What Is Unleavened Bread?

What Is Unleavened Bread? Learn Its History And Recipes

Unleavened bread has been around for thousands of years and is still enjoyed today all over the world. From Jewish Matzo to flatbread in India, unleavened bread has a unique texture that can be used as an alternative to traditional breads. But what is unleavened bread? In this post, we’ll explore the history of unleavened bread and discuss how it’s made. So if you’re curious about this fascinating baking staple, read on.

What Is Unleavened Bread?

Unleavened bread refers to a diverse range of breads that are made without rising agents like yeast. These breads are typically flat, although not all flat breads are unleavened. They serve as staple foods in different regions, such as tortilla in Central America and roti in South Asia. Unleavened bread is also significant in Christian liturgy and Eucharistic theology.

What Is Unleavened Bread?

Origin Of Unleavened Bread

The origin of unleavened bread is connected to the story of Passover. After the killing of the firstborn, the Pharaoh allowed the Israelites to leave Egypt. However, due to their hurried departure, the Israelites did not have time to let their bread rise. Consequently, they brought unleavened bread with them. This specific dietary requirement is stated in Exodus 12:14: “You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread.”

To commemorate this event, Jews refrain from eating leavened bread for eight days during Passover. While all Jews abstain from chametz, Ashkenazi Jews also avoid consuming rice, corn, or legumes (known as “kitniyot”), whereas Sephardic Jews include kitniyot in their Passover meals.

At the seder, any bread-like substance, such as cakes or dumplings, is prepared by combining matzoh meal, fat, and eggs to ensure it remains kosher for Passover.

If you wish to bring something for the host, consider selecting an item from the kosher for Passover section of your supermarket or opt for a bottle of kosher wine or flowers.

Differences Between Unleavened Bread And Leavened Bread

  • Leavened breads contain a small amount of yeast or another leavening agent, resulting in a slightly puffy and less dense texture compared to unleavened breads.
  • Density: Leavened breads are typically lighter and airier, often enhanced by the addition of ingredients like milk or fat. Some examples of leavened breads are Asian “sweet breads.” On the other hand, unleavened breads are denser and harder.
  • Ingredients: Unleavened breads are made with simple ingredients such as flour, water, and salt. They are easy to make and do not require special ingredients or equipment. Since they do not contain yeast, they can be stored at room temperature for extended periods. Unleavened breads are commonly found in cuisines like Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, which do not rely on yeast.
Differences Between Unleavened Bread And Leavened Bread

What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Unleavened Bread?

Making unleavened bread is relatively simple and requires only a few basic ingredients. The main ingredients are flour, water, and salt. However, you can also add other seasonings or herbs to enhance the flavor of your bread.

For a basic unleavened bread recipe, you will need:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups of warm water
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Read >> How to make cloud bread

How To Make Unleavened Bread – Step-By-Step Guide?

To create unleavened bread, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. In a large bowl or mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and olive oil.
  2. Activate your mixer to blend the ingredients. Gradually add water while kneading.
  3. Knead the dough until it reaches a firm consistency.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for approximately 3 minutes until it becomes smooth and soft.
  5. Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and brush each piece with olive oil.
  7. Cover the dough once again and let it rest for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Preheat your oven to the maximum temperature, such as 500°F, and place a pizza stone or baking sheet inside.
  9. Roll out the dough on another sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
  10. Place the bread on the pizza stone and bake for 3-4 minutes, using a fork to poke any air bubbles that form.
  11. Serve the unleavened bread alongside your preferred dips or Indian curries.

Is Unleavened Bread Healthy?

Unleavened bread is indeed a healthy grain to enjoy. One of its great benefits is the absence of potentially chemically treated yeast, which may contain toxins that can accumulate in the body. Additionally, like all other breads, unleavened bread serves as an excellent source of complex carbohydrates.

How Long Will Unleavened Bread Keep Before It Goes Bad?

Unleavened bread can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you are ready to consume it, simply place it on the counter and allow it to reach room temperature. This is a convenient and effortless method to incorporate bread as a side dish.

How Long Will Unleavened Bread Keep Before It Goes Bad?

How To Store Unleavened Bread Properly?

To properly store unleavened bread, follow these tips:

  • Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
  • Store the wrapped bread in a cool, dry place such as a pantry or cupboard.
  • If you live in a humid climate, it is best to store unleavened bread in an airtight container to prevent it from becoming soggy.
  • Alternatively, you can also freeze unleavened bread for longer storage. Wrap the bread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. When ready to eat, simply thaw at room temperature and warm up in the oven before serving.

4 thoughts on “What Is Unleavened Bread? Learn Its History And Recipes

  1. Greg Gardner says:

    I’ve heard that we use unleavened bread in the Latin Rite because the Hebrews used unleavened bread during Passover and Christ fulfills Passover; His body is our food. So it shows that Christ’s flesh is our “Passover” meal.

    • Winifred Bond says:

      I understand the reasoning behind it, but if the early Christians didn’t use unleavened bread it seems like we would need a good theological reason to change it.

  2. Dwight Harper says:

    Christ most certainly used unleavened bread at the Last Supper. The Copts, Armenians and Churches of Jerusalem use unleavened bread. St. Thomas Aquinas was of the opinion that the Easterners adopted leavened bread during the Ebionite Heresy, and that the Apostolic practice was to use unleavened bread. The West later returned to the Apostolic tradition.

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