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Cypriot Pita Bread

Cypriot Pita Bread

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Rustle up some Cypriot homemade pita bread to serve with dips or to add
your favourite fillings.

Cypriot Pitta Bread photo

Cypriot pitta bread are much different to the Greek pitas. They are flatbread like the other pita but are different in shape and in taste.

The bread puffs up during baking to form a hollow pocket that can be filled with various fillings to make a type of Sandwich.

I’ve been in Greece since 1981 and for the first 27 years of being here, I have never found any Cypriot pitta in Athens, where I live.

Update:

Soon, after writing this post, may be two years later, they started importing Cypriot pitta.

Many years later they started making them in Greece and now we can find them in all supermarkets.

The only thing close to the Cypriot ones which I have found in Athens are the Arabic ones.

Cypriot pitas are oval shaped and are usually opened and filled with souvlakia and sheftalia and some salad.

Usually slices of tomato, cucumber, some parsley, onions and pickles (no olive oil in added to this salad).

During winter some cabbage with grated carrot and lemon juice is added.

Sheftalia with salad in pita image

I remember years back in Cyprus, we used to stuff them with halloumi, lountza and anything else we liked.

That was one of our favourite snacks of the day.

I was thinking of making pittas for a long time now but I could not find the recipe anywhere as I thought there was a special technique in making them to form a pocket.

The other day I was talking with a friend in Cyprus and were talking about food and when this came up she told me how easy it was to make them.

As soon as we hang up I checked if I had yeast and I made the dough in no time.

I didn’t even use the mixer the first time and it didn’t need much effort to knead the dough.

I was fortunate enough to have halloumi at home and together with ham, as I did not have lountza, tomato and cucumber we made delicious sandwiches.

Pita bread baked image
sandwich with pita bread image

When making souvlakia and/or sheftalia, grill the pitas on charcoal before filling.

grilled pita bread image

Ingredients needed:

  • Bread flour
  • Fresh or dried yeast
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Lukewarm water
  • More olive oil to brush the dough

Starter:

It is best to begin by preparing a starter so that we can be sure that the yeast is active.

  • Put the yeast in a bowl.
  • Add 2 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp sugar and enough lukewarm water to make a thick batter.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and let it bubble.
  • If it does not bubble it means that the yeast is not active so you must start all over again.

Making the pita:

  • When the starter bubbles, add the remaining flour, olive oil and salt and stir.  
  • Add water gradually and knead to form a smooth and soft dough, which will not stick on your hands.  If dough is sticky add more flour.  (You can follow the same instructions using the stand mixer with the dough paddle attached).
  • Wet the dough with 1 tbsp olive oil, cover dough with cling film and a clean kitchen towel.
  • Wait for it to rise and double in size, about half to two hours, depending on the room temperature.
  • Punch down the dough and knead for a couple of minutes and divide it into 10 pieces. Shape each piece into small balls.
  • Flour your work space as well as each piece of dough.
  • Flatten and roll each ball giving it an oval shape until it reaches ½ cm (¼ inch) thick.
  • Line a baking tin with parchment paper and place the pitas.
  • Preheat oven to 200o C/ 400ο F and bake for about 5 – 10 minutes till the bottom is light brown.
  • Remove to a wire rack for five minutes to cool and then wrap them in kitchen towel to keep them soft.
grilled pita bread image

Cypriot pita bread

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Cypriot pitta bread are much different to the Greek pitas. They are flatbread like the other pita but are different in shape and in taste.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 package (8 grams – 0.28 oz) instant yeast or 32 grams (1.13 oz) fresh yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 +1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put the yeast in a bowl and add 2 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp sugar and enough lukewarm water to make a thick batter.
  2. When the mixture bubbles, add the remaining flour, olive oil and salt.  
  3. Add water gradually and knead to form a smooth and soft dough, which will not stick on your hands.   If dough is sticky add more flour.
  4. (You can follow the same instructions using the stand mixer with the dough paddle attached). 
  5. Wet the dough with 1 tbsp olive oil, cover dough with cling film and a clean kitchen towel and wait for it to rise and double in size, about half to two hours, depending on the room temperature.
  6. Punch down the dough and knead for a couple of minutes and divide it into 10 pieces. Shape each piece into small
    balls.
  7. Flour your work space as well as each piece of dough.
  8. Flatten and roll each ball giving it an oval shape until it reaches ½ cm (¼ inch) thick.
  9. Line a baking tin with parchment paper and place the pitas.
  10. Preheat oven to 200o C/ 400ο F and bake for about 5 - 10 minutes till the bottom is light brown.
  11. Remove to a wire rack for five minutes
    to cool and then wrap them in kitchen towel to keep them soft.
Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 157Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 92mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 3gSugar 1gProtein 7g

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

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Collage homemade Cypriot Pita Bread photo

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Ivy

Thursday 31st of January 2008

Just image how easy it was to make them. I should have asked for some help.

Laurie Constantino

Thursday 31st of January 2008

I'm like you, I love Cypriot pitas. I have a Cypriot friend who taught me to make them and her tip is to preheat the baking sheet in the oven and then quick cook the pitas a few at a time. They make lovely pockets and are quite tasty.

Ivy

Thursday 31st of January 2008

Do you mean a photo of the Lebanese Pitas? If so I will try and get some and place a picture of them. The Lebanese pitas are difficult to make them into a pocket and stuff them. A lot of effort is needed, as the two sides stick together and trying to split them, they usually break as the bread is more crispy. Instead of opening the pocket we usually put the food on top and fold them.

Peter M

Thursday 31st of January 2008

Hvi, it sounds like the Cyporiot pita has more in common with Arabic pitas.

A photo would have been most helpful.

Can one make a pocket and fill these pitas? If so, then they are similar to Middle eastern pitas.

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