Pita bread is a mainstay in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is a leavened flatbread, popular for its pocketed structure. In the pocket, you put meat or vegetable fillings to make a pita hot pocket or sandwich.
There are the non-pocketed variations that you may use as a wrap. This variant is a popular accompaniment for meat dishes like souvlaki.
This bread is best consumed when hot or warm. If cold, you won’t get its finest taste. So, can you warm up pita bread? Yes, you can warm pita. We will show you the ways of reheating pita to regain its excellence.
Is Reheating Pita Bread a Good Idea?
As previously stated, cold pita does not have its signature amazing smack. Furthermore, it may feel dry and brittle. It will hardly hold your fillings or be flexible enough for use as a wrap.
Reheating it is a good idea, as it will rejuvenate it. You will revive its aroma and softness, giving it a spongy texture. The sponginess is essential for scooping up sauces.
You may also improve the flavor when reheating. You achieve this by coating the bread with spiced oil.
The Best Way to Store Pita Bread If You Want to Reheat It Later
The outcome of reheating pita bread highly depends on how you store it. If you want to use the bread soon, putting it in a Ziploc bag will have it in good shape. Put it in the bag, and eject excess air, then seal it.
Optionally, go for vacuum sealing, which is more effective in removing air from the bag. If you don’t intend to use the bread soon, you may refrigerate them. Avoid stacking the bags to prevent freezer burn. Additionally, use the oldest stored bread first.
The other way to deal with freezer burn is using a doubling the plastic bags. After putting the bread in a Ziploc bag, you can wrap them in another layer of plastic wrapping.
For store-bought pita, you can put it in a bread box under cool and dry conditions. Here, it can last up to 4 days.
The Perfect Way to Warm Up Pita Bread
The ideal way of warming up this flatbread is by exposure to an open flame. The following are the steps to follow to get it ready for the table.
Step 1: Preparation of the Bread
This is a straightforward step, especially if you stored the bread in a breadbox. In this case, it is ready for the open flame. However, if you refrigerated it, you need to thaw it for fruitful reheating. Do not remove it from the bag. Put it on your counter and let it loosen up. You may also put it in a water bath for quick results.
Step 2: Flame Exposure
Turn on your stove and let it run on medium. Using a pair of tongs, introduce the flatbread to the flame. Some culinary pundits recommend spraying the bread with water or brushing it with olive oil. This is to help revive its softness and sponginess.
Expose it to the flame for 40 seconds, a minute at most. It will start expanding and create a pocket. After it achieves an excellent brownish char, turn it to the other side. Flame the other side for the same time frame. A thin coat of olive oil at this stage will help bring out its savor, though it is optional.
Step 3: Put It in a Plastic Bag
After removing it from the flame, you put it in a plastic bag, preferably a Ziploc bag. In the plastic bag, it will generate some steam, which makes it soft. Let it stay in the bag for 5-10 minutes, and it will be ready for the table.
Always remember to put the flame at medium to low. High heat can burn pita bread, giving you a brittle piece of leavened bread.
More Recommended Ways to Reheat Pita Bread
The following are other ways of reheating this Mediterranean delicacy.
Reheating in the Oven
If you have an oven, you can effortlessly reheat pita. Start by prepping the bread, by thawing it if from the fridge. There are two ways you can use when warming this flatbread in an oven.
You may wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in the cooker’s racks. Let it cook for 5-10 minutes before removing it. Aluminum foil evenly spreads heat, allowing for uniformity when warming pita bread.
The other way is by putting it directly into the oven. You can get creative when prepping it for an amazing taste. Mix olive or sunflower oil with preferred spices and brush it onto the bread’s surface on both sides.
Preheat the oven at 325-degrees Fahrenheit, then put the flatbread on the racks. It is advisable to put it on the top racks to get a perfectly charred surface. Allow for a 5-10 minute cooking time before removing it and serving with your preferred accompaniment.
Using a Microwave
Microwaving leftover pita bread is the fastest way of warming it. You can put the whole bread a whole into the microwave. A more effective way of going about it is by cutting the flatbread into sizeable triangles. Put the pieces on a wet paper towel-lined microwaving plate and proceed to heat them.
Allow them to microwave for about 30-seconds before serving. If you are microwaving a whole pita, you can spray some water or olive oil to make it spongy.
Using a Pan
An easy method of warming pita is by use of a pan or skillet. Coat the bread with a thin layer of olive oil before putting it on the pan. You may add spices to the oil to boost the pita’s savor.
You may heat the pan and remove it from the flame before putting the bread. The hot surface will warm the bread, and you may notice it expanding. The other way to go is by heating the pan at low heat, then introduce the bread.
In both ways, turn the pita consistently for evenness.
On the Grill
Grilling is a great way of heating the non-pocketed pita variants. It is as simple as putting the bread on the grill and turning it until it is soft. When barbecuing meat, like when preparing souvlaki, you use the same surface. Besides warming the bread, it will also absorb the fatty essence of the meat.
Reheat it on the cold area of the grill if using the two-zone grilling method. Heat it for up to 10-minutes. Lay it on the hot zone for a minute at most to get a nice browned surface.
In a Toaster Oven
A toaster oven comes in handy in warming pita bread. Preheat the oven to 325-degrees Fahrenheit as you wrap the flatbread in aluminum foil. Put the wrapped bread in the oven and let it cook for 10-minutes. Remove it and serve.
Steaming is another way to bank on to reheat pita bread. However, it is a very delicate method, and if not keen, you will end up with an undesirable outcome. The main purpose of steaming is to make it soft, especially if you stored it for a long time and it became hard.
The way to go with steaming is to expose the bread to boiling water or stew for some minutes as you turn it. Be careful not to over-expose the bread to prevent it from getting soggy.
You Might Ask:
How do I make pita bread soft by warming it up?
One of the reasons for warming pita bread is to make it soft. As you reheat it, there are things to look at to make it soft. For instance, you should not put it on direct or high heat, as it may dry up. Try coating it with olive or sunflower oil before heating it.
Furthermore, you may spray it with some water, primarily when using a microwave or oven. After warming it, put the flatbread in a plastic bag. The steam generated will bring back its spongy nature.
What is the right way to reheat frozen pita bread?
The most efficient way of readying frozen pita for the table is by exposing it to an open flame. You start by thawing the bread. Immersion into a water bath while still in a bag will hasten the thawing process.
After thawing, hold it with a pair of tongs and expose it to an open flame, burning at medium to low. Heat each side for around 40-seconds before turning it. Once it starts expanding, creating a pocket, you put it in a plastic bag.
The steam produced in the plastic bag will make it soft and ideal for your sauce.
Leftover pita bread does not have the same smack as that coming from the oven. Nevertheless, you do not have to deal with cold pita anymore. We show you the various ways of warming up this Mediterranean bread to rejuvenate its taste.
Follow the highlighted methods to enjoy pita bread.