Here's The Difference Between Pita Bread And Tortilla Bread

These are two different kinds of bread.

IMAGE Lilen Uy

Many turned to making their own bread during the quarantine. This also brought about the rise of interest in bread and other baked recipes that didn't require ovens. Not everyone had an oven to bake bread but there are bread recipes that don't require an oven. Enter the roti, naan, pita, tortilla wrap, and other easy bread recipes that do not require an oven. These are all stovetop bread that you can easily recreate at home and cook in a frying pan over a flame instead of in an oven. 

However, these are not the same kinds of bread with just different names. Just like naan bread is not a roti, pita bread is not like a tortilla

While these can be made on the stovetop, a pita bread recipe is different from a tortilla recipe. Here are the differences between the two kinds of bread: 

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1 Pita bread is Arabian bread. Tortillas are from Mexico.   

Also known as khobus or kobus, pita bread is probably one of the most popular bread of Arabic or Middle Eastern origin. It is also similar to naan, a flatbread from India. This bread puffs up when cooked, and for the pita, which is also known as a pita pocket, it's commonly pried open to stuff with ingredients.

Tortillas originated meanwhile from across the Atlantic in Mexico.  

2 Pita bread recipes contain yeast. 

The country of origin isn't just the only thing that makes these two kinds of bread different. A standard pita bread recipe is made with a kind of flour, a liquid, and yeast. It will also contain salt for flavor and sugar to help activate the yeast. There are some recipes that use fresh milk instead of water for a richer flavor as well. The use of yeast makes the pita bread puff up just like it would if it were a loaf of bread. This also makes the texture of the pita bread thicker, fluffier than unleavened bread like the tortilla.  

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3 Tortillas can be made with wheat flour or corn. 

A tortilla is similar to the chapati of India and the Turkish lavash or bubble bread. Unlike the pita bread, it can be made with either wheat flour or masa or a kind of cornmeal or corn flour that is made from corn that has been specially treated. A soft taco can be made with soft tortilla wraps made with flour or a freshly made masa or corn tortilla just like quesadilla

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Either way, these are meant to be wrapped around food or is the base of dishes.    

4 A tortilla is a kind of quick bread. 

The pita contains yeast so it's considered a leavened bread recipe. Tortillas are not leavened, so it's a faster and easier to make at home kind of bread. A tortilla recipe can be made and cooked in under an hour while pita bread recipes require at least an hour of resting time for the yeast to multiply and raise the dough. 

While both the pita bread and the tortilla puff up when made, the tortilla relies solely on hot air to puff it up when first made. However, the tortillas' structure is too thin to do anything more than be a wrap or be rolled with a filling. The pita's bread, meanwhile, is thick enough to pry open and be stuffed without being easily ripped apart. 

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Both kinds of bread are easy recipes to try at home. Both are popular enough in their own right that there are many recipes you can find to use either bread in the recipe. Make a beef or chicken shawarma and stuff it in pita bread or make steak soft tacos and cheesy beef quesadillas using tortillas for a Taco Tuesday. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here!


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