- Pita bread is a staple in Middle East and Mediterranean cuisines
- Pita bread can be served with almost any type of dish
- Pita bread is made using wheat flour, meaning it’s not gluten-free
- Individuals on a gluten-free diet can still enjoy pita bread
Pita bread is a yeast-leavened, slow-cooking and highly versatile flatbread. Consumers would like to know if pita bread is gluten free or not.
Regular bread is usually not gluten free. It’s made using wheat flour as one of the ingredients. Wheat flour comes from wheat, which is a gluten grain. You should be able to find gluten free pita bread from a store near you or make yours at home if you are on a gluten free diet.
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Is Pita Bread Gluten-Free?
Pita bread is a flat or round flatbread. It has been a staple of Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cuisine for thousands of years. Today, it’s prepared and enjoyed worldwide. And, you can find different versions of this type of bread out there.
This leavened flatbread is made of wheat flour, yeast, and water. Some recipes may also add some salt and sugar. Also, you may add some spices and herbs to give it extra flavor.
As we pointed out earlier, pita bread is highly versatile. You can serve it alongside almost any type of meal. In Mediterranean cuisines, pita bread is used in gyro sandwiches.
And in the Middle East, it can be stuffed with hummus, falafel, or baba ganoush, just to name a few. You can also make pita bread into sandwich bread with chicken salad.
Consumers should know and appreciate that there is a difference between pita and flatbread.
Pita is slightly leavened but flatbread is often unleavened. Specific brands such as flatbread pizza and store bought gf flatbread are known to be very tasty. Closely connected to this is naan bread which is more tender and moist than pita bread.
Pita bread is good for the vegans and it is considered as vegan pita bread. It is healthier and more nutritious than regular bread.
Gluten is a group of proteins commonly found in barley, wheat, rye, triticale, durum and spelt. Usually, this type of protein triggers various complications in people with gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, gluten intolerance and wheat allergies.
It’s associated with symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, nasal congestion, hives or skin rash, itchy eyes, headaches, indigestion, depression, foggy mind, and joint pain, just to name a few. Beyond Celiac states that individuals with celiac disease can experience constipation.
The symptoms and severity will range from one individual to the next.
Thus, for an individual with celiac disease, one must be very careful about the diet taken and should be faithful to gluten free diets.
At the center of this is the need to take gluten free foods such as gluten free breads.
If you’ve been diagnosed with wheat allergy and you are looking to try out Middle-Eastern or Mediterranean cuisines for the first time, you may be probably wondering, is pita bread gluten-free? Does pita bread have gluten? Is pita bread recommended for people on a gluten-free diet?
To answer the above questions, we need to break down the ingredients used to make pita bread. Earlier, we mentioned that pita bread is made of wheat flour, sugar, yeast and water.
And, wheat flour comes from wheat, which is a gluten-containing grain. Therefore, the answer is simple; pita bread isn’t a gluten free bread. Therefore, this bread is not safe for people on a gluten-free diet.
Is Pita Bread Safe for People with Celiac Disease?
If you have celiac disease, then you understand the importance of being extra vigilant with your diet choices. If you are looking to incorporate this grain into your gluten-free diet, you may be wondering whether it’s safe for you.
The short answer is no. Pita bread is not safe for people with celiac disease and this product is not gluten free pita bread. It’s made of wheat flour, which is a gluten-containing flour.
And as you may expect, it will trigger a severe autoimmune response in your body, causing a wide range of undesirable complications.
If you had plans of adding pita bread to your gluten-free diet, then you should look for gluten-free alternatives. It’s simply not safe for you if you have celiac disease, regardless of your level of sensitivity.
Another problem that comes in the preparation of gluten free food is contamination. When preparing pita dough and pita bread rise, the status of gluten could be compromised.
The making of pita bread rise is a sensitive stage which requires one to be careful, and the same case applies to filling pita pockets.
How to Enjoy Gluten-Free Pita Bread
If you have any gluten-related complications, it will be advisable to stay away from the traditional pita bread, made of wheat flour. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy pita bread. There are a couple of companies out there, which make and sell gluten free pita bread.
Some ingredients that are used in making pita bread do not contain gluten, baking powder for instance. Related products such as gluten free flatbread will be safe for you.
Some of the gluten-free pita bread brands include Against The Grain, Genius, and BFree, just to name a few. In case you can’t find pita bread from any of these brands in a store near you, then you can opt for other brands.
However, ensure you read the packaging carefully and check whether the product has been certified gluten-free before you proceed with your purchase.
In case you have concerns with store-bought pita bread, then you can simply prepare yours at home using gluten-free ingredients. For instance, you can substitute wheat with gluten-free flours like oat flour, sorghum flour, almond flour, coconut flour, amaranth or chickpea flour.
Gluten-free pita bread may have a slightly different taste and texture from the traditional one.
For people on a gluten-free diet, the minor changes in taste and texture are nothing compared to the complications they may experience after eating gluten-containing pita bread.
Home-Made Pita Bread
You can make pita bread at home, and a pita bread recipe is a delicious recipe which is not difficult to follow. With the right process, you will make good gluten free pitas.
All you need is simple kitchen utensils such as a large mixing bowl. You will also need ingredients such as baking powder and salt. If you are able to use all purpose flour, the better.
This is because of the benefits that it carries. You might also need parchment paper and a baking sheet.
With the homemade pita bread, you will have the opportunity to experiment with different ingredients such as white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, tapioca flour, potato starch, vegetable oil, olive oil, and xanthan gum.
Moreover, you can use all purpose gluten free flour which is healthy.
You will experiment in related products such as gluten free gyro bread, and you can make it dairy free.
As long as you use gluten free flour products, you will be safe from the impact of celiac disease.
Home gluten free baking is not only fun, but it will be economical for you. When you make gluten free pita at home, you will improve your cooking skills.
If you store pita bread in an airtight container, you can use it for quite a number of days.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker