Flat breads of the World

Flat breads where the original breads. They are sill a major source of nourishment in many countries throughout the world. They, generally, are cooked very quickly (as little as 2 minutes) over a very hot surface. They can cooked on a pan, griddle, hot pebbles. A lot of flat breads do not require any leavening agent. The puffing effect is due to the rapid vaporization of the water contained in the dough. Since flat breads do not require strong gluten , they can be made by a great variety of grains. Its a very interesting source of bread recipe for coeliacs as gluten free flours can be used to make most type of flat breads.
So, there a short list of flat breads from all over the World and a link to their recipes.

Unleavened breads

  • Matzoh: Comes from Israel. It's a very thin bread with a cracker-like texture.
  • Lavash: Traditional bread from Armenia. It's paper thin and often dried. Then, it has to be re-hydrated before use.
  • Carta di musica: Sardinian bread made with semolina flour. Can also be found under nam of parchment bread or pane carasau. It has a poppadom-like consistency.
  • Lefse: Norwegian flat bread made of potato and flour, often butter and cream are added to the dough.
  • Bannocks: Scottish flat bread made of oatmeal. It has a texture in between a muffin and cracker.
  • Barley Bread: Traditional bread from Tibet made from roasted barley flour: the Tsampa. Shaobing: It is a baked, layered Chinese flat bread usually topped with sesame seeds. They can be either sweet or savoury. They are usually made of flour, water and lard folded and rolled. Sorry no recipe yet!
  • Baobing: Another traditional Chinese flat bread often used as a wrapper. They consist of hot water dough which are rolled into very thin pancakes. Sorry no recipe yet!
  • Chapati or chapatti: Traditional whole wheat Indian bread which is dry-roasted on a pan.It is also known under name of roti.
  • Phulka: This Indian flat bread is very similar to the chapati. Its is also, made of atta (whole wheat flour) and baked on a griddle (tawa). The difference is that the phulka is puffed up directly on hot coal or the fire.
  • Paratha: This is an Indian flat bread which is folded with ghee, rolled and layered.
  • Puri or golegappa: This a traditional Indian deep-fried, puffed bread used as a shell to be filled with sweet or hot and spicy savoury fillings. It is one of the most popular Indian street food.
  • Tortilla: Traditional Mexican flat bread made of maize or wheat flour and cooked on a griddle the comal . It is mainly used as a wrap.
  • Injera: Traditional, staple Ethiopian bread made with teff flour. It is similar to a pancake or a crumpet. It is used as a wrapper.
  • Potato farl: Traditional Irish flat bread, also known as fadge which is made with some mashed potato with some flour and enriched with some milk. It is serve for breakfast.
  • Soda crackers: Traditional American thin, crispy flat bread made of wheat flour dried in the oven.
Leavened flat breads
  • Sangak: Traditional and staple flat bread from Iran made of whole wheat flour and baked on hot pebbles.
  • Focaccia: Traditional Italian bread, this cousin of the pizza can take various flavours and shapes such as the focaccia salvia, schiacciata in Tuscani. Each region of Italy will have its own local recipe.
  • Pizza: Traditional Italian thin bread cooked in a very hot stone oven (to 900 degrees F/ 450 degrees C). It is traditionally topped with tomato sauce, olives and mozzarella cheese.
  • Balady: Traditional Egyptian pita bread. It is Either made with wheat flour (Aesh Baladi and Aash Makamar) or whole wheat flour (Aash Baladi ). It is a pocket bread that has various use such as kebab wrap, sandwich bread or as a spoon, etc.
  • Naan: Traditional Indian flat bread, enriched with yogurt baked in the traditional Indian oven: the tandoor. It is the usual accompaniment of hot food and is staple food in most of India. There are various variation of the naan such as the Peshwari naan (filled with nuts and raisins), Kema naan (stuffed with minced meat)or kashmiri naan, etc. Recipe:
  • English muffin: Traditional English flat bread consisting of a small, thick disc of dough that is pan fried. It can be savoury or sweet and is the people's favourite at tea time.
  • Bretzel: Also known as Pretzel in the U.S. It is a knot shaped leavened bread originated from Alsace in the east of France which is proofed then blanched in an alkaline solution (salted water) and dried in the oven. It is the traditional accompaniment of beer in the east of France and Germany.

Note that all these flatbreads can be made into gluten free breads by just replacing the wheat or gluten reach flours used in all the recipes linked to this post by any gluten free flours, such as teff flour, quinoa flour, buckwheatflour, etc.

To be continued

With an online degree in
cultural anthropology you can learn more about the foods of the world.
Become an expert on flat bread and more.