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Apr 14, 2010 07:24 PM

Pita bread with no pocket?

Hello! I love hummus and pita bread ever since I ate at a middle eastern restaurant a couple of years back. At that particular establishment the 'pita bread' had no pocket and was very tender. I've had this kind of pita bread before at other places, but I cannot find it's likeness in the store.

The store pita bread has a definite pocket and is often very hard or firm and the top is kind of flakey.

Did I actually eat pita bread in the restaurants? Or was it some other kind of flatbread? Where can I buy it, or how can I make it?

Thank you!

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  1. You might have enjoyed the Pita bread's cousin, the Lafah - it's much thicker, more tender, and comes pocket-less. It's not dissimilar to Indian na'an.

    1. There are many breads all lumped under the term pita bread. Some have pockets, some not. The pocket bread is usually unleavened and cooked at a very high temp. Steam forms inside the dough, puffing it up, then as it cools it flattens out again. The bread without the pocket is usually, but not always, a leavened bread, and cooked at lower temps. I think Pide, which is Turkish, is one of the types without a pocket and is soft and slightly thicker. The type you talk about is what I always see at middle eastern restaurants and used to wrap gyros and schwarma. The pocket bread wasn't seen much in the US before the brand Sahara introduced it here in the mid to late '70's. Before that I only saw the solid type. Personally, when I use the term pita, I only mean the solid type, and I always refer to pocket bread as pocket bread.

      3 Replies
      1. re: JMF

        "I only mean the solid type, and I always refer to pocket bread as pocket bread."

        Interesting. I do think that today, if you asked 20 people on the street to describe pita, 19 would describe the bread as with pocket.

        We have well known Middle Eastern bakery in a certain neighborhood here in Brooklyn, that makes what they label as Syrian pita (with pocket) bread for sale to local area Middle Eastern restaurants and walk-in customers alike. They're claim to fame is that they corned the market, back in the '30's, with the introduction of the pocketed pita.

        That said, there are as many names for unleavened flatbreads, mostly without pockets,
        as there are countries of origin, something like 60, made with various types of indigenous grains and seasoning.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Restaurants usually make it soft by brushing it with olive oil and heating it on both sides in warm pan, then serving it as Gyro's or Souvlaki...

          1. re: Sean

            I think it's amusing that the Sam's Club/Kontos brand product is called "pocketless pitas."

            You would think this type of very good flatbread would have a name of it's own and points to what customers think of when purchasing pita these days.

      2. Us Persians eat Lavash. I'm sure some Arabic countries eat it and call it the same thing, too. In the store it's flat, but when you get it fresh made, it's a bit thicker and bubbly.

        1. Around here they label 'pocketless pita' as Greek pita..but have to agree that there are soo many flatbread/pita/naan variations that I'm not sure it's so easy to catagorize..

          1. When the OP says "pocketless", I'm unsure what's meant. Where I am pitta is pitta - oval shaped, about 18cm long and which, when warmed, puffs up so that you're able to cut it in half to stuff with food if you wish. If it isnt that, then we wouldnt call it pitta.

            If it was just a flatbread in the style of the Eastern Med or Middle East, then it was probably khobez or lavash which are much more versatile than pitta.