What’s the difference between pita vs flatbread? While it may belong to the flatbread family, there are many reasons why pita is my favorite bread and deserves its own designation. Flatbreads don’t have any yeast in them at all, so they’re usually thinner and crunchier than pitas. The difference is more than just appearance—it’s also about what goes on inside the bread!
Find out what truly makes Pita unique from your regular flatbread, its types, and the numerous types of flatbreads that exist.
What is Pita Bread?
Pita belongs to a class of bread that make use of yeast as a leavening agent. Also, Pitas are common in the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean parts of the world and possess different variants.
The most popular pita bread is those with air pockets in them, and they are also called Arabic bread. The Greek Pita, however, is used to eat barbecues among other things.
What is Flatbread?
Flatbreads are unleavened bread made using salt, yogurt, flour, milk, or any other liquid, which is then thoroughly rolled to form a flat-shaped dough.
Additionally, the height and thickness of flatbreads can range from a few centimeters to below one millimeter. Flatbreads can also be fried in hot oil, cooked on a hot pan, eaten fresh, cooked on a Tava, or baked in an oven.
Furthermore, most flatbreads do not use leavening agents like yeast or baking powder and are unleavened. Common examples of flatbreads are pizza, oatcake, and Focaccia.
Is Pita a Flatbread?
Yes, Pita is also a part of the flatbread family. In fact, the western name that is sometimes used to refer to flatbreads is Pita, and it is commonly used among other flatbreads whose local names are unknown.
What are the differences between Pita Bread and flatbread?
The first difference is that while Pita is a flatbread from the Middle-Eastern region, traditional flatbread refer to many other unleavened breads from other localities and include tortillas, pizza, roti, Naan, etc.
Secondly, flatbreads are used in numerous cuisines and for different purposes based on their origin while Pita is mostly used in Middle-Eastern cuisine.
Thirdly, Pita is slightly leavened, using yeast as a leavening agent, while most flatbreads are unleavened.
Fourthly, Pita uses all-purpose wheat flour while flatbread, depending on its origin, is made using various types of flour.
What are the uses of Pita Bread?
Most times, pitas are used to scoop sauces or soups, to wrap gyros, kebabs, or falafels, and to eat with dips like hummus and taramosalata.
Furthermore, you can modify their shape and texture while baking to either make them crispy or chewy.
What are the types of flatbread?
Numerous types of flatbread exist, with so many of them originating from one country or more on continents across the globe.
You can find some of the following flatbreads and their origin listed below:
- Roti – Indian subcontinent
- Rumali roti – Indian subcontinent
- Taftan – Iran and Indian Subcontinent
- Poli – India
- Parotta – India
- Naan – India
- Chili paratha – India
- Chapati – Indian subcontinent
- Paratha – Indian subcontinent
- Blini – Russia
- Borlengo – Italy
- Bannock – Scotland
- Farl – Scotland and Ireland
- Flatbrød – Norway
- Focaccia – Italy
- Ftira – Malta
- Flammkuchen – Alsace
- Hoggan – Cornwall
- Lagana – Greece
- Tonis puri – Georgia
- Shotis Puri – Georgia
- Lefse – Norway
- Pane carasau – Italy
- Oatcake – United Kingdom
- Lángos – Hungary
- Pizza – Italy
- Pinsa – Rome
- Pissaladière – France
- Rieska – Finland
- Staffordshire Oatcake – England
- Torta – Spain
- Tigella – Italy
Africa and the Middle East
- Bataw – Egypt
- Gurassa – Sudan
- Khubz Asmr – Saudi Arabia
- Harcha – Morocco
- Barbaro – Iran
- Khubz – Arabian Peninsula
- Lavash – Armenia
- Pita – Turkey, Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean
- Matzo – Jewish
- Malooga – Yemen
- Taftan – Iran
- Sanchuisanda – China
- Bing – China
- Green Onion Pancake – China
- Bindaeddeok – Korea
- Shaobing – China
- Guokui – China
- Tortilla de Rescoldo – Chile
- Johnnycake – Caribbean and North America
- Tortilla – Mexico, Southern and Central America
- Native American Flatbread – North America
- Pupusa – El Salvador
- Frybread – United States of America
- Beiju – Brazil
- Bammy – Jamaica
- Pan de semita – México
- Bolani – Afghanistan
- Tapansha and Taba nan Kazakhstan
- Shelpek – Kazakhstan
- Nan or Afghan bread – Afghanistan
- Tandoor-nan – Central Asia
- Obi Non – Afghanistan and Uzbekistan
What are the types of Pita?
There are two major types of Pita Bread, they include:
- Greek Pita Bread
- Arabic Pita Bread
However, these two major pita bread may have numerous variations and ingredients based on the modifications of their recipes by bakers.
Are pancakes flatbread?
Yes, pancakes are also a type of quick flatbreads that are made by frying or baking batter on a frying pan or hot griddle.
Are flatbreads the same as quick bread?
No, flatbreads are not the same as a quick bread. Most flatbreads refer to unleavened bread made with basic ingredients such as flour, yogurt, milk, salt, etc.
However, quick bread makes use of leaveners like baking soda or baking powder and includes many treats like brownies, pancakes, muffins, cookies, biscuits, cornbread, scones, banana bread, etc.
What is the difference between flatbread and normal bread?
Flatbreads are slightly leavened or mostly unleavened and possess a thin flat appearance while normal bread makes use of yeast to grow and form.
It is a common misconception that Pita bread is different from flatbreads because they are slightly leavened using yeast. However, this is not true as Pita falls under the family of flatbreads.
Additionally, while not all flatbreads are classified as Pita Bread, all variations of Pita bread fall under the flatbread family. Whether it’s their shape or ingredients, each type of flatbread serves a unique purpose at dinnertime or as an afternoon snack.
Finally, are you gluten intolerant but would love to try making your own Pita or flatbread? See gluten-free flours you can use as alternatives to wheat flour.
I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.