At it's barest definition, flatbread is any bread that is flat. Many flatbreads are unleavened—meaning they don't rise—but some are simply rolled out before being baked. Flatbreads take center stage in many cuisines around the globe. Mexico has tortillas, Ethiopia has injera, India has naan and the Middle East has pitas. These easy-to-handle breads are usually a smart choice when you want to eat on the go or avoid dirtying utensils during a meal, which makes them a great party food choice. The F&W guide to flatbreads explores all the different varieties with amazing recipes and tips for baking the best homemade versions.

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Ragi Roti

These flatbreads made with hearty, versatile millet flour are equal parts crispy and chewy, with whole cumin seeds, fresh herbs, and aromatics cooked right into the dough. The center holes allow steam to escape, resulting in a crispier roti. While they’re perfect for sopping up dal, these roti make a filling snack or lunch topped with creamy yogurt swirled with spicy tomato achaar or Indian pickle.

Grilled Vegetable Flatbread with Smoked Almond Muhammara

In addition to turning heads at your cookouts, this vegetarian masterpiece is packed with make-ahead options and smart shortcuts. Make the Smoked Almond Muhammara up to 3 days in advance and stash it in the fridge; skip a step and substitute 2 cups jarred roasted peppers for the grilled bell peppers, plus about 1/4 cup liquid from the jar. If you’re working with a small grill, cut the flatbread in half, or use lavash instead.

Masala Paneer Kathi Rolls

Fresh cabbage salad adds a sharp, acidic crunch to these warmly spiced, vegetable-filled rolls. These rolls can be served filled or on an assembly line for guests to make their own.

Chickpea Doubles with Tamarind and Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce

Traditional Trinidadian doubles are served open-faced and quickly wrapped in wax paper, letting the bara steam, and keeping the spicy filling piping hot. Try leftover tamarind sauce in margaritas, drizzled over fresh mangoes, or with roast pork.

Grilled Flatbreads with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta, and Rosemary Honey

Use a less expensive clover honey for the rosemary-infused honey here. Heating the honey will release much of its fragrance as it takes on the floral, piney taste of rosemary. Use leftovers in cocktails or with a cheese plate.

Lachuch with Labneh and Za’atar

“Oooh,” I breathed as a chef ladled a fluffy white substance into a pan. I watched as the surface bubbled up into an improbable pitted pancake that looked like the surface of the moon.When the man deftly flipped it out of the pan, it flopped onto the counter, seeming almost alive. I reached out a tentative finger; it was soft and pillowy, with a texture unlike any bread I’ve encountered before.You can find the Yemenite bread, lachuch, in every market in Israel. There’s something so hypnotic about watching the bubbles form and break that it’s little wonder there’s usually someone standing mesmerized before the flames.Yemenites eat the bread with soup (they are masters of the form), but young Israeli chefs have been finding all manner of uses for this deliciously yeasty bread. My favorite lachuch recipe iteration is a breakfast dish: covered with cool labneh while it’s still warm, then drizzled with olive oil and slathered with the herbal mixture za’atar.You can buy za’atar in any Middle Eastern spice shop. But it’s a blend, and if you like the flavor you might want to play around with various herbs to come up with one of your very own. The constant ingredients are sumac, salt, and sesame seeds. Dried thyme is usually used (za’atar is actually the Arabic word for thyme), as well as oregano or mint. Cumin is often part of the mix. Personally, I find I like the flavor that fresh oregano adds the mixture. But if you’re in a different mood, you can spread the lachuch with honey, with jam, or fold some cheese, tomatoes, and onions in for a lovely little sandwich.This spongy bread is remarkably versatile—and incredibly easy to make. Aside from allowing the yeast a few hours to work its magic, you’re basically making pancakes, except you don’t have to bother with flipping. Just like with pancakes, pay close attention to the heat of your pan. You’ll likely need to reduce the heat to give the bubbly top time to set before the bottom burns, and be sure to let the pan cool in between batches. But most importantly—don’t sweat it. Making lachuch is like riding a bike; once you get the hang of it, there will be no stopping you.

More Flatbread

Socca with Florence Fennel

Best New Chefs Clare de Boer and Jess Shadbolt of King in New York City first connected at the legendary River Cafe in London, founded in 1987 by another pair of female powerhouses, Ruth Rogers and the late Rose Gray. Their nourishing, satisfying recipes are trend-proof, stripped down, and extremely responsive to the season. One prime example is this Socca with Florence Fennel—a savory, crispy flatbread topped with thinly sliced fennel bulb and scattered with the fronds and licorice-flavored seeds.

Crackly and Chewy Grilled Flatbreads with Herbed Cheese Spread and Tomatoes

What turns a flatbread made with just 4 ingredients (flour, yeast, salt, and water) from everyday to extraordinary is the starter—a yeast, flour, and water base that ferments overnight and gives the bread its distinct flavor and chew. Here the starter gives the flatbreads a crackly texture that’s then burnished on the grill. Top and finish like a pizza with Herbed Cheese Spread and fresh tomatoes, or tear into pieces for dipping.

Persian Flatbread (Nan-e Barbari)

Rating: 5 stars

When Persian cook Mahin Gilanpour Motamed makes her addictive Persian flatbread, she uses store-bought pizza dough to save time. The trick is pulling and stretching the dough so it forms the classic oblong shape, then pressing deep ridges into it before brushing with yogurt and topping with the tasty mix of seeds and salt. Slideshow: More Flatbread Recipes