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tablespoons oil (olive oil and vegetable oil both work fine)
Mix together the flour, salt, oil and water in a large bowl. The dough can be used right away, but is handled best when refrigerated or sitting for at least half an hour. You can also refrigerate the dough in a lidded container and use over the next 5 days.
When ready to make chapati, preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until water droplets sizzle and skitter off the surface. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.
On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each piece into a thin circle about 1/16-inch thick.
Cook each piece in cast-iron skillet on each side for about a minute, then lay directly over the flame of a burner on medium-high heat, using a pair of metal tongs to hold in place (I skipped this step because I have an electric stove, leaving me with softer, more supple, but equally delicious flatbreads).
Turn the dough with the tongs until the dough is puffy; remove from heat. Repeat with remaining dough.
More About This Recipe
- The holidays are over.
You’ve stuffed yourself full of champagne, cookies and canapés. The last thing you want to do is make (and eat) something complicated and overly decadent.
That’s where this delicious Whole Wheat Chapati comes in handy.
You heard me right – chapati. As in, delicious, non-yeasted Indian flatbread that is made with less ingredients than macaroni and cheese and in less time than it takes you to watch an episode of “Mad Men” on Netflix. And the best part is (besides its tastiness, of course), it’s easy enough to make at any level of post-New Year’s stupor.
I first heard of chapati from the husband upon his return from a trip to India. Apparently it’s all the rage there – and after trying it myself, I’m not surprised. Even though it’s made with whole wheat flour, it doesn’t have that “healthy” taste, and it’s designed for (and delicious with) scooping up curries and rice. We enjoyed it with a tofu tikka masala and brown rice, but you can make it alongside any Indian dish – or even non-Indian dish.
There are two ways to approach the actual creation of this bread once you’ve cooked it on the stovetop for a minute or two:
1) Lay the bread directly over the flame of a burner on medium-high heat, using a pair of metal tongs to hold in place. Or…
See? It’s not rocket science, people. But if you choose the latter (as I did, because I have an electric stove), you’ll be left with softer, more supple flatbreads that actually work perfectly for pita sandwiches. Either way you make chapati, it’s a great recipe to kick off the New Year right.
Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!
Whole Wheat Chapati
"Lutfunnessa, who learned how to make chapatis with her mother in Bangladesh, taught me how to make these whole wheat flatbreads when she started at the bakery. Because the flour is cooked in boiling water, these chapatis stay soft and pliable for several days (rare for a flatbread) and can be served at room temperature or heated up quickly in a dry skillet." &mdashJessamyn Waldman Rodriguez
Reprinted from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook. Copyright © 2015 by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez. Photos copyright © by Jennifer May and Evan Sung. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
- 1 ¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon (415 grams) water
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 ¼ cups (290 grams) whole wheat flour, plus more for shaping
Put the water and salt in a medium saucepan, bring to a rolling boil, and remove from the heat. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to integrate the dough will be dry and coarse. Cover the pot with a lid and let the mixture sit for 2 minutes to let the flour fully hydrate.
Transfer the flour mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low until the dough is smooth, looks like thick cookie dough, and doesn&rsquot stick to your hands when you touch it, about 4 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until the dough is smooth, about a minute. Roll the dough into a thick rope and use a bench scraper to cut the dough into 12 equal pieces (each should weigh about 2 ounces, or 57 grams). Roll each piece into a ball on the work surface. Press each ball into a 2-inch disk. With a floured rolling pin, roll each disk into a thin round measuring 6 inches in diameter.
Meanwhile, heat a large griddle or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
Line a basket with a clean kitchen towel. Working with 1 chapatti at a time (or more if your griddle is large enough), cook the chapatti on the first side for just 15 seconds. Turn the chapati and cook on the second side until the underside is barely browned and the edges are dry, about 45 seconds. Turn the chapati again and cook until the first side is lightly browned, about 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on the heat.
The chapati will likely puff up as it cooks&mdashthis is a good thing! It means the water in the dough is steaming and making the chapati tender. The chapatti will deflate as it cools.
Transfer the cooked chapati to the basket and cover with the ends of the towel to keep warm while you continue cooking the remaining chapatis.
Serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat on a griddle or in a 300°F oven for a few minutes until they&rsquore nice and warm. Don&rsquot cook them too crisp, though, or they will lose their pliability.
Whisk whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add yogurt, salt, and ¾ cup water. Mix with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more all-purpose flour as needed, until dough is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, 8–10 minutes. Dust with more all-purpose flour, wrap in plastic, and let rest at least 1 hour at room temperature.
Divide dough into 12 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time and keeping the other pieces covered with plastic wrap, roll out on a lightly floured surface to 8" rounds (if dough springs back when rolled, let rest a few minutes before proceeding).
Heat a dry large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Cook a round of dough until lightly charred in spots and browned in others, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining rounds.
Do Ahead: Chapatis can be cooked 45 minutes ahead. Wrap in foil and keep warm in a 250° oven.
How would you rate Whole Wheat Chapatis?
Boyfriend is from kenya and we make these all the time. Only need water, sugar, a bit of salt, flour, and oil to coat and for frying in pan. So delicious. Don't need yogurt. Boyfriend makes 6 in a pan at a time but he has been doing since he was young. Add some cinnamon to the oil. It makes it even better.
You don't even need yoghurt! Water, salt, and flour are enough to make a good dough.
I would not roll them 2 8 inches as they were very thin and did not puff. when we rolled them to 6 inches they pufffed up.
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2. The best way to roll the chapati dough
We need to roll the dough to become a circle that looks attractive and puffs up perfectly during cooking. There is no fixed way to do it, but the following method is one of the best ways to keep it close to a circle while rolling. I must admit that I am not making chapati as regularly as many other people, who are experts in creating the perfect shape chapati. My goal is to clearly explain that anyone, including the first-timer, can make it with minimum practice and testing. (Please watch the embedded video for the demonstration.)
Here are the steps:
- Flour the work surface heavily and brush off the excess with your hand or the pastry cutter. This step prevents the chapati from sticking on the surface and the rolling pin while rolling out. Both pastry mat or a chopping board made with wood are te good working surface for this purpose.
- The chapati dough is soft and stretchable after resting. Roll each dough between two palms into a smooth ball, then flatten with your palm.
- Dip the dough into some flour and shake off the excess.
- Roll out the dough with the rolling pin by applying different pressure to both hands. I roll out the dough with less pressure on my left compared to my right hand. My left hand also traveled a slightly shorter distance than the right hand. As a result of this motion, the dough rotates at a small angle while making each forward stroke.
- Since I roll the dough with only forward strokes, it rotates while rolling out, forming a round shaped thin dough with a smooth edge. Please watch the video in this article at minute xxx for the action.
- However, if you feel this method is too complicated, you can use any method as long as it forms a circle of even thickness.
Note: The chapati dough I use is 45g each, and it should roll out to become 15cm/6inches in diameter.
Roll the dough to a round shape to ensure it will puff up on the tawa
- Heat a girdle well and keep the heat on medium.
- Place the rolled round on the hot girdle. Wait for 5 seconds.
- Turn again. It will puff up. It is important to turn the chapathi at the right time. Chapati may burn if you do not turn it.
- Both sides should have brown spots.That means the chapati is cooked properly as you can see in the image.
- Remove from fire.
- Apply a little ghee or oil on the chapathi as soon as you take it off fire.
- Make other dough balls into chapattis in the same way and serve hot.
- Stack the chapaties one over the other in a box so they remain soft.
- Serve hot or keep them covered so that they remain soft in case you are not planning to serve immediately.
- Resting the dough after mixing is important. That makes the chapathis softer.
- Some people add oil while cooking the chapathi on the girdle. So the chapati gets cooked with a little oil.
- I prefer to apply a little ghee after taking the chapathi off the tava.
- Once the tava is heated, you may keep the heat medium. High flame may burn the chapatti, very low flame will take longer to cook the chapathi and it will be harder.
How to serve chapathi - What to serve chapatti with.
Enjoy chapati with any of your favorite curries or with subjis or with dals / lentil curries.