Some might think of flatbreads purely as a vehicle for hummus, or for mopping up any leftover soup or curry floating around at the bottom of a bowl. But when properly made, a good flatbread can shine all on its own. And if all else fails, you can always cover your bread in za’atar), pile cheese and egg on top, or stuff it with dill and sorrel. Below are our favorite flatbread recipes ever.

Uyghur Flatbread

The Uyghurs of the western regions of China refer to these flatbread as nang, which have existed for centuries as a staple at every meal. Punctured with a nail-studded tool, they’re scattered with any variety of seeds and spices and vary in diameter from a few inches across to a foot or more. Though they’re usually cooked in tandoors, an oven with a pizza stone will do. Get the recipe for Uyghur Flatbread (Nángbĭng) »

Indian Leavened Flatbread (Naan)

Unlike some other staple Indian breads, which are unleavened and crafted from durum wheat flour, or atta, fluffy naan is made with all-purpose flour and yeast. Traditionally, the dough is slapped against the chimney wall of a clay tandoor oven and baked over wood fires, but many home cooks make it on the stovetop. It is best savored hot and slathered with ghee. Get the recipe for Indian Leavened Flatbread (Naan) »

Indian Layered Flatbread (Paratha)

The foundation for this common Indian flatbread is the same dough that is used for chapatiatta, or durum wheat flour, mixed with water. The key difference, which creates the paratha’s signature layers, is rolling and folding the dough in a triangle. The chewy flatbread is then dry-cooked in a skillet until puffy and golden. Get the recipe for Indian Layered Flatbread (Paratha) »

Deep-Fried Indian Bread (Puri)

Deep-Fried Indian bread (Puri)
Deep-Fried Indian Bread (Puri) Photography by Ingalls Photography

Like chapati, puri is made from a simple durum wheat flour dough. But this flatbread incorporates ajwain seeds, which lend a lightly herbal, floral flavor, and is deep-fried in hot oil. It’s often eaten at breakfast or as a snack. Get the recipe for Deep-Fried Indian Bread (Puri) »

Egyptian Flatbread (Aish Baladi)

Similar to pita, but made with whole wheat flour, this Egyptian flatbread is traditionally baked in scorching-hot ovens in Cairo’s bustling markets. Home cooks can achieve similar results with a baking stone and an oven cranked to high. Get the recipe for Egyptian Flatbread (Aish Baladi) »

Pita Bread

Pita Bread
Pita Bread A. Silver

No Middle Eastern meal is complete without fresh, fluffy pita. Get the recipe for Pita Bread »

Man’oushé bil Za’atar

Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice mix of wild thyme, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds, tops chewy flatbread in this iconic Lebanese snack. Get the recipe for Man’oushé bil Za’atar (Flatbread with Za’atar) »

Pickled Stone Fruit and Burrata Flatbread

A light vegetarian lunch, or even savory summer dessert, the sugary pickling brine in this recipe helps the peaches and plums caramelize on the grill. Get the recipe for Pickled Stone Fruit and Burrata Flatbread »

Chapati (Indian Flatbread)

Thinner and chewier than paratha or naan, these earthy Indian flatbreads are made with whole durum wheat flour, called atta in Hindi. Get the recipe for Chapati (Indian Flatbread) »

Stuffed Moldovan Flatbreads with Dill and Sorrel

Kefir, a traditional Russian fermented milk drink, adds tenderness to the dough for these flakey Moldovan flatbreads, stuffed with dill, scallions, and sorrel—perfect as an afternoon snack or the starter for a large picnic. Get the recipe for Stuffed Moldovan Flatbreads with Dill and Sorrel »

Grilled Pita Bread with Za’atar

This chewy flatbread topped with za’atar, a spice blend of wild thyme, tangy sumac, and toasted sesame seeds, can be either grilled outdoors or oven-baked and finished in a grill pan. Get the recipe for Grilled Pita Bread with Za’atar »

VIDEO: Chapatis (Whole Wheat Indian Flatbread)

On the Indian table, where utensils are rare, flatbreads sop up soupy dishes and wrap morsels of food. The everyday flatbread is chapati, also known as roti, a pliant round made from whole wheat flour dough that is cooked on a dry skillet and then inflated and browned over an open flame. Get the recipe for Chapatis (Whole Wheat Indian Flatbread) »

Leaf Bread (Laufabrauð)

Leaf Bread (Laufabraud)
Leaf Bread (Laufabrauð) Ariana Lindquist

Made of a thin, waferlike dough, this crisp flatbread is a holiday tradition in Iceland. Many families make it together a few days before Christmas; some Icelanders joke that it’s the only time of year the men will help in the kitchen. It’s first cut into intricate geometric patterns, then deep-fried and saved to be eaten as an accompaniment to Christmas dinner. Traditionally, a special tool called a leaf bread iron is used to cut the patterns, but we found a paring knife works just as well. Get the recipe for Leaf Bread (Laufabrauð) »

Omani Egg and Cheese Flatbreads

A crisp, crackly flatbread loaded with creamy cheese and soft egg. Get the recipe for Omani Egg and Cheese Flatbreads (Ragag Ma Beed Wa Jibne) »

Cheese and Egg Bread

Filled with melted cheese and topped with a runny egg, this flatbread is best eaten hot–tear off the crust and dunk it in the well of cheese and egg. Get the recipe for Cheese and Egg Bread (Acharuli Khachapuri) »

Alsatian Bacon and Onion Tart

Cooking on a very hot pizza stone gives this bacon and onion tart a shatteringly crispy crust. Get the recipe for Alsatian Bacon and Onion Tart (Tarte Flambée) »