How to make Shawarma bread

Updated February 21, 2017

Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish consisting of sliced or shredded spiced meat served in fresh pita bread. You can use chicken, beef or lamb to make shawarma, but one thing always remains the same---the bread. Make your own shawarma or pita bread using a few simple kitchen ingredients. This recipe yields approximately 12 pieces of shawarma bread.

Pour 130 ml (1 cup) of warm water into a mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp granulated sugar. Stir to combine.

Open two packages of active dry yeast and sprinkle them on top of the sugar water. Allow the mixture to sit for approximately 15 minutes or until it becomes frothy.

Measure 780g (6 cups) of flour into a large mixing bowl, and stir in 2 tsp kosher salt. Make a small well in the centre of the flour with your hands. Pour in 45ml (1/3 cup) olive oil, the yeast and water mixture, and 130ml more (1 cup) of warm water.

Stir the ingredients together until a crumbly consistency is achieved. Then knead the shawarma bread dough with your hands until it sticks together and can be removed from the bowl in one piece.

Turn the dough out onto a floured counter or breadboard. Knead with your hands until it is smooth and pliable, approximately five minutes. Shape the dough into a round ball. Rub a few drops of olive oil onto your hands and lightly grease the outside of the dough ball by running your hands over it.

Place the dough back into the large mixing bowl, cover with a dish towel, and place in a warm area to rise for 1 to 2 hours or until it has doubled in size. Remove the dough from the bowl. and place it back onto the breadboard or other working surface. Punch with your fist to release air, then allow it to sit uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 245 degrees C (475 degrees F).

Divide the shawarma bread dough evenly into 12 pieces. Roll out each portion with a rolling pin until it's about 20cm (8 inches) in diameter and 0.4cm (1/8-inch) thick. Set each piece aside in a single layer, and cover with damp dish towels to prevent drying. Allow the bread to rest for 30 minutes.

Place the bread pieces onto a baking sheet, but do not overlap. You may have to bake more than one batch. Place the sheet in the oven for three minutes, then turn the baking sheet 80 degrees C (180 degrees F). Bake for two more minutes and remove from the oven. Each piece should be puffy and golden brown but not crispy. Repeat until all of the shawarma bread is baked.


Stuff the shawarma bread while it is still warm. Place unused pieces in a plastic bag and store at room temperature for up to five days.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium mixing bowl
  • 1 cup warm water (40 to 45 degrees C) (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • Two packages active dry yeast
  • 780g (6 cups) flour
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 45 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
  • 130ml (1 cup) warm water
  • Breadboard (optional)
  • Dish towels
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking sheets
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About the Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including