Khubz, alternatively transliterated as khoubz, khobez, khubez, or khubooz, , is the usual word for "bread" in Standard Arabic and in many of the vernaculars.

Preparation of khubz tannur 'tandoor bread'.

Among the breads popular in Middle Eastern countries are "pocket" pita bread in the Levant and Egypt, and the flat tannur bread in Iraq.

The oldest known find of bread, by archaeologists in Northern Jordan, dates back 14,000 years. It was a sort of unleavened flatbread made with several types of wild cereals.[1]

Tannur bread

In Iraq, the most popular bread is the Tannur bread (ḵubz al-tannūr, خبز التنور‎) which resembles other slightly leavened flatbreads such as Iranian nan-e barbari, Central and South Asian flatbreads (such as naan), and pizza base. (See also tandoor bread and taboon bread.)

The word tannur comes from the Akkadian word tinūru (𒋾𒂟), which consists of the parts tin 'mud' and nuro/nura 'fire' and is mentioned as early as in the Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh.[2]

Six recipes for bread baked in a tannur are included in Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's 10th century Kitab al-Tabikh cookery book.

As a result of the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq in the 1990s there was an increase in the making of bread in the traditional way in a tannur.[3]

Pita bread

Pita is a flatbread found in many Mediterranean, Balkan, and Middle Eastern cuisines. In Arab countries, pita bread is produced as a round flatbread, 18 cm (7 in) to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. It is thin and puffs up as it bakes. Since it does not contain any added fat, it dries out rapidly and is best consumed while still warm; later, it may become chewy.[4]

The "pocket" pita originated in the Middle East.[5][6] It is also known as Arab(ic) bread, Lebanese bread, or Syrian bread.[7][8][5]

In Egyptian, Palestinian, Jordanian, Lebanese, and Syrian cuisine, almost every savory dish can be eaten in or on pita bread. It is one of the staple food items in the Lebanese cuisine. Common fillings include falafel, lamb or chicken shawarma, kebab, omelettes such as shakshouka (eggs and tomatoes), hummus, and other mezes.

Nationals of other countries, for example, South Asians, also consume it as a replacement for roti with curries, cooked vegetables or meat (dry or gravy).

See also


  1. "Archaeologists find world's oldest bread and new evidence of sophisticated cooking dating back 14,000 years". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  2. Monier-Williams, Monier (1872). A Sanskrit-English dictionary, etymologically and philologically arranged, with special reference to Greek, Latin, Gothic, German, Anglo-Saxon, and other cognate Indo-European languages. Robarts - University of Toronto. Oxford Clarendon Press.
  3. Doug Smith (1 December 2007). "Iraqi bakeries make dough while they can". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  4. "Khubz. Arabic Bread". Al Mashriq (The Levant). Retrieved 2 October 2016. from Khayat, Marie Karam; Keatinge, Margaret Clark (1959). Food from the Arab World. Beirut: Khayat's.
  5. Stewart, Jean E. & Tamaki, Junko Alice (1992). Composition of foods: baked products : raw, processed, prepared. Vol. 8. United States Department of Agriculture, Nutrition Monitoring Division. p. 6. ISBN 9780160380440. Pita bread originated in the Middle East and is also known as Arabic, Syrian, and pocket bread.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  6. Elasmar, Michael G. (2014). The Impact of International Television: A Paradigm Shift. p. 188. ISBN 9781135635060.
  7. Wright, Clifford A. (2003). Little Foods of the Mediterranean: 500 Fabulous Recipes for Antipasti, Tapas, Hors D'Oeuvre, Meze, and More. p. 61. ISBN 9781558322271.
  8. Serna-Saldivar, Sergio O. (2012). Cereal Grains: Laboratory Reference and Procedures Manual. p. 215. ISBN 9781439855652.
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