Laffa bread is a leavened flatbread from the Middle East, a famous street snack in the eastern Mediterranean. However, as a street meal, this bread comes in various shapes & sizes and is highly popular.
It’s generally prepared in a clay-walled wood-fired oven, but it may also be prepared in a home oven using a pizza stone or an upside-down rimmed baking sheet.
Laffa can also be cooked in a cast-iron skillet or on a grill pan, which scorches the bread and gives a smoky taste. Laffa bread is created using components you probably already have in your pantry while requiring little kneading.
A laffa wrap is used in food stalls to envelope meats like kebabs and shawarma. It’s a popular snack in Israel and Palestine, ideal for scooping up sauces. Once you’ve had laffa bread, you’ll never go back to pita.
What is Laffa?
Laffa, also known as Iraqi pita or lafa in Israeli cuisine, is a big, thin flatbread of Iraqi origins. Laffa does not have a pocket like a Levantine pita. It is commonly used to wrap falafel and shawarma sandwiches, dip in hummus, matbucha, and other dips, and eat with shakshouka and other foods.
It’s also the bread used in Israeli eggplant sandwiches called sabich. It’s comparable to various Asian tandoori pieces of bread, like naan.
Nearly all of Iraq’s Jewish population fled to Israel in the mid-20th century, bringing the traditional Iraqi flatbread known as aish tannur or simply khubz (bread). It was their customary bread, prepared in community outdoor wood or coal-fired ovens and served as a side dish to a wide range of foods.
In Iraq, a laffa is a wrap prepared with this bread while in Israel, the word has been ascribed to the bread itself. Israelis may refer to traditional loaves of bread found in the Palestine region as “laffa,” such as taboon bread or thinner sajj bread.
What is Laffa Bread Made Of?
Laffa is created by mixing flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil to make a dough. After kneading, the dough is generally left to rise for many hours or overnight. The dough is then split into numerous balls and allowed to rise.
It was prepared in a tandoor-like pizza or a taboon oven in the past. Nowadays, a pizza oven, an outdoor grill, stovetop, frying pan or oven is more commonly used. The dough is then stretched into a large, thin sheet that is much thinner than a pita and fried until slightly risen and cooked through.
Laffa vs. Pita
People mistake the laffa for pita bread because they look so similar. Even though they are closely tied, there are several differences between them listed below.
Pita, also known as Lebanese/Syrian or Arabic bread, is a flatbread made from wheat flour with moderate leavening. This bread is popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. Pita pieces of bread are circular flatbreads with a diameter ranging from 18 cm (7 inches) to 30 cm in Arab nations (12 inches). It’s a thin dough that expands when baked.
Laffa bread, on the other hand, resembles toasty bread — it’s somewhat thicker and chewier than a pita. In eateries, it’s used to wrap meat like kebabs and shawarma. It is widely used in Israel and Palestine and is ideal for scooping up dips.
A pita is a flatbread pouch used for making sandwiches that is thinner and cheesier than laffa bread.
How to Store Laffa Bread
Although laffa bread is best eaten fresh, it may be double wrapped in foil and stored at room temperature in a cling film or plastic bag for up to two days. It can be eaten later by reheating it in the foil while it’s still wrapped.
Health Benefits of Laffa Bread
A laffa bread contains very few calories and is a good source of protein and carbohydrates. Additionally, the bread contains sufficient amounts of vitamin B, selenium, and manganese, which act as antioxidants.
Laffa bread is a soft, low-carbohydrate bread that pairs well with a variety of foods. The bread is perfect for dipping into sauces and spreads with its soft texture. At Nish Nush, laffa bread is a great way to round up your Mediterranean sandwich and bring magical flavors to your taste buds.