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Unleavened Bread Baking: A Comprehensive Overview

Humanity and bread, bread and humanity that’s how it has been for the last 30,000 years. If there’s one thing we have gotten good at it is certainly baking bread, but for as long as our history can tell we have always had two distinctive categories of bread: Leavened and unleavened bread.
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What Is Unleavened Bread?


Unleavened bread refers to any variety of bread which has not been prepared with raising agents such as yeast. This generally results in flatter bread although not all flatbreads are unleavened. This rather small deviation has led to some bitter religious disputes over the ages (link).

Where To Buy Unleavened Bread?


It's relatively easy to buy unleavened bread as it can be found in traditional bakeries which still exist in large urban areas. Another source would be in specialty food stores. These sources majorly deal with small scale production and might even require you to place an order before you can come to collect your unleavened bread. Alternatively, you can go for a more commercial approach, in such a case these are the best places to look for fresh unleavened bread:
There’s no surprise here; Amazon sells almost every product. The majority of the unleavened bread listings on Amazon are in the form of crackers, wafers, and whole loaves of bread. This wide selection allows you to try out different products depending on your taste and needs.
Walmart offers a wide selection of unleavened bread baked by third-party bakers as well as its very own bakery which is part of their grocery business section. The pickup option also ensures that you get to inspect the products before completing the purchase.
Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s has 430 chain stores spread across the states and offers some of the best food to stock up your pantry. Their bakery section never runs dry and comes highly recommended if you are in the market for fresh unleavened bread.
Local Farmers Market
The local farmers market can be a great place to source for locally grown food products. You can get pickled, canned, and processed food from these local vendors. It's nearly impossible to find a farmer’s market without a local bakery stand where they offer unleavened bread and other baked goods.
Sprouts Farmers Market
Sprouts is a health-focused chain stores brand with over 300 stores spread out from the east coast all the way to the west coast. Their online catalog assists you to track down your favorite product and point out the nearest store. Alternatively, you can request for delivery. Their bakery has a wide selection of unleavened bread, but it’s important to remember that some of these may not be available in every store.

10 Varieties and Examples Of Unleavened Bread


1. Matzo
Matzah/Matzo is probably the most common variety of unleavened bread on the market. This flatbread comes in various sizes, texture and tastes all depending on the recipe used. Matzo plays an integral role in the Passover festival and is a common dish in Jewish cuisine.
2. Tortilla
These flatbreads are thin and come in various varieties such as corn tortillas and wheat tortillas. Tortillas were first made by indigenous tribes from Mesoamerica including the Aztecs and Nahuatl speakers.
3. Roti
This is a flatbread native to the Indian subcontinent that’s made from stoneground wholemeal flour (Atta) which is combined with water to make a sticky dough that is then flat-rolled and baked in a tandoor oven. This bread is customarily consumed with vegetables or curries.
4. Tortilla de rescoldo
This is a traditional Chilean flatbread prepared by rural travelers. The bread is made of wheat flour and was traditionally baked by partially burying it in the coals of a campfire.
5. Bannock
Bannocks are originally from Scotland and were made from barley or oatmeal dough which would be shaped into an oval shape and cooked on a griddle. Due to their size, they have to be sliced into smaller sections before serving
6. Sprouted bread
Sprouted bread refers to any unleavened bread that’s prepared using sprouted grains. To make this variety of bread, the grains are first allowed to reach the sprouting stage of germination by introducing water and are then dried. The dried sprouts are ground into a meal which is used to make the dough and later baked. As a result, the bread has a characteristic chewy texture with a nutty flavor. The sprouting process also converts most of the stored contents into easily absorbable nutrients making it even healthier.
7. Chapati
Chapatis traditionally originated from India, but over the years this flatbread has become common in the Middle East and the East African coast countries such as Kenya and Tanzania’s famous Swahili cuisine. The bread is prepared using wheat flour which is mixed with water, sugar, and salt to taste and then rolled into thin circular shapes which are then cooked on a heavy skillet until they have a golden-brown hue.
8. Unleavened Communion Bread
This traditional bread is used for holy communion in churches. It is probably the most widely consumed variety of unleavened bread. The bread undergoes a unique baking process to prevent it from crumbling due to its thin size.
9. Lavash
Lavash bread also known as cracker bread is an Armenian flatbread that’s baked in a tandoor oven. This flatbread has Iranian roots and is eaten throughout the middle east and eastern Europe. UNESCO actually lists the sharing of lavash in the communities of Azerbaijan as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
10. Crepe
While a sweet crepe can’t really be described as a bread but as a pancake, it still does, in essence, have the characteristics of unleavened bread. The main ingredients are wheat flour, milk, and eggs.


The majority of the unleavened bread on the market is shipped in airtight plastic paper which makes it much easier to store it in your pantry for the remainder of its shelf life. If you have baked them simply pack them in a sealable bag and store in the fridge.

Religious Significance


Unleavened bread holds symbolic importance in Christianity as well as Judaism. During the Passover holiday, when Jews celebrate the commemoration of their liberation by God from ancient Egypt slavery Matzo is consumed. Due to this characteristic consumption of unleavened bread, the holiday is also referred to as the feast of unleavened bread.
In Christianity unleavened bread plays a significant role in Eucharist which is a rite derived from the last supper. This is when Jesus broke bread with his disciples during a Passover Seder. The Canon law mandates the use of unleavened bread for the Host (priest conducting the Eucharist) and unleavened wafers for the rest of the communion faithful.




Inspired by Alyonas Cooking (link
3 cups wheat flour
1 1/2 cup cold water
1 tbsp salt
100ml sunflower oil
1. In a bowl mix the wheat flour and sunflower, stir until thoroughly mixed. Add salt and water and knead to form a soft dough and set aside to settle for a few minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 390 degrees F.
3. Flatten the dough on a lightly floured smooth surface (to avoid sticking on to the surface) and use a rolling pin to roll it out and shape it to fit your baking tray.
4. Place the rolled dough on a baking tray. Use a fork to prick the dough and stretch it a little to open up the holes.
5. Depending on your intended design you can cut the dough into squares or triangles, but there’s no need to separate the pieces.
6. Place the baking tray into the preheated oven and cook for at least 5 minutes or until crispy.
7. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to gently remove the pieces from the tray, allow to cool before serving.

Soft Unleavened Bread

Inspired by Nazarene Isreal (link
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups of milk
2 tsp kosher salt
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl using an electric mixer until you achieve a smooth batter.
2. Spray a wide pan with cooking spray and spread the batter onto it, ensure all edges are covered.
3. Bake at 450 degrees F for around 20 minutes or until the bread is lightly browned.
4. Serve with taco sauce, cheese or meat.

Sesame Crisp Crackers

Inspired by Taste of Artisan (link
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
1 cup raw sesame seeds
6 tbsp sunflower oil
1 cup slightly warm water
1. Mix the flour, salt, and sesame seeds in a large bowl, add the oil and use a fork to work it in. Add the cup of water and knead until the dough smooths out.
2. Cut the dough into ball-like shapes and flatten each one using a roller into 1/4 inch thickness.
3. Cut the flat pieces into desired shapes, place them on an ungreased baking sheet and prick holes with a fork.
4. Bake at 420 degrees F for at least 10 minutes.

Polenta Toasts

Inspired by Eliyah (link)
1/2 cup regular cornmeal
1/2 cup whole grain cornmeal
1 cup of cold water
1/2 tsp salt
1. In a heavy saucepan mix the cornmeal and salt, slowly whisk in the water and cook over medium heat constantly stirring until the mixture begins to boil.
2. When the paste thickens, remove from the heat and spread on a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray, refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and take out the mixture from the fridge. Cut the polenta into squares and push apart slightly while taking care not to cut the pan.
4. Spray the top sides of the pieces with olive oil spray and bake for at least 20 minutes.
5. Use a spatula to remove the lightly browned polenta toasts and allow to cool before serving.


Inspired by WikiHow (link
3 cups wheat flour
1 cup Atta flour
3 tbsp oil
1 cup slightly warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
Oil to fry
1. In a bowl add the wheat flour, Atta flour, salt, sugar, 3 tbsp oil and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the water and knead until the dough is consistently sticky and thick.
2. Cover the dough with a sheet foil and allow to set for at least 30 minutes.
3. Cut the dough into fist-sized balls and use a rolling pin to spread out and roll each ball into thin circular shapes.
4. Heat a large skillet and fry each chapati constantly adding a bit of oil to ensure consistent cooking on each side, flip over until all sides attain a golden-brown hue.
5. Place the cooked chapatis on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

Darrel’s Unleavened Bread

Inspired by Eliyah (link)  
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/6 cup Omit honey
1 cup of warm water
1/2 cup olive oil
1. Mix the oil and flour in a bowl and stir in the water and honey while continually whisking until the mixture is runny.
2. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 500 degrees F for at least 7 minutes.
3. Use a spatula to remove the bread and allow to cool before serving.

Cheese Popover Puffs

Inspired by Nazarene Israel (link
2 cups wheat flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp margarine, melted
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Combine the flour, eggs, salt, milk, and margarine in a bowl and beat until evenly smooth.
2. Stir in the cheese and pour the mixture into a well-greased muffin pan.
3. Bake at 420 degrees F for 15 minutes followed by 25 minutes of 300 degrees until golden brown.
4. Serve immediately.

Mother Vance’s communion Bread

Inspired by Nazarene Israel (link
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup shortening
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1. Mix all the ingredients together until evenly mixed, roll out the mixture on a baking sheet.
2. Cut into small squares and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or less if you notice burning on edges.
3. Use a spatula to remove the pieces and allow to cool before serving.

Cinnamon Matza

Inspired by Nazarene Israel (link
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup of water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1. Mix the dry ingredients together then add in the water and mix thoroughly to make a soft, kneadable dough.
2. Divide the dough and roll out with a rolling pin to around 8-inch matzos.
3. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and melt the butter, then fry each piece until browned over while flipping to ensure it's well cooked.
4. Serve immediately or wrap in paper towels before storage.

Egg and Onion Matza

Inspired by Nazarene Israel (link
2 cups wheat flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp onion powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1. Mix the onion powder and milk in a bowl and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
2. In a mixing bowl add flour, salt butter, eggs, and the milk mixture. Knead the dough until soft.
3. Divide the dough into workable pieces and roll them into square shapes using a rolling pin. Remember to flour the working surface so as to avoid sticking slightly.
4. Place the squares on a greased cookie sheet and prick them with a fork.
5. Bake at 45 degrees for around 15 minutes or until they turn golden.
6. Allow to cool before serving.


Interested in other baking and bread related articles? 
Check these out:
Top 10 Bread Slicers of 2019
Buckwheat Bread
Understanding and Using a Bread Lame
What is Meal Bread?
How Many Slices in a Loaf of Bread?

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