|Type||Bread (usually flat bread)|
|Variations||Matzo, roti, tortilla, and many others|
Unleavened bread is any of a wide variety of breads which are prepared without using raising agents such as yeast. Unleavened breads are generally flat breads; however, not all flat breads are unleavened. Unleavened breads, such as the tortilla and roti, are staple foods in Central America and South Asia, respectively.
Unleavened breads have symbolic importance in Judaism and Christianity. Jews consume unleavened breads such as matzo during Passover as commanded in Exodus 12:18. Per the Torah, the newly emancipated Israelites had to leave Egypt in such a hurry that they could not so much as spare time for their breads to rise; as such, bread which cannot rise is eaten as a reminder.
Canon Law of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church mandates the use of unleavened bread for the Host, and unleavened wafers for the communion of the faithful. The more liturgical Protestant churches tend to follow the Latin Catholic practice, whereas others use either unleavened bread or wafers or ordinary (leavened) bread, depending on the traditions of their particular denomination or local usage.
On the other hand, most Eastern Churches explicitly forbid the use of unleavened bread (Greek: azymos artos) for the Eucharist. Eastern Christians associate unleavened bread with the Old Testament and allow only for bread with yeast, as a symbol of the New Covenant in Christ's blood. Indeed, this usage figures as one of the three points of contention that traditionally accounted as causes (along with the issues of Petrine supremacy and the filioque in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed) of the Great Schism of 1054 between Eastern and Western churches.
Varieties of unleavened bread
- Matzo – Jewish flat bread
- Lavash (usually leavened but occasionally unleavened) – Armenian flat bread inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists
- Tortilla – Mesoamerican/Mexican flat bread
- Roti – Indian flat breads including Chapati, Dalpuri, and variants.
- Kitcha - Ethiopian type of flat bread used mainly in the traditional fit-fit or chechebsa dish.
- Tortilla de rescoldo - Chilean unleavened bread made of wheat flour, traditionally baked in the coals of a campfire.
- Bannock - Unleavened bread originating in the British isles.
- Arepa made of corn and corn flour, original from Colombia and Venezuela.
- Rieska - Unleavened bread usually made of barley, traditional in the northern parts of Finland
- Bataw - Unleavened bread made of barley, corn, or wheat, traditional in Egypt.
- Arboud - Unleavened bread made of wheat flour baked in the embers of a campfire, traditional among Arab Bedouin.