Oh wow…I am so sorry that I haven’t updated in almost two months! Naughty blogger…However, in the span of those two months, I took finals, moved out of my apartment, semi-moved into a house, completed my sophomore year of college, came home, and started working; hopefully you’ll forgive me for my absence. In the meantime, however, I have updated and revised several of my previous posts, re-done the layout for the blog, and done a lot of cooking. Not all of my cooking has been accompanied by photography – I’m finding it challenging, particularly now that I’m home, to force myself a) to cook, and b) to take pictures. The lighting in my parents’ kitchen is notoriously bad. The soft lighting is beautiful, but makes it unbelievably challenging to take well-lit (and therefore not blurry) pictures. (You’ll notice in the upcoming days/weeks that I had to take a certain cake outside in order to get a picture of it in its finished form). I have also made a resolution, however, to make sure that I take pictures of completed recipes. This has not been going so well (as I tend to eat everything and think about pictures later, oops), but I am going to make the effort to be better!
And, with that, I will continue filling you in on my culinary adventures in the past couple of months. Now, we have chapatis, a truly wonderful Indian flatbread that is incredibly easy to make and impossible to resist. I personally love making them and eating them plain or with honey. Most people, however, eat them with delicious Indian food (like dal. However, having tried to make that several months ago and failed, we’ll come back to it later), or with other condiments besides honey. Similar almost to pancakes in their simplicity and lack of yeast, they are nevertheless much more like bread (they are somewhere between pancakes and Naan, if you’ve had that…shame on you if you haven’t!). So here, without further ado, are chapatis.
Chapatis (Adapted from Williams-Sonoma)
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp milk at room temperature
1/2 cup (or more, as needed) water
In the bowl of a mixer* fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt until mixed. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter and milk. Add to the flour mixture and mix again until combined. Add the water and stir until the dough begins to come together. At this point, it will be most helpful to abandon the mixer and combine the dough by hand, kneading and pressing the dough together. If the dough remains dry and seems unwilling to come together, add more water sparingly. The dough should be neither too dry nor too wet. Continue to knead the dough for about five more minutes. Place the dough on a floured surface and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel (not terrycloth – you don’t want bits of fabric ending up in your dough!) and allow to rest for fifteen minutes. Pinch off balls of dough that are between 1″-2″ in diamter and roll into balls. Smaller balls of dough will obviously yield smaller, but more, chapatis. Roll out the balls until they are approximately 1/8″ thick.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Place the flat rounds inside the pan and check carefully for doneness on one side of the chapati. The chapatis will puff up. When one side is browned, turn over with a spatula and allow the other side to cook (Like pancakes, the second side will cook faster, so be very careful not to let it burn!) Allow to cool on a paper-towel or a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough flats.
Chapatis will keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for about a week (yeah…right. Let me know how that goes for you.) To reheat, put in toaster on light. This will warm them and bring back some of the initial crunch.
*These absolutely can be done without the use of a mixer – use a bowl and a spoon, just like you would for anything else, and they’ll turn out just fine. The convenience of my mixer has spoiled me!
** I’m still trying to get the layout sorted out here…any thoughts on what looks nicest?