Friday, May 9, 2014

Saving Time in the Kitchen - Chapattis Part 1

I've been experimenting recently with trying to save time while making chapattis at home. Chapatti is an unleavened flat bread (also known as roti) from Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. I make it at home all the time and it's a integral part of the Indian diet. It's made of whole grain wheat flour. Here are some of the things I've tried and am planning to try to make life easier for myself. 

Making the dough: Make the dough using the stand mixer. This saves me a ton of time and energy. This is the recipe I use which I got from my sister. 



2 cups whole grain finely ground wheat flour (available in most South Asian stores)
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
1 cup warm water 

  1. Put all the ingredients except the water in the bowl. Start the mixer on low and add about half the water and let the flour mix well with all the ingredients. 
  2. After they are all mixed well, keep an eye on the dough and see if it starts to come together. Add more water in small amounts and wait and see if the dough has become one big ball. 
  3. When it looks like it's become one big ball, stop the mixer and touch the dough to see if it's sticking to the hand. If it's sticking, then too much water has been added. Add some more flour and mix again till the dough doesn't stick to the hand very badly - a little sticky is OK
  4. Now cover dough with a wet cloth, napkin or paper towel and wait for 30 mins. Then use it immediately for making chapattis or put in fridge or freezer. 
  5. To make chapattis, take a small piece of the rough and make it into a ball. Use a flat surface and dust some flour on it and using rolling pin, roll the ball out in the shape of a tortilla. If the ball starts to stick to the rolling pin, dust it with some more flour and continue rolling it out till it's thin and round like a tortilla. 
  6. Now put it on a hot pan and let it cook till it rises. When it does, flip it over and let it cook on both sides.  

I've heard that chapattis when frozen don't keep fermenting but that it continues to ferment at a slower pace it is kept in the fridge. I experimented with that by making the dough and rolling it out. I put the rolled out dough onto cling wrap sheets so it doesn't get exposed to air and put it in the fridge. When I used it the next day, it didn't taste as good or look as good as freshly rolled out dough. So that experiment didn't work out so well.

My next experiment is to make the dough and freeze part of the dough for later use and see how that dough looks and tastes.

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