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What’s the Difference Between Pizza and Flatbread?

Homemade flatbread pizza garnished with fresh arugula.
Vladislav Noseek/Shutterstock.com

Who doesn’t enjoy a slice of pizza or flatbread with their favorite toppings? Both are tasty combinations of bread, sauce, cheese, and/or whatever meat or veggies (or fruit, in the case of those who are pro-pineapple on pizza) you want. What’s not to love?

But are “pizza” and “flatbread” different names for the same food? Can you use the two terms interchangeably?

While the two are very, very similar in almost every way, from ingredients to toppings to baking methods, they are not 100% identical.

The difference is all in the dough.

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More specifically, pizza dough contains yeast and flatbread dough does not. This means that pizza dough is given time to rise before it’s baked, so the crust is made from leavened bread. Flatbread is otherwise made with many of the usual pizza-making techniques, but since it doesn’t have any yeast and the dough isn’t given time to rise, its crust is made from unleavened bread.

That’s why flatbread has a thinner, crispier, and less fluffy crust than almost all pizzas.

Flatbread also tends to be made in a more oblong or freeform shape while pizzas are round, but this is a more arbitrary detail.

So next time you fire up your pizza oven, consider if you prefer a thinner or fluffier crust, and add or don’t add yeast accordingly.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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