Friday, 25 July 2008

Unleavened Bread

Another heart warming pleasure. Soft, warm, yeast-free bread cooked on a hot dry skillet. Great camping food, or just as good in the kitchen. The batch in the photos was cooked one cool spring evening when we were staying in a Mongolian yurt at Larkhill Tipis in Wales.

This is my Mediterraneanised version of the traditional Indian chapatti. Look up any chapatti recipe (or use mine below), and replace the wholemeal flour with plain white flour, and the ghee with olive oil. A pinch of salt and that's it. You might want to add a few simple Mediterranean herbs, but I prefer it as it comes.

Mix the dough an hour before you need it and work it until it is soft and elastic (5-10 minutes), then wrap it in cling film or foil to let the moisture equalize.

When the fire (or hob!) is ready, divide the dough into golfball sized portions and roll them out as thinly as possible dusting with a little flour as you go.

On a hot dry skillet (I use a paella pan), cook the breads for as long as it takes for them to puff up a bit on each side. Depending on how hot the skillet is this could by anything up to about half a minute. As they come off the heat, wrap them in a tea towel to keep them warm and to stop them from drying out before serving.

The paella pan in the photos is sitting on hot embers and a few small rocks to keep an air gap between the embers and the pan.

Perfect with any Indian or Middle Eastern meal, rewarding to make, and even better to eat.

Dough mix (makes 6 small rotis):

1 cup plain flour

1/3 cup warm water

1 tablespoon of olive oil

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