Naan bread and pita bread are both popular types of flatbreads that are widely consumed worldwide. From one culture to the next, these flatbreads are enjoyed with a variety of dishes to complete meals.
At first glance, naan and pita bread may appear similar. However, there are some notable differences between the two types of bread that set them apart in terms of taste, texture, and preparation.
In today’s article, we will explore the key differences between naan and pita bread. We will start by discussing the origins of each bread and the regions in which they are most commonly consumed.
We will also delve into the ingredients and preparation methods that are utilized to make each bread, and how these affect the final product. Finally, we will compare and contrast the taste and texture of naan bread and pita bread, and provide some tips on how to use each bread in various culinary applications.
Whether you are a seasoned cook or simply a lover of bread, this article will provide valuable insights into the distinct characteristics of naan and pita bread, and help you appreciate the unique qualities of the two flatbreads.
Naan Bread – Overview
Let’s start by looking at naan bread. Compared to pita bread, naan is typically softer. The naan bread recipe originated in India via Persia. The name “naan” actually derives from the Persian word “non,” meaning “bread.”
One of the main differences between naan bread and pita bread is the ingredients used to make them. Naan bread includes milk, and yogurt, and can also include butter or eggs. Combined, these ingredients make for a softer textured bread.
After the dough has been created, bakers shape the naan dough balls before slapping them against the interior walls of a clay oven, known as a tandoor oven. Then, during the precise cooking method, the naan bread puffs up and starts to bubble.
Another cooking method is to use a skillet, but this rarely produces the authentic version of this much-loved flatbread. Many cultures also make it on a baking stone.
Naan bread can be enjoyed on its own or it can be stuffed with different ingredients. Overall, though, naan bread is consumed flat and as a singular piece.
Pita Bread – Overview
Pita bread is believed to be much older than naan bread. It also contains fewer ingredients (salt, water, years, and flour). Whilst naan bread hails from India, pita bread originated in the Middle East.
Over the centuries, it became popular in Eastern Mediterranean regions, as well as Europe, Asia, and Africa where wheat was often consumed.
Coming from the Greek word for “pastry,” pita bread is fundamentally easier to make than naan as it can be cooked in a modern-type metal oven. Its texture, however, is tougher and drier than its flatbread counterpart.
Moreover, when you cut it in half, pita bread opens up to reveal two pita pockets. Although pita has smaller air pockets than naan, in each pita pocket, you can add many meats, sauces, and vegetables to make it like a sandwich.
Both pita and naan can be brushed with olive oil, herbs, and spices, and can both make for delicious pizzas and scoops for dips, and pita can also be cooked on a baking stone if required.
Naan Bread Recipe
If you fancy making your own naan bread, whether it be plain or with a garlic twist, check out the following recipes with some basic ingredients:
- Naan bread recipe | BBC Good Food
- Naan recipe – chewy & fluffy! | RecipeTin Eats
- The Best Buttery Garlic Naan Bread Recipe – Cafe Delites
Pita Bread Recipe
You may as well make some pita bread whilst you’re at it. Here are some tasty recipes to try, also containing basic ingredients:
- Easy Pita Bread Recipe (How to Make Pita Bread)| The Mediterranean Dish
- The easiest homemade Pita Bread recipe! – My Greek Dish
- Crispy Garlic Pita Toasts Recipe (Quick Side Dish) | Kitchn (thekitchn.com)
Naan Bread Nutrition
There’s no doubt that many of us prefer naan bread to pita bread, but which is better in terms of healthiness? When we consider that naan tends to include most of the same ingredients as pita flatbread, you’d think they are pretty similar in terms of calorie count and nutrition.
However, naan bread has some extra thrown in, such as ghee and yogurt, that can increase its fat content and calorie count. Add in your favorite fillings, such as meat, and its calorie content can rise even higher.
Also, naan flatbread tends to contain more carbohydrates, too, but these numbers will vary depending on your naan recipe, the flour used, and its overall size.
Naan does not offer much more nutritional value when compared to pita bread, but its iron content is much higher thanks to the yogurt and its protein.
It also contains some essential vitamins and minerals. As well as this, its fiber content is also a little higher than pita flatbread. Yes, naan may contain more calories, but it will keep you fuller for longer.
Pita Bread Nutrition
Pita bread holds a number of potential health benefits when enjoyed now and again and in small servings. Experts believe it can lower glucose levels and even aid in digestion.
Nutritionally speaking, pita bread contains fewer calories than two slices of bread in standard sandwiches.
Around four grams of protein is also found in a 39-gram serving of pita bread and its fat content is pretty low. Pita bread contains slightly less than 2 grams of total lipid fats, which is less than 2% of your recommended daily intake.
Naan And Pita Bread Uses
Naan and pita flatbreads have distinct differences in their uses due to their unique flavor, texture, and thickness.
Naan is thicker and softer than pita bread, with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. It is commonly used in Indian cuisine, where it is served alongside curries, soups, and stews. Naan bread can also be used as a wrap for sandwiches or filled with various ingredients, such as cheese, garlic, or herbs.
Pita is thinner and has a pocket in the center, which makes it perfect for filling with various ingredients. It has a neutral flavor and is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It can also be used to make sandwiches, wraps, or as a side dish to accompany dips like hummus or baba ganoush.
The main difference between naan and pita flatbreads is their texture and flavor profile. Although both work well with dishes, such as Indian curries, both have some unique characteris.