Unleavened bread comes in many forms. Learn how to spot the differences between leavened and unleavened bread, as well as 3 tasty options for eating it.
For bread lovers, unleavened bread or flatbread is an additional delicious option to savour.
- With bread being a staple in many diets around the world, unleavened bread is enjoyed by many cultures.
- If you’d like to broaden your flavour palette, discover the wonderful world of unleavened bread.
Leavened vs. unleavened
If you’ve ever had to decide between having leavened or unleavened bread, you may have been curious about the differences in nutrition.
- Actually, the nutritional content of leavened and unleavened bread is very similar.
- The similarity comes from the fact that besides a leavening agent (yeast, baking soda, baking powder, etc.), the other ingredients are the same.
The leavening agent is what gives bread its airy quality.
- In order to have leavened bread, you will need a leavening agent.
- Leavening agents like yeast, baking power or baking soda cause expansion of doughs and batters by releasing gases. Unleavened bread is made without leavening agents, and therefore does not expand, hence its flat texture.
Unleavened bread in religion
Unleavened bread plays important roles in two major religions: Judaism and Christianity.
- In Jewish tradition, unleavened bread is eaten during Passover, a week-long holiday. They do this during Passover because bread and other food made with leavened grain are not allowed.
- For Christians, unleavened bread is used when giving out the Eucharist. The unleavened bread or wafer symbolizes the body of Christ.
Matzo, matza or matzah is a type of unleavened bread that is traditionally enjoyed by Jewish people, especially during Passover. Matzo is mentioned many times in the Torah.
- The most basic matzo recipe consists of flour, water, oil and kosher salt.
The tortilla is a type of flatbread enjoyed in Mexican cuisine, though it originated in Spain. The tortilla is a staple item in the Mexican diet.
- It can be found in a variety of Mexican dishes, like tacos, tortas, tortilla soup and enchiladas.
- Tortillas can be found in other countries too, and depending on the region, tortillas can be anywhere from six to over 30 cm in diameter.
- Tortillas are made from wheat or corn.
- Tortillas are so popular that they are served in place of bread during meals and it is common to see tortillas served alongside stews and grilled meats.
Roti is another tasty unleavened bread choice. It is an Indian flatbread made from stoneground wholemeal flour.
- It is a staple that is enjoyed in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and some Caribbean countries.
- Roti is even a favourite in Trinidad and Tobago, because of a huge migration of people from South Asia who brought along their cuisine.
- When thinking about how to serve roti, you can have it accompany a curry or a savoury stew.