What Is Whole Grain Pita Bread?

A.M. Boyle

Whole grain pita bread is a type of flatbread that is baked using whole-grain flour. Bakers can use several different types of grain flour when making this type of bread. Regardless of what type is used, however, the key is that the entire grain has been used to produce the flour. This makes whole grain pita bread more nutritious than similar breads made from refined flour.

Whole grain pita bread.
Whole grain pita bread.

Pita bread has been around for centuries. Especially popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, the bread itself is round and flat and, when cut, has a distinctive pocket in the middle. Due to the fact that the bread is only slightly leavened, meaning that bakers use very little yeast in the dough, it is thin and pliable. People often tuck their favorite sandwich fillings into the pocket or use the bread to scoop up healthful dips, such as hummus.

Whole grain pita bread is made using whole grain flour.
Whole grain pita bread is made using whole grain flour.

Some types of pita bread are made from refined white flour, but in other instances, they are baked using whole grain flour, thus creating a more nutritious whole grain pita. The term whole grain basically means that the entire grain kernel has been ground up to make the flour. This includes the outside shell of the grain, called the bran, the softer middle, called the endosperm, and the small seed inside, called the germ. Refined flour, on the other hand, only uses the endosperm.

The bran and germ of any grain contain the lion’s share of the nutrients. Consequently, whole grain flour is a much healthier choice than refined flour. For the most part, whole grain pita bread is an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates, iron, and fiber. Some studies suggest that eating whole grains such as those found in whole grain pita bread can reduce the risk of certain serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Furthermore, evidence also suggests that whole grain products can help people maintain healthy weights.

People can usually find whole grain pita bread that is made from different types of grain. Although wheat is the type most commonly seen, barley, rye, and spelt are also popular choices. Manufacturers can also use several different types of grain to make one bread, thus varying the flavor and texture. For instance, some pita breads have up to 12 different types of grain and thus have heartier, nuttier textures and tastes.

As a caveat, some manufacturers use advertising tricks to suggest that their pita bread is whole grain when it is not. For instance, certain products might be labeled as multigrain, and while that means it is made from a variety of different grains, it doesn’t necessarily mean that whole grains have been used. In order to be certain, people should always check the ingredients listed on the label in order to make sure that pita bread was made using whole grain flour.

Pitas generally have two layers that present a pocket after baking.
Pitas generally have two layers that present a pocket after baking.

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