Lebanese pita bread
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Lebanese pita bread

A flat and round rolled out yeast dough in the oven suddenly starts to... breathe?!?
How can that be?! Why does this flatbread in the oven separate exactly in the middle? Why does it puff up and turn into a mini balloon?!
"Crazy world!" I used to think as a child - and my mother would laugh at my amazement.

"This is magic dough!" she whispered in my ear. "As soon as I point at it with my magic cooking spoon (actually she used a fork - I realised years later...), I blow air into it and the bread becomes a balloon *whoooosh*!" she told me and took the next loaf out of the oven. "See?".

Now, decades later, I bake this bread myself and still don't know how it comes about that the bread puffs up like a balloon. Even the all-knowing oracle "Google" has not yet been able to give me a concrete and credible answer. If you know: please please please share your secret with me!

Well, let's accept it for now... The flatbread is delicious in any case!

At that time, there was no flatbread to buy in our area. So she had no choice but to bake it herself. My mother used to bake a few kilos of dough into pita bread. It didn't survive very long, though, considering that you could make so many delicious wrapped brides (that's what they call wraps in Lebanon) with it. We just wrapped everything in the pita bread. One of my favourite wraps was with homemade chips and ketchup ^^

But also dipped in delicious olive oil and zaatar - or with labneh and cucumber... I could go on forever. But now you're coming! Bake your own pita bread and watch the magic happen in the oven.

A little hint:

Preparation in the oven alone has always been a bit tricky. Temperature and timing have to be right! My mother is very inventive when it comes to achieving desired results. For example, she used to put a rack on the cooker, turn the hob on full and give the flatbread proper heat from below directly on this rack before putting the flatbread in the oven again for a short time. It's a lot of work, but it always paid off.

Update: I revised and improved the recipe in July 2021.

I have actually managed to make the perfect flatbread even more perfect! I experimented a lot with different types of flour, resting times, temperatures and baking times. My aim was to make the flatbread as good in a normal oven as if you had bought it (and even better!!). It should definitely always rise like a balloon, be perfect for dipping and it should be really nice and elastic so that you can also roll it into wraps. I've now succeeded and of course I'm passing the new recipe straight on to you.

There is one important step you should not forget when preparing the bread: After you have baked the bread, it should be placed in a plastic bag after cooling. This is the only way to ensure that it remains elastic and perfectly rollable even a day later.

Pita bread also works from the pan

I have now also tried the flatbread in the pan and it works wonderfully here too. You just have to bear in mind that the bread doesn't rise like a balloon and remains more compact. The heat in the pan creates a few toasted aromas, giving the bread a slightly different taste and texture.

Recipe for Lebanese Flatbread

Lebanese pita bread
Print recipe Save recipe
Preparation time 30 minutes
Preparation time 30 minutes
Resting time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 Flatbreads
Calories 301


  • 500 g Wheat flour type 00 or type 550 Recommendation: Type 00 (becomes more elastic)
  • 7 g Dry yeast
  • 1 TSP Sugar
  • 1,5 TSP Salt
  • 300 ml lukewarm water
  • 70 ml Olive oil


  • Sieve the flour into a bowl and mix with the salt, sugar and yeast.
  • Add water and olive oil and then knead vigorously for approx. 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature for about 70 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide into 8 equal parts, shape into balls and leave to rise for a further 15 minutes, covered with a slightly damp cloth.
  • Preheat the oven to 250 °C top and bottom heat.
  • Roll out balls approx. 2mm flat and into round patties.

Preparation with pizza stone

  • Place the pizza stone on the lowest shelf and let it heat up in the oven for at least 30 minutes.
  • Bake the patties for approx. 2 - 2:15 minutes on the hot pizza stone.
  • After cooling, place in a plastic bag so that the moisture and elasticity are not lost.

Preparation without pizza stone

  • Preheat the baking tray in the oven. Bake the patties for approx. 2:45 minutes on a baking tray.
  • After cooling, place in a plastic bag so that the moisture and elasticity are not lost.

Preparation in the pan

  • You don't have to use the balloon in the pan. The bread will not rise there, but it tastes very good too.
  • Heat the pan without fat on the cooker over medium-high heat and bake the patties one by one for about 2 minutes. Turn halfway through.
  • After cooling, place in a plastic bag so that the moisture and elasticity are not lost.


Recipe contains affiliate links. 

Nutritional values

Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 3mg

Want to learn more about the cuisine of the Levant? Then take a look at my guide.

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  1. Hello

    100 ml of oil is not too much???

    I take much less about 2 eL

    1. Hello Mimi 🙂
      100ml works great! Of course it also works with only 2 tbsp, but then it wouldn't be my mother's recipe anymore.
      The olive oil makes the dough very smooth - and very tasty 😉 .
      If you want to use less oil, you should definitely balance the moisture with water or milk.
      Kind regards,

  2. Hi Rafik, I baked the Lebanese flatbread for the first time today. It was so delicious. But I still have one question..... how thin it actually has to be rolled out! Greetings Heike

    1. Hello Heike,
      thank you very much 🙂
      I always roll out the dough by eye. But it should be about 3 mm. By the way, you get even better results if you bake the bread with a pizza stone.
      Best regards

  3. Hello Rafik,
    I tried it, I liked it and I was amazed. Baked balloons. Will repeat.

      1. Hi. Since we have Zatar from Palestine here, I stumbled across your recipe for manakish and landed here. I started right away and noticed....ha...this is exactly the pizza dough I've been making for years. How convenient! It never occurred to me to make flatbread out of it. But then I already know that the dough keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week and is always tastier.
        So soon I won't just be making pizza rolls and the like from the rest, but always fresh flatbread. All love

        1. Hi Alice,
          that's really super practical 🙂 Thank you also for your tip about the shelf life in the fridge.

          Kind regards

  4. The flat bread puffs up due to the steam created by the moisture.

    Tomorrow we'll have shawarma 😊

    1. OMG! Finally the mystery is solved. Thank you 🙂
      Many greetings, Rafik

      1. Hi,
        I use either spelt flour or regular wheat flour.

        Kind regards

  5. Hello,
    I have a "problem": I just can't get the balloons out - not in the oven and not in a pan either (on the photo it looks like the mother does it that way too...).
    The flatbreads taste excellent, but they only rise minimally and usually can't be divided in the middle...
    What am I doing wrong?
    Kind regards

    1. Hello Mounia,
      Did you knead the dough for a long time before resting? I can imagine that's the reason.
      And yes, you've got it right. You can also bake the patties briefly in a pan before putting them in the oven. It has more or less the effect of a pizza stone.
      Best regards

  6. Preheat oven with tray in it
    . After rising, place the patties in the hot oven on the hot tray and bake. This way EVERY pancake gets an air hole and can be filled later.

    1. Hey Marion, thank you for your tip 🙂 .
      If you don't have a pizza stone, this should definitely work well too.
      Kind regards

    2. 5 stars
      Hello, can I prepare the dough the day before? And baking tray with or without baking paper?! Our oven can get up to 300 degrees. Thanks a lot
      Wants to surprise our Lebanese friends

      1. Hi Gabriela,
        You can prepare the dough the night before without any problems. However, please note that the dough really needs a lot of space. And please cover it well so that the dough doesn't dry out 🙂 .

        Kind regards

  7. One packet of dry yeast to one pound of flour is what you read again and again, but in my opinion it's too much. Doesn't the bread taste very yeasty?

    1. Hello Bob,
      In my opinion, the bread doesn't taste very yeasty. Feel free to give it a try 🙂 .
      Kind regards

      1. Hello 🙂
        Yes, the dough should definitely be kneaded for a long time in a food processor too.

        Kind regards

  8. Marhaba Rafik,

    Do you have experience with convection baking? If so, how many degrees do I have to bake with convection?

    Thank you in advance!


    1. Hello Fares,

      Unfortunately, I haven't tried the recipe with fan-assisted cooking yet. But if you have a pizza stone, it should also work with fan-assisted cooking at 225°C.

      Kind regards

      1. 5 stars
        This recipe is amazing. I took the advice to preheat the oven and baking tray and they turned out really nice and fluffy, could be split and even filled. I'm so glad to have stumbled across your blog. Instant darling.

        1. Hello Claudia,
          Thank you so much for your fantastic feedback. There really is nothing like freshly baked pita bread, is there 🙂 .

          Kind regards

    2. 5 stars
      Thank you so much for the super great recipe. The breads turned out perfectly, I am thrilled 😍

      1. Hello Giu,

        Thank you very much! I'm very happy that you enjoyed it 🙂

        Kind regards

  9. Hi, unfortunately they turned out super yummy biscuits that no matter how you went about it, you couldn't get them to roll. They were so crispy that they crumbled immediately 🙁 What did I do wrong. The dough was worked for exactly 20 minutes and I followed all the steps of your instruction. I am left with a conundrum. PS The squares were very tasty with your mayo and the chicken shawarma. LG from Kiel

    1. Hello Christiane,
      Thank you very much for your feedback. That doesn't sound like a successful action 😀
      I'm very sorry that the flatbread turned into biscuits. Could it be that it's the oven? The recipe has always worked quite well for me so far. Next time just try reducing the baking time and maybe the temperature. I'll make some fresh flatbread in the next few days and see what else might have caused it.
      Best regards

  10. Even the all-knowing oracle "Google" has not yet been able to give me a concrete and credible answer. If you know: please please please share your secret with me!

    I don't know, but I have a guess:
    The dough gets firm quickly because of the high temperature. At the same time, the water in the dough starts to boil and forms steam, pushing the already baked outer sides outwards. When the pancake is out of the oven, it cools down quickly and the steam pressure dissipates.

    1. Hello Peter,

      that might actually be the right answer. Thank you 🙂

      Kind regards

  11. 5 stars
    I always do it with the Arabic oven.
    Celebrate that so simply the best breakfast in the world....

    1. Hey Thomas,
      you must mean these small aluminium ovens, don't you? I've searched a lot, but haven't found one to buy yet. If you have a tip on where to buy one, please let me know 😉

      Kind regards

  12. 5 stars
    Hello Rafik,
    Today I baked your sensational flatbread.
    I also used spelt flour and a little wheat flour and half a cube of yeast.
    Baked on the already hot baking tray. The pieces puffed up wonderfully.
    Thank you very much.
    Kind regards Margit

    1. Hello Margit,
      Thank you very much for your great feedback. I am very happy 🙂

      Kind regards

  13. Hello Rafik,
    since I discovered this recipe, I have been baking it regularly, mostly as a side dish to lentil dishes or other stews. The children love it. I also always use a mixture of spelt and wheat flour and fresh yeast, and very little of that. If you can let the dough rise for a long time, a few grams is enough.
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe.


    1. Hello Eva,
      Thank you so much for your great feedback. I am so happy that you like the recipe so much. I hope you continue to have fun cooking and baking 🙂

      Kind regards

  14. Wow super delicious! Just baked and found them to be suuuper delicious, thank you so much for the recipe!😍

    1. Hello Lian,
      I am very pleased! Thank you very much for your feedback 🙂

      Kind regards

  15. 5 stars
    today already for the 5th time in the oven (within 5 weeks) ... works great, except that i am somehow at war with dry yeast and now always take half a cube of yeast and since the last time i replace 100 g flour with 100 g wholemeal rye flour, which gives a more rustic note - now it is perfect for me!!!

    1. Hello Nina,
      Thank you very much for your great feedback. I'm very pleased that you like it so much. And the idea with the wholemeal flour is also great 🙂 .

      Kind regards

  16. Hello Rafik,

    The yeast in the dough breaks down the starch in the flour into carbon dioxide and ethanol. The dough then puffs up due to the gaseous carbon dioxide.

    Forgive me for taking the magic out of it, as your mother's explanation appeals more to me too. (I used to be a chemistry lab technician)

    I wish you and your family more enjoyable moments with the great recipe for flatbread and I will also try it out, being sure that it always succeeds.

    Kind regards


    1. Hello Boris,
      That's the answer I was waiting for 😀 Thank you so much! I think I will include this in the article - but of course only after my mother has explained it 🙂 Have fun too.
      Have a great time enjoying it too.

      Kind regards

  17. I love the recipe, but my patties only ever rise at the edges, the middle stays flat. What could be the reason for that?
    Tastes great anyway, of course 😉

    1. Hello Silke,
      Thank you for your great feedback 🙂 .
      If your flatbread doesn't rise all the way, it may be due to the oven. Have you tried using a pizza stone or a preheated baking tray? If it's not hot enough, it won't rise as quickly and will already be set.

      Kind regards

  18. 2 stars
    Tastefully, it was a fine thing. But somehow the mixture was not right. I was surprised that the whole thing could hardly be formed because it was very liquid. After 1.5 minutes at 250 degrees, I only had a mush in the oven. After 4 minutes, this porridge was already firmer. Should the result be like this? Because I didn't have a balloon.

    1. Hey Daniel,
      I'm very sorry that you didn't have a good experience with the recipe. Could it be that you didn't follow the quantity instructions? I've never had this kind of feedback before. Even when I make it myself, it always fits.

      Kind regards

  19. 5 stars
    The flatbread tastes really great. Now my question: Is it good to freeze in stock or is it rather unsuitable? If it is suitable, can it probably only be defrosted and not baked up?

    1. Hello Andrea,
      Thank you so much for your great feedback 🙂 The bread is good to freeze.
      You can freeze the bread very well. But let it cool down completely in a bag after baking. After freezing, let it defrost at room temperature and do not bake it - that's right 🙂

      Kind regards

  20. A total of 420 ml liquid for only 500 gr. flour, isn't that too much?

    1. Hi Billy,
      that actually sounds a bit much, but it really isn't 🙂 Give it a try.

      Kind regards

  21. Bake the bread only 2 MINUTES? Is that right? I can not imagine somehow that is then baked through.

    1. Hello Sanni,
      in fact, the bread should not be baked longer. The dough is rolled out very thin and the temperature is high.

      Kind regards

  22. Hi there,

    I still have ne question, the baked patties in plastic bag, how long do they keep and do they have to in the refrigerator? many many thanks Mona

    1. Hello Mona,

      the flatbreads I would store after cooling in the bag in the refrigerator. The flatbreads will keep for about 3 - 5 days, if they survive that long 😉.
      The flatbreads you can also freeze well.

      Kind regards

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