Bread can mold quickly, and we often freeze regular bread to preserve it for longer. But can you freeze pita bread?
Grocers commonly freeze pita bread as an economical way to stock it without high demand. So there is no reason you can’t freeze it at home as well. Keep reading to learn about pita bread and how to preserve this food item with freezing.
What is Pita Bread?
Before we developed the modern process to make yeast, bakers would set aside some unbaked dough from each batch to ferment. This dough was then combined with fresh dough to enable it to rise and create pita bread.
Ingredients for pita include grain, flour, salt, and baker’s yeast.
Traditional pita is a round variety of bread that has an air pocket in the middle. This pocket is created by steam puffing up the dough when cooked in extremely hot ovens.
The pocket makes this bread ideal for making wraps and sandwiches. Pita is wildly popular in Middle Eastern dishes like falafel and gyros. Today, many people also use small pieces of pita to scoop hummus and dips.
How to Freeze Pita Bread
Selecting Pita Bread to Freeze
Higher quality breads keep better when frozen. Select fresher, higher moisture options for the best chance of success. However, whole wheat bread can be more difficult to freeze than enriched varieties.
How to Store Pita Bread in the Freezer
If you want to freeze pita bread in the original packaging, you need to wrap the package in aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer. Aluminum foil will provide extra protection against freezer burn.
Place pita bread without original packaging in a zip-top bag before wrapping in aluminum. Air-tight packaging will help prevent the bread from going stale, as your freezer can suck the moisture out of your food.
Try to limit exposure to air when storing your pita bread outside of the freezer. Your bread can still grow stale in the kitchen. Store your thawed bread in an air-tight package in a cool, dry place. Excess heat and moisture can encourage spoilage from bacterial and mold growth.
Be sure to prevent placing heavy food items on top of your frozen pita, causing the bread to become misshapen or harden faster.
How Long Does Pita Bread Last?
Freezing helps extend the shelf life of pita bread. But just like other bread, pita will only stay well in the freezer for a few months. You should plan to use your pita within three months of freezing to maximize freshness.
Of course, your bread will be in better shape the sooner you eat it. The longer your pita spends in the freezer, the more moisture it will lose. However, pita bread can last much longer than baguettes when frozen.
Thawing Frozen Pita Bread
Thawing pita bread is a relatively straightforward process. Simply remove the package from the freezer and leave the bread on the countertop until thawed.
It’s best to keep your bread in the original packaging for the thawing process. If you are in a rush to thaw your bread, you can reheat it in the oven at 300 degrees. However, this will create a crusty texture.
You can help replenish moisture while thawing your pita by sprinkling water on the loaf or wrapping it in a damp paper towel before microwaving the bread for 10 seconds.
After your bread has thawed, you can easily enjoy it just as you would fresh pita.
Ways to Eat Pita Bread
You can make pita chips at home by cutting your pita into smaller pieces before baking the parts in your oven. Baking will give the pita bread a firmer texture.
The internal pocket of this round flatbread is ideal for stuffing with sandwich ingredients. You only need to tear the bread in half to have a perfect pouch to hold otherwise messy food. Typical pita sandwiches include veggie wraps made with hummus, tomatoes, and radishes.
Pita pizzas are creative options that take advantage of the round shape. Simply sprinkle cheese and other ingredients to taste on top of your bread before baking for a crispy crust.
Is Pita Bread Healthy?
This bread is generally lower in calories than the sandwich bread you may have in your pantry. It is also an excellent source of protein and digestible carbohydrates with impressive amounts of vitamin B, selenium, and manganese.
However, bread is still bread. And excess intake can contribute to unwanted weight gain.
Pita bread is healthiest when paired with vegetables that are a good source of vitamins and antioxidants. Consider using hummus, spinach, or other nutritious veggies when stuffing your next pita wrap.
Storing your pita bread in an airtight container wrapped in aluminum foil will help prevent staleness and freezer burn. When stored correctly, pita can stay fresh for up to three months.
Pita is a delicious alternative bread with a lot of potential to be included in healthy recipes today. Keep your freezer stocked with pita bread, and you will never get bored with your sandwich.