Bread is a common food in many cultures and cuisines worldwide. In some cultures, bread is so common that it’s a staple of life. The middle east is home to different people, cultures, and religions. However, their cuisine is very similar. Christians, Muslims, and Jews all have bread as a staple food. They consider it a holy gift from God.
Speaking of bread, there are various types of bread—Arabian, Italian, British, French, etc, where each has unique ingredients and cooking procedures. Two popular bread, pita and Syrian, are all types of flatbreads. Differentiating the two may be hard. Here’s a review of Syrian bread vs. pita, discussing what they’re, their ingredients, similarities, and differences.
Syrian Bread vs Pita: Overview
As the name suggests, Syrian bread is a type of flatbread that is thick and has a circular shape. It originates from Syria where it’s a staple. This bread is eaten during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No meal lacks bread.
Syrian bread is made using white wheat flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water, and milk. Some prefer adding spices to the flour to give it a spicier kick. Once cooked, Syrian bread is soft and fluffy, with an air pocket in the center.
The air pocket makes it ideal for filling vegetables like tomatoes, onions, lettuce, etc. You can also opt to fill this bread with strips of meat like chicken, steak, or lamb. Some people fill Syrian bread with legumes, boiled eggs, sausages, and others make sandwiches.
Besides filling, Syrian bread can be eaten with just about anything. You can use it to scoop stews, dip in sauces, butter, olive oil, etc. Some apply butter in the middle and enjoy it as it is.
Pita bread is among the oldest, dating back to about 4000 years ago. It originated in the Middle East in Arabian countries. Thanks to Bedouins, pita bread is now known worldwide. These people spread pita and made it known in various places. They used to trade it for other essential commodities, and that’s how it gained its popularity.
You can prepare pita from grains or wheat. And there are also many ways of cooking it. For instance, grilling, steaming, baking, or frying. But the authentic way is cooking it on a hot stovetop, where it forms bubbles and gets the char marks.
Usually, pita is made from simple ingredients, white flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and warm water. Once cooked, the pita is small, circular, and thin, with a pocket that opens in the center that you can fill with foodstuff.
Pita bread is eaten the same way as Syrian bread. You can fill the pockets with your preferred vegetables, meats strips, boiled eggs, legumes, and sausages. Eat alongside stews, hummus, cheese, or dipped in sauces, butter, or olive oil.
Similarities Between Syrian And Pita Bread
The most notable similarity between the two is that both are types of flatbreads. They are rounded, flattened, and open up into beautiful pockets. Other similarities include:
Ingredients And Cooking Procedure
Both Syrian and pita bread have the same standard ingredients, wheat flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and warm water. The cooking procedure is also similar. It involves mixing dry ingredients and activating the yeast in warm water. Once activated, the yeast is added to the flour and kneaded until soft. It’s then allowed to rest until it doubles in size. Once it has doubled, it’s divided into desired ball size and allowed to rest until it doubles again. After that, it’s baked in the oven or on top of a hot stovetop.
Since the two are types of flatbreads, they’re eaten the same way. You can fill the pockets with meats strips, vegetables, eggs, sausages, and legumes salads to make sandwiches. Or use them to scoop other foods like stews, or dip them in sauces, olive oil, or butter. Some people open the bread into two, apply butter on either side and eat.
Differences Between Syrian And Pita Bread
Syrian bread differs from pita in the following ways:
Although both are flatbreads, they don’t look entirely the same. Pita bread is smaller with a lesser diameter than Syrian bread. It’s also crunchier on the outside with a relatively more bread-like taste.
On the other hand, Syrian bread is circular, with a larger diameter of about 12-14 inches. It’s also thicker about 3-4 inches. Syrian bread is not as crunchy as pita bread, but rather, soft with a chewy texture and a less bread-like taste.
Type Of Flour Used
Syrian bread is made using all-purpose or bread flour. These two are both white refined flours. As for pita bread, it’s made using both refined white flour and whole wheat flour. This makes pita bread a healthier alternative. That’s so because whole unrefined flours have many benefits, including reducing the risk of diabetes, aiding in weight loss, reducing blood cholesterol levels, and preventing constipation.
Presence Of Milk
Pita bread does not contain milk as one of its ingredients. However, Syrian bread is made using milk. The milk does an incredible job of improving the nutritional value of this bread, which is mainly carbohydrates. It also enhances its taste, giving this bread a milk-like taste. Moreover, milk is rich in fats that help soften the dough. So, you don’t have to knead for long to achieve a smooth texture.
Availability In Stores
Pita bread is more popular than Syrian bread. As such, it’s available in various stores and supermarkets like middle eastern stores. Syrian bread is less common, and few people know it. So, it’s not always available.
Final Verdict: Syrian Bread vs. Pita
Opting for pita or Syrian bread depends on you, as each has its benefits and drawbacks. Syrian bread is soft, huge, with a richer milk taste. So, if you like a more flavorful bread, this may work for you. Pita bread is smaller, thinner, and a have a bread-like taste. Thus, if authentic bread taste appeals more to you, or you like crunchy, tiny bread, go for a pita.