Flatbread is found all over the world in one form or another. They a kind of bread which is rolled flat and oven-baked, fried in a pan with or without oil, grilled or cooked over a flame. They are usually made from only flour, water, and salt but some contain a rising agent like pita bread.
Types of flatbread
There are many different types of flatbread in the world, here are just a few of the most common varieties available in the UK.
Tortillas – Tortillas are circular in shape and come from Central America – Mexico in particular. Traditionally they come in two different variates, flour tortillas and corn tortillas but they can be made will all different kinds of flour.
Flour tortillas tend to be more flexible because of the gluten in the flour and are typically larger than corn tortillas. They can be used to make wraps, burritos, soft shell tacos, sandwiches like piadinas or topped like a pizza.
Corn tortillas are used to make many popular Mexican dishes like tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, and quesadillas. You can also cut and bake them making them tortilla chips – the basis for nachos.
Pita bread – This super soft and pillowy flatbread. When cooked they puff up slightly due to an inner pocket of hot air. They are originally from the middle east but are common in Greek cuisine.
Uses – When cooked they are usually cut open and the inside is filled with meat, falafel, vegetables and or leafy greens.
Focaccia – This Italian flatbread has a spongy texture and can be recognised by the dimpled surface. Focaccia is usually topped off with a generous amount of olive oil and it can be flavoured with, herbs, cheese, or meat. It can be used to make sandwiches or served with soups and other Italian dishes.
Uses – It can be used to make sandwiches or served with soups and other Italian dishes.
Naan bread – Naan is an oven-baked flatbread found in the cuisines in western, southern and central Asia but it is most commonly associated with Indian cuisines. It has a soft and slightly chewy texture and comes in various shapes. They are commonly made with yogurt.
They can also be flavoured, you should try garlic naan and Peshwari naan (Peshwari is sweetened with dried fruit and coconut filling).
Uses – Naan is commonly served alongside curries and other dishes.
Roti – Also native to the Indian Subcontinent, rotis are small and thin circular flatbreads made from wholemeal flour and cooked on an oil-less pan. They don’t contain any yeast so they tend to be really flat.
Uses – like naan, they are commonly served with curry and other dishes.