A flatbread is a simple bread made with flour, water, and salt and then thoroughly rolled into flattened dough. Many flatbreads are unleavened — made without yeast or sourdough culture — although some flatbread is made with yeast, such as pita bread.
There are many other optional ingredients that flatbreads may contain, such as curry powder, diced jalapeños, chilli powder, or black pepper. Olive oil or sesame oil may be added as well. Flatbreads can range from one millimetre to a few centimetres thick.
Refer also to : List of breads
Religious significance of Flatbreads
The term unleavened bread can also refer to breads which are not prepared with leavening agents. These flatbreads hold special religious significance to adherents of Judaism and Christianity. Jews consume unleavened breads such as matzo during Passover.
Unleavened bread is used in the Western Christian liturgy when celebrating the Eucharist. On the other hand, most Eastern Churches explicitly forbid the use of unleavened bread (Greek: azymes) for Eucharist as pertaining to the Old Testament and allow only for bread with yeast, as a symbol of the New Covenant in Christs blood. Indeed, this was one of the three points of contention that are, in traditional legend, accounted as those that brought about the Great Schism between Eastern and Western churches (the others being Petrine supremacy and the filioque in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed).
Canon Law of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church mandates the use of unleavened bread for the Host, and unleavened wafers for the communion of the faithful. The more liturgical Protestant churches tend to follow the Latin Catholic practice, whereas others use either unleavened wafers or ordinary bread, depending on the traditions of their particular denomination or local usage.
Regional varieties of Flatbreads
Europe and Central & West Asia
- Afghan Bread – (Afghanistan) – These small oval breads are baked in a tandoor, the stove of the region — sometimes buried in the ground as it is in India. The Afghan oven is above ground and is made of rounded bricks, which are heated. Nan are shaped and slapped and stuck on the hot bricks for fast baking.
- Barbari bread – (Persian)
- Bazlama – (Turkey)
- Bolanee (Stuffed flatbread) – (Afghanistan) – a vegetarian flat-bread dish
- Piadina – (Italy): white flour, lard (or olive oil), salt and water
- Flammkuchen – (North East France): thin bread dough rolled out in a circle or a rectangle and covered with onions and bacon
- Flatbrød – (Norway): barley flour, salt, and water
- Flatkaka – (Iceland): rye flatbread
- Focaccia – (Italy)
- Ftira – (Malta)
- Gözleme – (Turkey): folded over a savory filling and fried on a griddle
- Hoggan – (Cornwall): made from barley flour containing pieces of green pork and potato
- Lavash – (Armenia)
- Matnakash – (Armenia)
- Obi Non – (Afghanistan and Uzbekistan) – Or Lepyoshka, is a kind of flatbread pastry in Afghan and Uzbek cuisine. They are shaped like a disc and thicker than naan. Obi non are baked in special hand-built clay ovens called tandyr.
- Opłatek – (Poland)
- Pane carasau – (Sardinia)
- Pide – (Turkey)
- Pita – (Greece)
- Pizza – (Italy)
- Pita / Lipie – (Romania)
- Podpłomyk – (Poland)
- Rieska – (Finland)
- Sacramental bread
- Sangak – (Persia)
- Sheermal – (Persia & Indian subcontinent)
- Shoti – (Georgia)
- Somun and Lepina – (Bosnia)
- Taftoon Bread – (Persia)
- Tonis Puri – (Georgia)
- Torta de Gazpacho – (Spain)
- Tunnbröd – (Sweden): any combination of wheat, barley and rye
- Yufka – (Turkey): wheat flour, water and table salt
Middle East and Africa
- Aish Merahrah – (Egypt) – an Egyptian flat bread made with 5 -10% ground fenugreek seeds and maize. It is part of the traditional diet of the Egyptian countryside, prepared locally in village homes in Upper Egypt.
- Gurrasa – (Sudan)
- Harsha – (Morocco) : fried buttery bread made of semolina
- Injera – (Ethiopia,Eritrea) – Sometimes transliterated enjera; is a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea. A similar variant is eaten in Somalia (where it is called canjeelo or lahooh) and Yemen (where it is known as lahoh).
- Khubz – (Arabian Peninsula) – An Arabic word for freedom bread, but usually used by non-Arabic speakers to refer to a flatbread that forms a staple of the local diet in Arabic-speaking countries from the Arabian Peninsula to Morocco.
- Laxoox – (Somalia)
- Malooga – (Yemeni): water, yeast, salt, and flour
- Mandezi – (Africa)
- Markook – (Levant)
- Matzo – (Jewish): white plain flour and water
- Ngome – (Mali): millet, water and vegetable oil
- Pita – (Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East)
- Taboon – (Middle East) Taboon bread is sold as street food, stuffed with hummus, falafel or shaved meat. Taboon bread is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine worldwide
South and East Asia
- Bhakri – (India): made with water and typically millet flour
- Bhatura – (India): typically made with white flour, yoghurt, ghee or oil, and yeast
- Bindaeddeok – (Korea): made from mung bean flour
- Bing – (China)
- Chapati – (India and Pakistan): made from atta flour (whole grain durum wheat), water, and salt
- Dosa or dosai – (Southern India): made from rice flour, urad flour and salt
- Green Onion pancake – (China) : made with oil and minced spring onions
- Sanchuisanda – (China)
- Paratha – (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal) – Parathas are whole-wheat Indian flatbread. Parathas can be made plain or stuffed with many different fillings.
- Pesarattu (Southern India): made from whole moong, with green chillies, ginger, salt, and cumin
- Khanom buang – (Thailand): rice flour
- Laobing – (China)
- Luchi – (East India and Bangladesh): fine maida flour with water and a spoonful of ghee
- Naan – (Central and South Asia) – A yeast-raised flat bread with a delicious chewy texture, traditionally cooked in a clay oven or tandoor.
- Pol roti – (Sri Lanka): made from scraped coconut and wheat or kurakkan flour, with green chillies and onion
- Puri – (India, Pakistan, Nepal): – An unleavened deep-fried Indian bread, commonly consumed on the Indian subcontinent. It is eaten for breakfast or as a snack or light meal. It is usually served with a curry or bhaji, as in Puri bhaji.
- Roast paan (Sri Lanka): bread mixture baked in a flat mould, producing, literally, a flat bread
- Roti – (Central and South Asia)
- Roti canai – (Malaysia)
- Sanchuisanda – (China) : baked in ashes
- Uttapam – (South India): thick pancake made of rice and urad
- Arepa – (Colombia, Venezuela) – flat, unleavened patty made of cornmeal
- Bammy – (Jamaica): made from grated cassava root or cassava root flour and salt
- Casava – (Haiti): made from manioc (cassava root)
- Casabe – (South America, Caribbean): made from bitter cassava root
- Cachapa – (Venezuela, Caribbean): made from yellow maize, cheese
- Beiju – (Brazil): made from tapioca
- Flatbread – (North America) Made from maize flour in traditional style of early Native Americans; now topped with ground beef, vegetables, beans and cheese
- Pan de Semita – (Mexico)
- Tortilla – (Mexico, Central and South America)
- Tortilla de Rescoldo – (Chile): wheat flour based bread, traditionally baked in the coals of a campfire