What Is Flatbread?

A Guide to Buying and Using Flatbread

Hummus with flat bread and olives
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Flatbread is popping up on grocer's shelves and in restaurants across the country from gourmet restaurants to franchise sub shops. It's become a bit of a trend, but flatbread has been around since the days of the ancient Egyptians. It's really no new concept.

Traditional Flatbread

Traditionally, flatbread is basically unleavened bread, which is made without yeast. Flour, water, and salt are the main ingredients. It's rolled out flat and cooked, usually in a brick oven. While it originated in ancient Egypt, many cultures have versions of flatbread. From naan in Afghanistan and India to the tortilla in Central and South America to the piadina in Romagna, Italy, the flatbread has been produced just about everywhere.

Other Commercial Flatbreads

Popular flatbread is a lot like a cross between pita bread and naan. There really is no such thing as an American flatbread, but the flatbread you see everywhere looks, feels, and tastes a lot like pita and naan. For some, it tastes too much like it's baked in a commercial bakery with extra ingredients. They prefer the taste and cost of making it at home.

How to Use Flatbread

You can do a lot with flatbread. You can eat it plain, which is tasty or use it in place of any other type of bread. A lot of people like to make their own pizza with flatbread. Just add sauce, cheese, and toppings. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350F and you will have delicious results. It will remind you of the pizza in Europe. By the way, pizza dough is a type of flatbread, as well.

Aside from pizza, flatbread sandwiches are another great way to use flatbread. Flatbread makes an excellent sandwich because it's hardy. It can hold a lot of meat or veggies and any sauce you add does not make the bread soggy. Try adding garlic sauce used in gyros on white bread.

Never pay $2 for two pieces of flatbread, especially when you can make it at home for much less. Homemade naan will yield you about a dozen or more pieces of flatbread for $2. Plus, you can always freeze it if you have made too much.