Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chapatis

I know many of you are probably scared of making breads. I know I used to be. But there isn't much scary about it, really. Especially the categories of quick breads, and (what will be discussed here) unleavened breads. Unleavened breads have had a presence in most cultures for centuries. Chapatis are one Indian form of unleavened bread. It is quite similar to a tortilla, only slightly thicker and, in my opinion, easier to make.

Chapati
Indian Vegetarian Cooking at Your Home

2 c flour (I used all-purpose)
1 tsp salt
1 T vegetable oil
about 3/4 c warm water -- enough for a kneadable dough


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead by hand, or (like me), combine in the bowl of a mixer and knead with the dough hook, adding water as necessary. Cover bowl and set aside to rest for 1/2 - 2 hours (the longer, the better). After 1 hour of rest, punch dough down and knead again, this time, without adding any water.

Pinch off chunks of dough and roll into 1 1/2" balls; you should be able to get 10-12 balls out of this dough.



Dip each ball into flour. Flour your rolling pin (use a conventional pin, or, you can use a rolling pin for smaller breads like chapatis -- it does actually work better) and roll out into thin, 6" circles.














Place a flat, ungreased griddle (or cast iron skillet) on the stove at medium heat. When hot, add a rolled-out chapati on the grill -- keep the side you were rolling "up" when you place it on the griddle. When pockets start forming in the bread, flip the chapati over with tongs and cook until tiny brown spots appear on the side currently facing the griddle.




Eat as is, or, hold the chapati directly over the flame on your stove until it puffs up.

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