There is nothing better than fresh baked pita bread! I had a hard time getting pictures taken because as fast as I pulled them out of the oven they disappeared!
Adapted from The Bread Bible, by Rose Levy Berenbaum, via here and here
Makes 8 to 12 pitas
16 ounces (3 cups plus a scant 1/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups (10.4 ounces) water at room temperature
Mix all the ingredients on low in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment until combined, then switch to the dough hook and knead on medium for 7 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth and the sides of the mixing bowl are clean. Add more water or flour if needed.
Place the dough in a bowl, greased with oil or cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days. Punch down if it starts to rise during the first 4 hours.
Two hours before shaping take the dough out of the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
The dough will start to rise to about double the size.
One hour before baking, put a cast iron skillet, baking stone, or baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Cut the dough into 8 or 12 pieces. Cover the pieces and work one piece at a time. Shape into a ball and then pat into a disk shape. Cover w/ oiled plastic to rest for 20 min. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 1/4" thick and allow to rest uncovered for 10 min.
Quickly place 1 piece of dough directly on the preheated baking stone, skillet, or baking sheet and bake for 3 minutes. The pita should be completely puffed, but not beginning to brown. The dough will not puff well if it is not moist enough. If necessary, spray each remaining piece with water and allow to rest 2 to 3 minutes before baking.
Between batches, allow the oven to reheat for 5 minutes. The pitas can be reheated for about 30 seconds in a hot oven before serving.