita Bread

Gluten Free Pita Bread

This soft and tender gluten free pita bread is also yeast free, so there’s no rising time. Store-bought gluten free flatbreads simply can’t compare!

This soft and tender gluten free pita bread is also yeast free, so there’s no rising time. Store-bought gluten free flatbreads simply can’t compare!

Without a really good recipe for gluten free pita bread, if you’re gluten free, you’ll never again know the beauty of, say, falafel stuffed into a pita. Or, say, homemade pita chips. This recipe for gluten free pita bread is even a bit more special, since it’s yeast free.

So if you’re feeling shy about baking yeast bread, or you simply have to eat that way, this recipe is going to be quite a relief!

This soft and tender gluten free pita bread is also yeast free, so there’s no rising time. Store-bought gluten free flatbreads simply can’t compare!

Since it’s not made the traditional way, and we aren’t using my recipe for gluten free bread flour from my Gluten Free Bread Book (P.S. there’s a recipe for traditional pita bread in there), these pitas don’t “pop” to create a perfect pocket.

They do, however, puff up quite a bit, enough that we can coax open a pocket with a sharp knife. They’re soft and tender, and almost buttery tasting (even without any butter!).

Expect the pitas to crack a bit along the edges as they puff, since only our gluten free bread flour will give you an even enough rise and a strong enough shell to prevent that cracking. It doesn’t hurt them one bit, though.

This soft and tender gluten free pita bread is also yeast free, so there’s no rising time. Store-bought gluten free flatbreads simply can’t compare!

I tried making this recipe with bread flour, and quite honestly I thought the results weren’t soft and tender enough. Unless you’re using my yeasted recipe in GFOAS Bakes Bread, this recipe will yield the most authentic-tasting, pliable results. Place the warm pitas in a tortilla warmer or seal them, along with a moistened paper towel, in a zip-top bag on the counter for a few hours and they’ll stay that way.

For longer storage, cool them completely, wrap tightly and freeze. Defrost at room temperature and refresh in a hot, cast iron skillet or in the microwave wrapped in a moistened paper towel. But they’re so quick and easy, shouldn’t you just make them fresh??

This soft and tender gluten free pita bread is also yeast free, so there’s no rising time. Store-bought gluten free flatbreads simply can’t compare!
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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 8 pitas

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter), plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

35 grams (about 1/4 cup) Expandex modified tapioca starch*

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon (14g) neutral oil (like vegetable, canola or grapeseed)

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) + 1 egg white (25 g), at room temperature

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature

*For information on where to find Expandex, please see the Resources page. In this particular instance, if you don’t have Expandex,  you can replace it with more all purpose gluten free flour, and increase the liquid amount to 1 cup. The dough will be much more wet, and less formed. Handle this dough with wet hands, divide it into 8 portions, roll each into an approximate ball with wet hands. Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper and spread it into a round about 1/4-inch thick by pressing wet fingers down in a circular motion on the dough. Continue with the recipe as written. 

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400° F. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while the oven preheats. If not, use an overturned rimmed baking sheet.

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or the bowl of your food processor fitted with the steel blade), place the flour, xanthan gum, Expandex, baking powder and salt. Mix (or pulse) to combine. To the dry ingredients, add the oil and then the eggs and milk and beat (or process) the dough until it is very well-combined and parts begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl (about 2 minutes).  The dough should be thick and tacky to the touch.

  • Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface, and sprinkle it very lightly with more flour. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each into a ball by rotating it in a circular motion on a very lightly floured flat surface. Pat each ball into a disk and then, using a rolling pin and flouring the round very lightly to prevent sticking, roll it out into a round a bit less than 1/4-inch thick. Place the disks about 1-inch apart on a piece of unbleached parchment paper. Place the disks on the parchment in the oven (on top of the baking stone or overturned baking sheet) and allow to bake for 2 minutes. Working quickly, open the oven and invert the pitas. Allow them to bake for 1 minute and then reinvert and bake until puffed and very pale golden on top (another minute).

  • Remove the pitas from the oven, and allow to cool for about 3 minutes, or until they can be handled. Slice each round in half through the center. With a very sharp knife, gently coax open the center of each pita half. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • This recipe was originally published on the blog in 2011, and a version of it is in my second book, Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy.

Love,
Nicole

  • Amanda Hockham via Facebook

    SO making these this weekend!!!

    Thanks, Nicole!

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.hoagland Heather Hoagland via Facebook

    I must make these! =D Do you know if these freeze well being GF and all?

  • Sarah D

    Mmmmm….falafel. I LOVE falafel. You MUST have a good recipe. Share? I can’t wait to make these! Our favorite is Shish Tawouk over rice, quinoa, or pita. Yum!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Sarah,
      I had to look up Shish Tawouk. That sounds really lovely.
      I do have a great falafel recipe. It’s adapted from this one on epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/My-Favorite-Falafel-231755. Honestly, since it’s such a basic recipe, I had never thought to post my variations. But that one is a great, basic and totally authentic recipe. My kids love it, and it’s one of my favorite foods on earth. Always has been.
      xoxo Nicole

      • Sarah D

        So, does that falafel recipe work with just subbing the flour with gf flour or do I have to do something more to it?

        Shish Tawouk is super yummy. I just brown cubed chicken, cook up some carrot coins, onions and mushrooms with salt and pepper, make a chicken gravy with it and add spices (Turmeric and Shwarma mostly) then add thickner if you want it thicker. Ladle over rice, quinoa, or grilled pita and enjoy!

        We also like to fill our pita with Kofta and Lebeney. Mmmmm….pita. :)

        • Nicole

          Hi, Sarah,
          I actually modify a few things here and there to suit my personal tastes (and those of my family), but the one sort of major thing I do (that totally breaks all the falafel rules, but I find it makes for a really perfect texture) is to stream in a bit of olive oil toward the end, before the chickpeas are completely chopped. That way, you can still get a creaminess without having to fully puree the chickpeas. Other than that, I tweak it quite a bit, but it is great as is.
          Enjoy!
          xoxo Nicole

      • Sarah D

        Ooo! Or Tahini Chicken. :) Wow, too many choices for this pita…..we could even go non-traditional and fill with tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni. What to choose, what to choose?!

        • Nicole

          Hi, Sarah,
          Pita Pizza!
          Wow, you really do love your pita bread.
          I say you don’t choose. I say you make a double batch of quickbread pitas, & line ’em all up, then fill ’em one by one with everything you can think of. Invite the neighbors!
          xoxo Nicole

          • http://nocastravels.blogspot.com/ Nocas

            Thanks a million! The recipe is great! I just tried it and actually I’m eating one pita right now and it’s really good! :) It really works!

          • Nicole

            Hi, there,
            So glad you were successful. You sound surprised that it worked. Of course it works! ;)
            xoxo Nicole

  • Linda

    Pitas here I come! Nikki–I made the corn muffins last weekend—best I ever made, thanks to you. The fresh sweet corn and ricotta made all the difference in texture. Moist and delicious. Sending hugs of gratitude! xoxLinda

    • Nicole

      Hi, Linda,
      Fresh sweet late summer corn + ricotta cheese = surprisingly fab corn muffins. Who knew? Now we know!
      You are so welcome. Thank you for telling me!
      xoxo Nikki

  • Anneke

    These look fabulous! Should be perfect for school lunches. “Sad and pitiable” just sounds depressing, so I don’t want to be that. My Better Batter won’t get here until Tuesday, which is sad, so I am off to buy more of my other APGF flour. Hugs from, Sad but not Pitiable (or maybe the other way around!) in St. Paul

    • Nicole

      Dear Sad But Not Pitiable in St. Paul,
      So perfect for school lunches! Why didn’t I think of that? So glad you’re here.
      Sadly (and pitiably), inferior GF flours make for inferior GF baking results. It’s a fact. There are others, but Better Batter makes for Best Batter. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Darlene

    Thank you, Nicole!!
    Love,
    Me too

    • Nicole

      Hi, Darlene,
      Thank you for making me giggle. I love a good giggle.
      Love,
      Me

  • Karen

    Love this recipe. But how much oil? It’s not listed in the recipe.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Karen,
      Thank you so much for pointing that out! It’s 1 tablespoon of oil. I have revised the recipe. Good thing for the step-by-step photos, or you wouldn’t have known to ask – and I might have missed it entirely! Please accept my apologies.
      xoxo Nicole

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.linnplocher Susan Linn Plocher via Facebook

    Nicely done! Pics look great and easy to follow. First, I’ll try the French Bread from yesterday. If that works out, I’ll go for the pita…I’ll have to let you all know how it goes!

  • http://www.gisforgluten.blogspot.com Theresa

    AWESOME!
    Hey, for those of us outside the USA, could you tell us what kind of gluten-free blend Better Batter is? Sometimes they’re based on potato flour, sometimes on rice… what would you use if you had to mix your own alternitave? Thanks! You’re a legend, I always love reading your posts!

    • Sarah D

      Theresa-I have in the past used a blend of 2 parts rice flour, 1 part tapioca flour, 1 part potato starch. It works pretty well. It has a very neutral flour and bakes up nicely.

      • Nicole

        Thank you, Sarah!
        xoxo Nicole

    • Nicole

      Hi, Theresa,
      Looks like Sarah D did you one better than me! And Sarah is a Better Batter user, so she has a good benchmark to which she can compare her blend. I never make my own blend, so it’s so hard for me to know what to say to readers outside the U.S. I will ask Naomi Poe, the founder of Better Batter, if she can make a suggestion for non-U.S. readers. I wish she sold her blend your way! Here are the ingredients in Better Batter’s all purpose GF flour, if it helps: rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, pectin.
      Have you used a GF flour blend in the past? Every GF person should be able to make quickbread pita bread! Don’t worry. We’ll figure it out.
      xoxo Nicole

    • http://nocastravels.blogspot.com/ Nocas

      Hi. I’m in Belgium and I used ORGRAN gluten free flour. It works pretty well (but I had to add the xantham gum). http://www.orgran.com/ You can find them in Australia and Europe and in general worldwide: http://www.orgran.com/availability

      Cheers

  • Anneke

    Very successful Pita baking day yesterday. I made two batches, felt like I could have baked the first batch a bit longer, both both tasted yummy! Now onto the French Bread! Anneke

    • Nicole

      You did it, Anneke!
      You’re ridin’ high in St. Paul!
      Step x steps rule! Hear hear!
      So happy for you. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • http://www.stonemillsdesign.com Robyn

    I can’t have eggs… I wonder if egg replacer would work in this recipe. Anyone know???

    • Nicole

      Hi, Robyn,
      I wouldn’t promise that it would work. It might, but I’ve never tried it and the eggs lend a lot of structure to the pita. Maybe someone else has tried?
      If you are feeling daring, cut the recipe in half and try an egg replacer. Sorry I couldn’t be more help!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Heather

    I will be making these this weekend to have with Grecian Chicken and tzatziki sauce…yum! Can’t wait!

  • Danika

    I just commented on your yeast containing pitas about my fear of yeast! It’s like you read my mind! I am so very excited now. I will most definitely be making these. Woohoo!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Danika,
      I am a mind-reader. It makes life so much easier! ;) Glad you’re excited. Maybe start with these, and then work up to the yeasted version. Yeast takes a bit of practice, but once you’ve got it, you’ve got it. I promise. Have fun!
      xoxo Nicole

  • http://nocastravels.blogspot.com/ Nocas

    Yes, I was surprised. My previous attempts to bake gluten free bread were disastrous. But I’m willing to try once more and bake my own bread instead of buying it. I find it too expensive! Gluten free on a budget: I’ll continue to follow your recipes and I’ll keep you posted! Thanks a lot!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Nocas,
      I’m so glad, then, that you have finally had the success you deserve. Good for you for not giving up. If you ever have trouble, just drop a comment & I’ll talk you through it. Cheers to more and more success.
      xoxo Nicole

  • MaryCatherine

    Hi Nicole!

    I’m a new follower, and I *love* your recipes and your website! I have a quick question about the pitas. I’ve made them twice now, and though I love the taste and the texture, they just simply don’t puff at *all* – not a huge problem, but I’m sort of curious as to why. Any ideas?

    I’m using the King Arthur all purpose blend, which doesn’t have xanthan gum, but I didn’t think that xanthan gum really had anything to do with puffing. If this is the case, I will order myself some better batter forthwith (can’t find it anywhere nearby).

    Thank you!
    :) MC

    • Nicole

      Hi, MaryCatherine,
      It’s your flour, I’m afraid. :( You do need the xanthan gum, but you can always add that to the King Arthur (the amount is listed in the recipe). Sadly, though, King Arthur flour is hit or miss. If you’re willing, I would say definitely order Better Batter. The cheapest price is online anyway, so don’t worry that they don’t carry it nearby where you live.
      So happy to have you here on the blog. I hope you keep coming back!
      xoxo Nicole

      • MaryCatherine

        Hi Nicole,

        Thanks for the response – I’m glad to hear that it’s my flour and not me! I’m excited to try with the better batter – the idea that I could have something *other* than a corn tortilla for lunch is thrilling!

        Thank you!
        MC

        • Nicole

          Hi, Mary Catherine,
          I’m relieved that you aren’t upset that it’s your flour. You’re right that it’s better that it be the flour than it be something you’re actually doing, which would be harder to diagnose. There is a recipe for GF flour tortillas in my book that is a mainstay in my family’s dinner rotation. If you have the book, I think you’d really enjoy that, too.
          xoxo Nicole

  • Melissa

    My boyfriend and I have recently gone gluten free and I am so so glad I found your website! I have also realized my love for cooking and can not wait to try some of your recipes to add more variety and healthy foods to our lives. Big thanks to you and your creativity, time and thoughtfulness.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Melissa,
      I’ve been waiting for you two! How wonderful to discover the joys of cooking alongside going gluten-free. The perfect pairing!
      You’re so welcome – and keep coming back!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Melikagirl

    I just made this recipe and they are delicious!!! Thank you so much!!!!

  • G F_baker

    Any thoughts on Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour? I live near them, so really easy to get.

    • gfshoestring

      I do not use or recommend Bob’s flour blend. It is a bean flour blend, and it does not behave or taste like high-quality all-purpose flours. It will not work in most, if not all, of my recipes, I’m afraid.
      Nicole

  • G F_baker

    Any thoughts on Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour? I live near them, so really easy to get.

    • Petaltown

      Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour works great. I didn’t try it yet in the pita recipe. It consists of white rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum. It’s not gritty at all. Pretty reasonable price for GF flour.

  • Mare Masterson

    I love that you are reposting older recipes for those of us who did not even know they existed!

  • Elayne

    I can’t have dairy can I use almond or coconut milk?

  • Lisa Scully

    I am SO Making these this weekend!

  • Jennifer S.

    I’ve tried to make pita – it didn’t pop… no idea what I did wrong.. but it was a long time ago and I wasn’t as confident – time to try again!

  • Julie M.

    Hi Nicole, I am a new reader and I have been pouring over all your recipes; so excited to start cooking! I just found out that I can’t eat tapioca starch or corn! Now what?! Do you have a flour recipe that does not use Tapioca, or is there a good substitute? Thanks!!

  • Evelyn

    By any chance do have the calories per pita? Thank you! They were delicious.

  • A.Q.

    H
    I live in the UK and can’t seem to find the Expandex Modified Tapioca Starch even checked on Amazon which they don’t have. Can I use Tapioca starch? Or is it something different to Expandex?

    • RedDevil01

      You could try Isabel’s GF Baking Fix, which is modified cassava (tapioca) starch. I’ve used it in a few things and found it to be very good. You can buy it online from Isabel’s or from amazon.co.uk.

      • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

        Thanks for adding that, RedDevil. Isabel’s Baking Fix is, indeed, Expandex as it is available in the U.K.!

  • Robyn Bray

    Xanthan gun makesxme sick. Any suggestions ?

  • Marie O.

    These look delicious! Is there an equilvalant replacement for the milk? We have to be dairy free in my house. Thanks!

  • Jaime

    Hi Nicole,

    My children are egg/dairy/soy free as well as celiac. Could you recommend a vegan egg replacer that is also soy free? Or would this recipe not work well with a replacer? I usually use chia seeds, but they’re more of a binding agent rather than a rising agent.

    Much thanks :)

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