Pizza is undoubtedly one of the best things ever created since sliced bread came into existence. Something similar that has fascinated people lately is the humble flatbread, which looks much like a pizza! Does that mean they are the same thing? Let’s clear that doubt and much more with this article on flatbread vs. pizza!
Pizza is famous all over the world. Since this magical treat made with simple ingredients was introduced, this is the first time anyone has seemed to have had enough of it! People have started making their versions of pizza worldwide, like flatbread! Although flatbreads and pizzas look very similar, they have many differences.
Flatbreads and pizzas look very similar on the outside. However, the fundamental difference between them lies in their dough. Flatbread is made with unleavened dough, whereas pizza dough is always leavened by yeast, which is doubled in size before baking.
Although flatbread, by name, has yet to gain popularity, every place in the world seems to have a version of pizza they make with flatbread. Some versions are more unique than others, while some stick to a classic flatbread base.
However, in any case, flatbread means a particular type of bread, and so does pizza. So, in this article, let us clear all the confusion between these two cheesy treats! Once you’re done reading this article, you will surely end up craving either one or maybe even both of them! Happy reading!
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Flatbread Vs. Pizza | The Difference Table
Below are some of the main differences between a flatbread and a pizza, given briefly for a glance. Later, we will be looking at each of these differences in detail.
|Basis Of Difference||Flatbread||Pizza|
|Type Of Dough||Unleavened||Leavened with yeast|
|Flavor||Mild flavor||Stronger flavor due to proofing|
|Made in||Brick Ovens, Skillets||Brick and electric ovens|
|Texture||Crispy edges and soft center||Fluffy and crispy all around|
|Preparation Time||Quicker to make||Requires more time|
|Toppings||Usually exotic||More generic|
What Is A Flatbread?
Flatbreads have gained just as much popularity across the world as pizza. People love making pizza so quickly, without having to do all the extra work or wait too long! However, although this may be surprising, flatbreads have been around longer than pizza!
Flatbread is considered the predecessor of pizza, as most pizzas were made with flatbread as the base. It was just quicker and easier to do so! But, later, with many experiments, bakers came up with lovely pizzas. But what is a flatbread like?
A flatbread, by definition, is just any bread made without leavening dough with yeast or other such agents. Flatbread pizza is more particular as it is just a flatbread that has been topped with sauces, cheese, and various toppings that go on pizza too!
Initially, even flatbread pizzas were kept simple. All they had was a drizzle of olive oil on top of them, without all the fancy ingredients. However, as people liked all the added sauces and toppings, it almost became a norm to sell loaded flatbread pizzas instead of plain ones.
What Is A Pizza?
Pizza is something other than an introduction. Pizza is popular everywhere and one of the best things Italy could have gifted us! Ever since pizza was introduced around the world, it now has its versions everywhere.
Although pizzas were made using flatbread, bakers began experimenting quite a bit with all the ingredients. So, with some trial and error, some bakers successfully created a special dough for pizzas; the rest, as they say, is history!
Pizza, by definition, is a dish of Italian origin made with a flat, round, leavened dough as the base, topped with tomato sauce and cheese. Now, there are a lot of versions of Italian pizza as well, with popular added toppings like meat and vegetables.
Pizza has taken up everyone by storm! So much so that now you will find versions of pizza made with bread slices, roti, tortillas, or even naan as the base! Although these don’t qualify as pizza, they taste just as incredible as the OG!
Flatbread Vs. Pizza | Differences Between The Two
Earlier, we briefly discussed the differences between flatbread and pizza in the table given above. Now, let us take a closer look at each of these differences in detail!
1. Type Of Dough
The first and main difference that sets these two delicious treats apart is that they both use different types of dough. Some of the ingredients for both remain the same, as they are a type of dough.
But, the fundamental difference lies in the added leavening agent. Flatbread dough is quick and does not need to rise or have air pockets, so no leavening agent is added to the dough, not even a chemical one.
On the other hand, pizza dough has a different texture, which can be achieved by proofing the dough. The only way to successfully be carried out is by adding yeast to the dough, which makes it different from a flatbread.
This difference could be a lot clearer. Of course, because we are used to eating pizzas and flatbreads loaded with toppings, they both taste quite similar. But, if you take the flavor of the base, there are certain differences.
Flatbread has a basic flavor since it is made with the simplest ingredients. Unlike pizza dough, there is no proofing happening, which surely adds a lot to the flavor of the dough. So, flatbread relies heavily on caramelization during the baking process.
On the other hand, pizza has added yeast and is rested for a decent amount of time. This gives the dough a distinct, bread-like flavor which isn’t possible with a flatbread. Moreover, pizza dough also caramelizes more evenly.
3. How They Are Made
The method with which a whole pizza is made can be different compared to a flatbread. As I mentioned before, just the fact that one of the doughs has an added leavening agent makes a huge difference even in this!
Flatbreads can be made differently on their own and even with toppings. Brick ovens are one of the most popular ways to bake flatbread, especially if it has toppings. However, people also prefer making them in skillets over a high flame!
Pizza, however, cannot be made in a skillet, as that isn’t how it is supposed to be made! Most traditional pizzas are made in a brick oven with really high heat, either just as they are or on pizza stones.
Since they both have different dough bases, their textures also turn out differently. Pizza dough has yeast added to it, which reacts with sugar and helps the dough rise while proofing.
It gives minimal rise to the dough but less than regular bread dough. This rise creates air pockets in the dough, making the pizza base light and airy.
They also have slightly crispy edges while being airy. Flatbread does not have air pockets, as it has no yeast. So, flatbreads have thin, crispy edges with a softer center. Flatbread dough also doesn’t have much moisture, so flatbread can turn into a cracker if baked too long!
5. Preparation Time
Isn’t it mind-boggling how just one added ingredient can make such a huge difference between two essentially similar dishes? Another factor differentiating these two is the time needed to prepare them both.
Flatbread, as you know by now, has no yeast. This means there is no need to rest the dough for too long before baking it. Flatbreads can generally be prepared quickly, even if you start the process from scratch to finish!
With pizzas, they take less time to bake. But they do need a good enough time to rest. The resting time helps the yeast react with sugar and create air bubbles, which helps the dough rise to double its size, giving the pizza its authentic characteristics.
The last notable difference between flatbread and pizza dough lies in their toppings. Flatbreads, on their own, have a very subtle flavor. So, they heavily rely on the caramelization of the dough while cooking.
Another thing that the flavor of flatbread relies on is the toppings added to it. Simple toppings don’t work with flatbread pizzas, as they provide less flavor. So, flatbreads tend to have exquisite toppings like goat’s cheese, caramelized onions, and balsamic vinegar.
Pizzas have a distinct flavor, even with the base. So, that makes a huge difference to the type of toppings to be added. Of course, no one ever said that you could not use fancier toppings for a pizza! But most pizzas taste just as well with simple toppings like tomato, meat, and cheese!
Flatbread Vs. Pizza | Similarities Between The Two
There are indeed a lot of fundamental differences between flatbreads and pizzas. However, that being said, there are also a few similarities between the two! The main similarities are as given below.
Yes, there is a huge difference between a flatbread and a pizza, especially with that one ingredient, yeast. However, other than this particular ingredient, the other ingredients that go into making both are quite similar!
Since both are a type of bread, certain ingredients like bread flour, oil, water, and sugar remain the same. The rest of the ingredients vary according to the type of bread.
The next similarity that exists between flatbread and pizza is their origin. Both these wonders were given to us by Italy! The original pizza was made using flatbread as the base, not pizza dough!
It was created in Italy and was one of the best ways for the working class to enjoy a cheap and filling meal. After some experimentation, some chefs came up with pizza dough in Italy.
3. Cooking Method
There are some differences between flatbread and pizza regarding their cooking methods. However, there are also some similarities between the two! If you ever visit a place that sells these, they must be baked in brick ovens.
With toppings, the best way to cook both these types of bread is in a brick oven. Brick ovens have a very high temperature, which helps them bake quickly and gives them the texture they need.
Earlier, we discussed that the toppings for pizza are very simple compared to flatbread, mainly because of the flavor and textures of their dough. However, the baseline remains the same for them both!
Both pizzas and flatbreads are more often than not enjoyed with several toppings that make them taste marvelous. These toppings can be simple or extravagant, based on many factors.
Top Flatbread Recipes To Try
A bunch of toppings and flavor combinations could be tried out with flatbread! Some that are beyond wonderful and worth a try are all mentioned below.
1. Mozzarella And Tomato Caprese Flatbread
Flatbread uses some fancy toppings but here, let’s start with one of the simpler ones! Caprese salads are great just as they are, with all the wonderful flavor and texture combinations.
But you can make them even more interesting by turning this delicious salad into a hearty flatbread topping! Just add some sauce, fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella onto your flatbread, and once done, drizzle with some balsamic vinegar!
2. Caramelized Mushroom Flatbread
An ingredient that makes one of the best toppings for flatbreads and pizzas is mushrooms! Mushrooms are versatile and can act as a simple ingredient or even a fancy one with a few tweaks!
Caramelizing mushrooms may not seem as fancy, but it sure adds more flavor to a flatbread than regular mushrooms! Caramelize the mushrooms with onion, brown sugar, and vinegar, and let them work their magic!
3. Steak Eggs And Arugula Flatbread
Eggs on a flatbread? Sounds odd, I know! But, surprisingly, if paired with just the right toppings, they taste marvelous on flatbread too! In this case, the other two toppings work well with the eggs.
The eggs are cooked along with the flatbread in the oven. This gives them a lovely flavor and char and leaves their centers soft and gooey. The slight bitterness of arugula surely balances the flavors out!
4. BBQ Chicken And Pineapple Flatbread
Yes, pineapple does belong on pizza, or in this case, flatbread. I am surely not apologetic about it, and if you believe this too, you need to try this lovely flavor combination!
For everyone who loves pineapple on pizza, you know there is no way this combination wouldn’t work! It is like one of those perfect combinations, and if you want some added flavor, you can throw in some ham on top!
5. Taco Flatbread
The next flatbread recipe you should try is a taco flatbread! Trust me; this flatbread is indeed just as extravagant as it sounds! Moreover, this is the perfect fusion of Italian and Mexican flavors!
Making one of these is easy. All the toppings that go into a taco must be added onto a flatbread and baked. You can customize all the toppings like meat, sauces, veggies, and cheese as per your taste!
Top Pizza Recipes To Try
Pizzas are something that all of you might surely be much more well-versed in. With pizza as well, there are several flavor combinations that you can try out; however, some that are good are given below.
1. Margarita Pizza
Want to keep your pizza as simple as possible? Then, margarita pizza is surely the way to go! Margarita pizza is light and delicious, with none of the fancy toppings. This is one pizza where you can taste everything properly and individually!
Freshly made pizza dough topped with a rich tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese truly is the epitome of the fact that simplicity is the best! Also, top your pizza with fresh basil for added flavor.
2. Pepperoni Pizza
Pepperoni is another classic when it comes to pizza. Most meat eaters, at least those who love pork, cannot think beyond a pepperoni pizza! It’s just one topping, yet it adds so much flavor!
Pepperoni is packed with a lot of umami flavor, which is also complemented by some of its spices. Moreover, if you use pepperoni cups, they collect a lot of fat, which adds an even better flavor overall!
3. Hawaiian Pizza
Yes, I am back to being unapologetic about pineapples on pizza! People who think this fruit doesn’t belong on pizza should try it! Anyone would be surprised to know that fruit like a pineapple works well on a pizza!
Hawaiian pizzas are generally paired with ham as the meat topping. Ham has a highly salty and pleasant umami flavor, which balances out well with the sweet pineapple flavor! As a bonus, you can also add some bbq chicken!
4. Breakfast Pizza
I surely don’t mean eating leftover pizza for breakfast when I say breakfast pizza! This is indeed a proper breakfast pizza, with all the wholesome ingredients that go into making a lovely and hearty breakfast!
Two ingredients that I love adding to my version of a breakfast pizza are bacon and eggs! Like in the flatbread, raw eggs are baked with the pizza in the oven. It gives them a gooey center with crisp edges.
5. Smoked Salmon Pizza
Until now, I have only mentioned some simpler versions of pizzas, which are very easily available everywhere. However, as I mentioned, pizzas can also be made with fancy toppings!
One such fancy topping you wouldn’t expect to work on pizza but still does is smoked salmon! Smoked salmon, capers, arugula, and cream cheese create a wonderful and elite flavor balance together!
Flatbread Vs. Pizza | Which One Is Healthier?
Pizza isn’t one of the healthiest foods to eat out there. The dough for a pizza itself is loaded with carbohydrates and fat. On top of that, the sauces, toppings, and extra cheese add in a lot more calories and grease.
For this reason, health buffs prefer to refrain from indulging in pizza as much. Flatbread has a similar story, with all the grease, fat, and carbohydrates that come from each element. However, is one of them healthier than the other?
In most cases, flatbread is usually much healthier than a regular pizza. The base dough for a flatbread tends to be healthier than a pizza, as it does not have as much fat as the other. Moreover, toppings are also versatile on a flatbread.
In some cases, there are also types of flatbreads that don’t have any added cheese or other unhealthy toppings. Pizza can also be made healthy by switching the flour and toppings.
Flatbread Vs. Pizza | Which One Is More Versatile?
Flatbread and pizza are the final product rather than an ingredient. So, in these cases, versatility cannot be determined. However, we can consider the two in terms of versatility if they are doughs.
So, as you all know by now, the base or dough for a flatbread and a pizza is very different as compared to each other in various ways. So, is one dough better or more versatile than the other, or are they the same?
In most cases, flatbread dough is much more versatile than pizza dough. The reason is that pizza dough can be used to make a pizza and nothing else.
On the other hand, a flatbread dough can be topped with fewer toppings. A flatbread can be enjoyed with a drizzle of olive oil. The dough can even make crackers, making it the more versatile option.
Flatbread Vs. Pizza | Which One Is More Expensive?
Both flatbreads and pizzas can vary quite a bit with prices, especially depending on where you buy them from. In most cases, cheaper places have everything moderately priced, but the higher the quality of toppings, the higher the price.
But pizzas take much longer to prepare than flatbread and require much more effort. Does that make pizza a more expensive option out of the two? Not really!
Pizzas and flatbreads can be equally expensive or cheap if you compare two with the same or similar toppings. However, the price of both of them increases as per the toppings added on to them.
So, eventually, both prices come down to the toppings and how exquisite they are! But other than that, in most scenarios, flatbread, and pizza cost the same.
Flatbread Vs. Pizza | Which One Is Better?
Food is indeed a very subjective matter. We all have grown up in different parts of the world, meaning our flavor preferences can be very different. So, it is difficult to say if one of them can be qualified as better than the other.
This, indeed, all depends on a person’s personal preferences. The toppings remain similar, but it all comes down to the base of them both. If a crispier and lighter base is something that you prefer, then flatbread is surely the better choice. If you like an airy and bread-like base, then pizza is the better option!
Can One Of Them Be Used As A Substitute For The Other?
Like versatility, here we cannot talk about substitution, as they are both final products and not ingredients, per se. So, there is no way any substitution can happen. However, I would like to talk about their doughs here.
Many may wonder if the doughs for pizza and flatbread are interchangeable. They are not, in short! The fundamentals of these doughs are very different from each other just because of the leavening agent.
So, one of the doughs cannot provide the sort of texture and effect you would expect from the other. Hence, pizza and flatbread dough cannot be used as substitutes for each other under any circumstances.
As we have reached the absolute end of this article, I hope it has helped you understand the differences between a flatbread and a pizza. There has always been a huge misconception about these two being the same.
However, starting with the base that makes them to the toppings, there are a lot of differences between these two types. So, that eventually makes flatbreads and pizzas quite different from each other, even though they have a similar origin.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are flatbread and pizza the same thing?
They are similar but not the same thing.
What is the main difference between flatbread and pizza?
The fundamental difference between flatbread and pizza is that flatbread dough does not have a leavening agent added to it, whereas pizza dough does.
Are both flatbread and pizza from Italy?
Yes, flatbread and pizza are both from Italy!
Which one of the two came into existence first?
Originally, pizzas were made using flatbread dough as the base. Later, after some trial and error, some Italian chefs came up with a special recipe for pizza dough. So, flatbread came into existence first.
Can pizza be made with fancy toppings?
Yes, pizza can be made with toppings that are just as fancy or even more than the ones added to a flatbread!
Can a flatbread be made with different types of flour, like pizza dough?
Yes, you can make flatbread dough with several different flours that are not limited to bread flour.
Can flatbread be made with simpler toppings?
Flatbread does not have a distinct flavor as pizza does, so it is better to use fancier toppings. However, you can still make flatbread with simple toppings if you like!
Can flatbread and pizza be made with sweet toppings?
Yes, flatbread and pizza can be made with sweet toppings, like dessert flatbread and dessert pizza!
Is one of these bases healthier than the other?
Technically, they are both equally unhealthy due to all the added toppings, fat, and cheese. But flatbread dough is usually the healthier option if compared as it is with pizza dough.
Can the doughs for flatbread and pizza be interchanged?
No, you cannot interchange the doughs for flatbread and pizza as they fundamentally differ from each other and give out different results too.
Is pizza just a type of flatbread?
Yes, pizza is a flatbread, but more of a yeasted or proofed flatbread.
Why are flatbreads expensive?
Most places use high-end toppings on flatbread, as they tend to give the best flavor. This makes the entire flatbread expensive.
Is it healthy to eat flatbread every day?
No, just like eating pizza every day isn’t advisable, the same goes with flatbread as it has a lot of refined carbs and is also packed with fat making it a little unhealthy.
Can flatbread be made in different styles, like a pizza?
Pizzas do have variations, like deep dishes and stuffed crusts. However, that isn’t possible with a flatbread. This is because flatbread has to be flat to qualify as one.