urchin

Baking Breads

145 posts in this topic

Made a flatbread based on the bourke st. bakery cookbook (never tried their bread but it looks really amazing--if anyone finds him/herself in the vicinity check it out on my behalf!)

anyway, it's made using a basic olive oil dough and i followed the recipe more or less exactly (though i skipped the ferment/sponge--bad me):

600g flour

13 g fresh yeast. i used instant, dry yeast so i cut it down to abt 2 tsp. seemed to work ok

400 ml water

20 ml olive oil

20 ml milk

1.5 tbsp sea salt (i just used regular salt and reduced it to 1 tbsp)

180g ferment (i left this out)

its all pretty straightforward. just mix and knead. knead for about 10 minutes, let the dough rest for 10 minutes and knead again for another 5-10. i did the kneading by hand as it isn't a terribly wet dough, so it's fairly manageable.

shape it into a ball and put it in a bowl that has been lightly coated/sprayed with olive oil and let it rise. they say to let it rise 90 minutes but the time will depend a lot on temperature etc., so use your judgement. every 30 mins or so you want to knock it back.

should be enough for 2 modest sized flatbreads, but i went with one big flatbread and a few rolls (it makes ok rolls)

break out the pan you are going to cook it in, line with baking paper and plop the dough on top. shape/stretch it into a rectangle of the appropriate size (about 2 cm high/thick)--if you find the dough keeps springing back as you try to shape it let it rest for 5 mins or so and go back to it. when you have it roughly the right proportions, dimple it with your fingertips. you can cover and let it sit for about 10-20 minutes at this stage. i can't remember if i really did this or not but it is probably a good idea & will likely give you a bigger crumb.

then just press in the toppings of your choice, bake at 180 for 20-30 minutes. spray the oven with water after you pop the bread in to boost humidity. alternatively you can just cover the bread with a pan or something to trap the steam inside for the first 10 minutes or so of baking (don't forget to take it off later though).

for mine i chose a cherry tomatoes cut in half (tand coated/marinaded in minced garlic, oregano and olive oil) and some leftover sharp crumbly cheddar pressed into the bread and coated lightly with olive oil, parmesan cheese, dried oregano and basil. it turned out rather well. (the rolls are on the side)

flatbread.jpg

Looks fantastic as usual urchin. We used to frequent a restaurant in Melbourne called "Bistro inferno" that did something similar only they poured cream on top before baking. :drool:

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Writing this more for my own good than for that of others (if i don't put it down i know i'll forget it). Anyway, eggless dinner rolls (little one is allergic). I've made many, many, many attempts at this and they have always ended up with the specific gravity of something close to but not quite that of lead. this time, however, they were fluffy, soft and tasty (much to my surprise). i sort of made it up as i went along, though, so i'm not sure how replicable it will be....

i used a 68% recipe--68% (by weight) fluids to flour.

in this particular foray i (think) i used:

250g flour - but i used some 00 flour i picked up at aldi... i wonder if that made a difference?

80-ish grams milk

80-ish grams water

a bit of butter (i dunno... a bit. 10g?)

some yeast (i'll explain later)

1 tsp-ish salt

1 tsp-ish sugar (i just sort of poured it in, no idea if it was actually a tsp)

1 tsp of no-egg (egg substitute--seems to be made primarily of tapioca, potato starch and some stuff i can't spell)

i think that was it.

anyway, i heated up the milk/water mixture to around 40-45 degrees and dumped in the bit of butter and let it melt, also mixed in the salt and sugar. i put in the yeast too (1 tsp i think it was... maybe 2?) but then i started to think that maybe the mixture was hotter than i thought and killed off all the yeast so i dumped another tsp in the flour (along with the no egg) and mixed it all together. then poured the wet into the dry, folded the flour in, let it sit for 20 mins or so before kneading enough for it to be smoothish (maybe 5-7 minutes of lazy kneading)

put it in an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap, let rise till double punch it down and divide into balls (i divided it into 8, put into oiled dish and let rise for another 30-40 minutes in a warm place. sling it in the a 200 degree fan oven for 10 minutes (or until the top starts to brown) and then drop the temp down to about 170-ish. let it bake away till the top is nice and brown, take it out and put it on a rack.

then brush the still toasty rolls with melted butter (a very little is enough). it helped keep them nice and soft whereas previously they would be a bit tough and dry.

everything else in the meal was a bit of a let down but perfect light, fluffy dinner rolls after 2 years of questing made it worth while. i would include pictures but... they're all gone.

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Writing this more for my own good than for that of others (if i don't put it down i know i'll forget it). Anyway, eggless dinner rolls (little one is allergic). I've made many, many, many attempts at this and they have always ended up with the specific gravity of something close to but not quite that of lead. this time, however, they were fluffy, soft and tasty (much to my surprise). i sort of made it up as i went along, though, so i'm not sure how replicable it will be....

i used a 68% recipe--68% (by weight) fluids to flour.

in this particular foray i (think) i used:

250g flour - but i used some 00 flour i picked up at aldi... i wonder if that made a difference?

80-ish grams milk

80-ish grams water

a bit of butter (i dunno... a bit. 10g?)

some yeast (i'll explain later)

1 tsp-ish salt

1 tsp-ish sugar (i just sort of poured it in, no idea if it was actually a tsp)

1 tsp of no-egg (egg substitute--seems to be made primarily of tapioca, potato starch and some stuff i can't spell)

i think that was it.

anyway, i heated up the milk/water mixture to around 40-45 degrees and dumped in the bit of butter and let it melt, also mixed in the salt and sugar. i put in the yeast too (1 tsp i think it was... maybe 2?) but then i started to think that maybe the mixture was hotter than i thought and killed off all the yeast so i dumped another tsp in the flour (along with the no egg) and mixed it all together. then poured the wet into the dry, folded the flour in, let it sit for 20 mins or so before kneading enough for it to be smoothish (maybe 5-7 minutes of lazy kneading)

put it in an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap, let rise till double punch it down and divide into balls (i divided it into 8, put into oiled dish and let rise for another 30-40 minutes in a warm place. sling it in the a 200 degree fan oven for 10 minutes (or until the top starts to brown) and then drop the temp down to about 170-ish. let it bake away till the top is nice and brown, take it out and put it on a rack.

then brush the still toasty rolls with melted butter (a very little is enough). it helped keep them nice and soft whereas previously they would be a bit tough and dry.

everything else in the meal was a bit of a let down but perfect light, fluffy dinner rolls after 2 years of questing made it worth while. i would include pictures but... they're all gone.

Freesytlin' ;)

Meh, most of the recipes I post I don't seriously expect others will actually cook. It just as easy to post them and I make copies so I have a record. (I've got a paper book with the creme de la creme backed up). 68% flour fluid sounds like the bit you want to remember. 45 degrees does sound warm for yeast, I thought lukewarm like a baby's bottle was optimal. Anyway congratulations on your buns. :) I'm amazed you could find a place in canberry warm enough to prove the dough. :P

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I'm amazed you could find a place in canberry warm enough to prove the dough. :P

i had to put it in the oven at 40 degrees... sigh. my house gets so cold that when i make bread in the daytime i put the dough outside in the sun as its much warmer than inside...

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After 10 years of baking retirement, I have finally got another pain au levain on the go. Two loaves at the proof stage at this very moment. Baking starts in an hour.

I have found that my sore shoulder has improved after the kneading stage. Therapy in more ways than one.

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After 10 years of baking retirement, I have finally got another pain au levain on the go. Two loaves at the proof stage at this very moment. Baking starts in an hour.

I have found that my sore shoulder has improved after the kneading stage. Therapy in more ways than one.

post some pics if you have them!

i finally got around to buying reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice ($20 hardcover from Amazon US - arrived in under a week, postage did add a bit to the price). it's a great read. so far it hasn't done much to my baking except educate me a bit in terms of the scoring of the bread when making baguettes. the key, it seems, is to slit the bread, rather than to cut it. so you have knife more or less parallel with your work surface as you cut. this gives you a much, much, much better result. that alone was worth the $20. over the summer holidays i hope to explore more, but i would recommend it to anyone interested in baking--it's very well written, accessible and easy to follow. its a bit annoying that all the measurements are in the imperial system, but its easily converted and he provides baker's percentages as well.

my new project is making a decent sandwich bread for daily wear and tear. i picked up (along with the book) a few good bread molds along with the book (dirt cheap on amazon) that will, one hopes, help. haven't had much success so far. most of the recipes seem to involve powdered milk, which i can't seem to find. have been using regular milk but balancing the water against milk ratios has not gone well...

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post some pics if you have them!

i finally got around to buying reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice ($20 hardcover from Amazon US - arrived in under a week, postage did add a bit to the price). it's a great read. so far it hasn't done much to my baking except educate me a bit in terms of the scoring of the bread when making baguettes. the key, it seems, is to slit the bread, rather than to cut it. so you have knife more or less parallel with your work surface as you cut. this gives you a much, much, much better result. that alone was worth the $20. over the summer holidays i hope to explore more, but i would recommend it to anyone interested in baking--it's very well written, accessible and easy to follow. its a bit annoying that all the measurements are in the imperial system, but its easily converted and he provides baker's percentages as well.

my new project is making a decent sandwich bread for daily wear and tear. i picked up (along with the book) a few good bread molds along with the book (dirt cheap on amazon) that will, one hopes, help. haven't had much success so far. most of the recipes seem to involve powdered milk, which i can't seem to find. have been using regular milk but balancing the water against milk ratios has not gone well...

Placed my order. Thanks for the recommendation urch.

Powdered milk is easy to find I thought. Just about any supermarket sells it. Carnation brand?

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post some pics if you have them!

No pictures at this end. All consumed. Do you want pictures at the other end?

Actually it was a very encouraging success for my first time back.

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No pictures at this end. All consumed. Do you want pictures at the other end?

Actually it was a very encouraging success for my first time back.

Friedrich Nietzsche would label his turds and put them in a drawer. I think the forum has room for photos if you desire... :)

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post some pics if you have them!

Made a couple more loaves today. I took some pics this time :-)

Please excuse crappy phone image quality.

Have guests for dinner tonight. I'll report back on flavour once we have cracked one for dinner.

IMAG0297.jpg

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Placed my order. Thanks for the recommendation urch.

Powdered milk is easy to find I thought. Just about any supermarket sells it. Carnation brand?

happy to be of service :) i've read so many bad baking books... it's surprisingly rare to come across one that is such a good read and practical. though i should (too late, perhaps) admit that i haven't spent much time looking at the recipes (just a couple). the rest of the stuff (esp. his mini-biography) was what i found most interesting. and it solved the scoring problem for me, which easily made the book cheap at thrice its price.

i don't know why i couldn' find the powdered milk. i tried for a month or so, mentioned it to my wife and next day i have enough to keep me in business for the next couple of years... sigh.

i'm no good at where's waldo either.

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happy to be of service :) i've read so many bad baking books... it's surprisingly rare to come across one that is such a good read and practical. though i should (too late, perhaps) admit that i haven't spent much time looking at the recipes (just a couple). the rest of the stuff (esp. his mini-biography) was what i found most interesting. and it solved the scoring problem for me, which easily made the book cheap at thrice its price.

i don't know why i couldn' find the powdered milk. i tried for a month or so, mentioned it to my wife and next day i have enough to keep me in business for the next couple of years... sigh.

i'm no good at where's waldo either.

Re the scoring of loaves... I have always just used an el-cheapo craft knife, the sort with snap off blades (so you always have a good sharp one on hand) and slash the loaves rather than score them.

The dough peels open, away from the blade, and the result seems OK to me.

It doesn't disturb the rising and the sponge is clearly visible through the cut.

So what is it that I should be doing, then??

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Re the scoring of loaves... I have always just used an el-cheapo craft knife, the sort with snap off blades (so you always have a good sharp one on hand) and slash the loaves rather than score them.

The dough peels open, away from the blade, and the result seems OK to me.

It doesn't disturb the rising and the sponge is clearly visible through the cut.

So what is it that I should be doing, then??

i use that kind of knife too (or did until i forgot to dry it properly and it rusted out).

my issue was that everything i had read led me to believe that i had to cut down, into the dough in order to let the gasses escape evenly during the oven bounce. and it worked fine, but i never got those brittle, crispy edges, where the lip of the score had pulled up and away form the loaf that i love in "proper" baguettes (the ones that cut the roof of your mouth). until i read reinhart. slitting it, with blade parallel to the work surface worked a charm.

but that's just me. i kick myself for not having tried this earlier.... most people would've put 2 and 2 together by now, but i've been in school for too long and i need books to tell me what to do...

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i've been in school for too long and i need books to tell me what to do...

Hey man, don't feel bad... I have seen that happen to the best of us. :-)

That there book-learning is a tricky thing...

Back to bread - baguettes and fine and all... but does anyone have a reliable recipe for rye bread?

I mean rye bread with a high % of rye flour, not white bread flavoured with a bit of rye flour.

It's technically a difficult recipe because of the low gluten levels, and the ones I have found on the internet have been variable in quality, to say the least.

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When we last left our heroine, she was in search of the mythical recipe for palatable ryebread.

Close to despair, with all hope of a recipe that didn’t taste like the floor of a healthfood shop gone, she was astounded when assistance finally came from a most unexpected quarter…

And so the saga continues…

Someone wishing only to be known as the Polish Pastry Princess, prompted as if by the hand of God (or a god, anyhow) kindly passed on the following recipe.

Apparently it's an ancestral recipe that has stood the test of time.

Having now made it a couple of times, I do believe this to be true. :)

Zakwas (Sour Dough)

50-100g rye flour

50-100ml water

In a plastic bowl (should be quite big) mix Rye flour 50-100g and the same amount of water (not too warm, not too cold around 30C).

Cover it, and leave it in warm place the best would be temp 25-30C.

Every 12 hours mix it.

On the second day (24h later) add 50g of Rye flour and the same amount of water.

Mix it well and leave to grow.

Repeat every 24 hrs for another 3 days.

It will smell not too nice :-) but as long as it does not have mould growing everything it is fine.

Polish webside, you can see how to make it and what it should look like:

http://www.moja-piekarnia.pl/2010/03/13/jak-zrobic-zakwas-zytni-wideo/

Chleb (Bread)

0.5kg wheat flour

0.5kg rye flour (for bread)

1 spoon of salt

1 cup of Rolled oats

1 cup of linseed

1 cup of wheat bran

1 cup of pumpkin/sunflower seeds

sourdough (from above for the first time or the contents of the starter held over from the previous time)

1 litre of warm water

Mix everything together. Cover with clean dishcloth and leave for 1h. After 1h put part of the mixture in a 200 - 500ml jar you can keep it max for 2 weeks in the fridge this is the starter for next time the more you keep the stronger the flavour will be next time, too much and it will be too strong

Grease a rectangular bread tin

Place bread in the bread tin

Bake at 170C for 1.5h.

Take it out and cover with damp dishcloth and leave until it is dry (otherwise the bread will be too dry).

Despite breaking many of the conventional rules of breadmaking this has proven to be an extremely good (and forgiving) recipe.

Just about everyone who has tried it has loved it; even suspicious suburban white-bread eating children.

It is quick and easy to pull together, and it is moist and lasts well.

I use a little more water than is stated in the recipe, enough to form a soft dropping dough (it will never be stretchy like conventional dough, as it doesn’t contain enough gluten).

I have also cut back on the bran and correspondingly bumped up the amount of oats and pumpkin seed with good success.

If anyone is interested in sourdough starters, I suggest they try this one, as it is a hands-down gold medal winner.

It’s easy to maintain, clearly tells you how it is going (bubbles vigorously) and adds good flavour even to a white flour loaf.

post-91-006515800 1353830076_thumb.jpg

post-91-023206300 1353830164_thumb.jpg

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When we last left our heroine, she was in search of the mythical recipe for palatable ryebread.

Close to despair, with all hope of a recipe that didn’t taste like the floor of a healthfood shop gone, she was astounded when assistance finally came from a most unexpected quarter…

And so the saga continues…

Someone wishing only to be known as the Polish Pastry Princess, prompted as if by the hand of God (or a god, anyhow) kindly passed on the following recipe.

Apparently it's an ancestral recipe that has stood the test of time.

Having now made it a couple of times, I do believe this to be true. :)/>/>

Zakwas (Sour Dough)

50-100g rye flour

50-100ml water

In a plastic bowl (should be quite big) mix Rye flour 50-100g and the same amount of water (not too warm, not too cold around 30C).

Cover it, and leave it in warm place the best would be temp 25-30C.

Every 12 hours mix it.

On the second day (24h later) add 50g of Rye flour and the same amount of water.

Mix it well and leave to grow.

Repeat every 24 hrs for another 3 days.

It will smell not too nice :-) but as long as it does not have mould growing everything it is fine.

Polish webside, you can see how to make it and what it should look like:

http://www.moja-piekarnia.pl/2010/03/13/jak-zrobic-zakwas-zytni-wideo/

Chleb (Bread)

0.5kg wheat flour

0.5kg rye flour (for bread)

1 spoon of salt

1 cup of Rolled oats

1 cup of linseed

1 cup of wheat bran

1 cup of pumpkin/sunflower seeds

sourdough (from above for the first time or the contents of the starter held over from the previous time)

1 litre of warm water

Mix everything together. Cover with clean dishcloth and leave for 1h. After 1h put part of the mixture in a 200 - 500ml jar you can keep it max for 2 weeks in the fridge this is the starter for next time the more you keep the stronger the flavour will be next time, too much and it will be too strong

Grease a rectangular bread tin

Place bread in the bread tin

Bake at 170C for 1.5h.

Take it out and cover with damp dishcloth and leave until it is dry (otherwise the bread will be too dry).

Despite breaking many of the conventional rules of breadmaking this has proven to be an extremely good (and forgiving) recipe.

Just about everyone who has tried it has loved it; even suspicious suburban white-bread eating children.

It is quick and easy to pull together, and it is moist and lasts well.

I use a little more water than is stated in the recipe, enough to form a soft dropping dough (it will never be stretchy like conventional dough, as it doesn’t contain enough gluten).

I have also cut back on the bran and correspondingly bumped up the amount of oats and pumpkin seed with good success.

If anyone is interested in sourdough starters, I suggest they try this one, as it is a hands-down gold medal winner.

It’s easy to maintain, clearly tells you how it is going (bubbles vigorously) and adds good flavour even to a white flour loaf.

A friend in melbourne makes his own sourdough. He just adds flour and water and leaves it open for a couple days on the kitchen bench, then closes the jar and leaves it in the fridge for up to four days and feeds it with more flour daily. It turns black in fridge but he stirs it and if it turns whitish again then its OK apparently.

My copy of the The Bread Baker's Apprentice has arrived from Amazon so I have been doing more reading than baking. It is a good scientific read so I have learned that the steaming process is far more important than I ever imagined. In a couple of weeks I'll be ready to bake a loaf. :)/> Been checking out flour as well. There are a lot of decisions to be made with simple bread.

Your loaves look great BTW

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A friend in melbourne makes his own sourdough. He just adds flour and water and leaves it open for a couple days on the kitchen bench, then closes the jar and leaves it in the fridge for up to four days and feeds it with more flour daily. It turns black in fridge but he stirs it and if it turns whitish again then its OK apparently.

Yes, I've done that too, but this rye starter is better by far. It doesn't turn black, smells better and is more active.

My copy of the The Bread Baker's Apprentice has arrived from Amazon so I have been doing more reading than baking. It is a good scientific read so I have learned that the steaming process is far more important than I ever imagined. In a couple of weeks I'll be ready to bake a loaf. :)/>/> Been checking out flour as well. There are a lot of decisions to be made with simple bread.

Your loaves look great BTW

Thanks for the compliment - I think I still have some way to go with that ryebread, however. :-)

Yes, bread is a lot of fun.

Protein levels in bread flour are my pet hobby-horse.

What is marked on the packet has precious little to do with the actual protein levels of the flour inside - after a while you can get a feel for it by the way it behaves.

Steaming is fun too.

I have a pan in the oven that I have simply sacrificed to steaming - it is more or less wrecked for anything else now. I use hot water or icecubes, depending on the effect I'm after.

It really does make a difference.

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Greek Easter bread

GreekEasterBread_zpse237df7a.jpg

Had a crack at it tonight. The three braided batons of dough represent the holy trinity. The cochineal eggs the blood of christ. I did a version with the eggs but the one without looked better. The glaze darkens very quickly so checking after 10 minutes rather than 15 is advisable. The bread is to be eaten after midnight mass on the Sunday. It's a bit like Brioche.

Anyhoo, I was able to get the Mahlepi and the Mastic from Fyshwick markets. (The middle eastern Nut shop had both although they called it mahlebi??) It is a unique flavour. Smells fantastic. Use it if you can get it. It's in the Bakers Apprentice book urchin. This recipe is very similar.

2 cups milk

2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast

8 -9 cups bread flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 cup almonds, very finely chopped (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

1 orange, zest of, grated

2 teaspoons finely ground anise seed or 1 tablespoon mahlepi

1 teaspoon ground masticha (optional)

1/4 cup butter, melted

5 eggs, very well beaten

Glaze

1 egg yolk

2 -3 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Directions:

1

Warm two cups of milk and place in a large bowl. Add the yeast, one cup of the flour, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Cover and proof for one hour.

2

In a large bowl, combine seven cups of flour, the ground almonds, salt, remaining sugar, orange rind, aniseed or mahlepi and masticha (if using). Make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, melted butter and eggs. Work from the center outwards, bringing flour into the well, stirring the mixture until a dough begins to form.

3

Dust a worksurface with a little of the remaining flour and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and doesn't stick to your hands, about 12 minutes.

4

Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a cloth, and set aside in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in bulk, about two hours. Punch down dough.

5

Divide into six small balls and roll each into strips 12-15 inches long, and abut 2 inches in diameter. Lay three strips side by side, pinching together at one end, and braid. Pinch together at the other end to hold the loaf intact.

6

Optional: At this point you can press two red-dyed eggs between the strips of the braid or just leave the braided loaf plain.

7

Repeat the procedure to make the second loaf.

8

Place the breads on a parchment-lined baking sheet, covered, and let rise for two hours, or until doubled in bulk. While the braids are rising, preheat oven to 360F (180°C), placing rack on lower shelf of oven.

9

Beat together the egg yolk and remaining milk. Brush over tsoureki loaves and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

10

Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown. I check my breads after about 15 minutes as they do tend to colour quickly and drape them with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning. The bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove and cool on racks.

11

*The special red dye used by Greeks to dye Easter eggs, as well as the spices Mahlepi (Mahleb) and Masticha can be found at all good ethnic grocery stores and in the Penzeys Catalague.

I got two huge loaves out of this mix and gave one to my neighbour. Blessed are the Breadmakers.

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We have made Indian Roti.

 

I even bought the traditional Tava to make it on. 

 

This is a pretty basic unleavened bread. Practically biblical.

 

Not many ingredients so in any post-apocalypse scenario it's going to be a good one to know.

 

1 cup wholewheat flour (atta flour)

1/2 plain flour 

3/4 tsp salt

1Tbsp oil

1 egg (optional)

enough water added 1 Tbsp at a time to combine the mix then add one more to make it soft

 

 

Rub the oil into the flour/s and add egg

 

DSC_4018_zpscx6rmkqb.jpg

 

Knead the dough for a few minutes and combine into a ball. Then rest it for 1 hour or so. Smear some oil onto the surface so it doesn't dry out.

 

DSC_4021_zpscn2ywqpm.jpg

 

Chop it into eight pieces

 

DSC_4024_zpsjqhyd505.jpg

 

And roll it out quite thin (1-2 mm)

 

DSC_4025_zpsdwpngh5z.jpg

 

Throw them on a Tava (or very hot fry pan) with a painting of oil. Must be very hot so bubbles form.

 

 

 

DSC_4039_zpsknrm8vjl.jpgDSC_4033%201_zpsdubdoc57.jpg

 

We rolled the breads around some dry filling we'd made to form an Indian street food called chicken "frankies" From Calcutta I believe. But there are wider applications.

 

Frankie mix - Chicken Chick peas and chaat masala.

 

DSC_4020_zpsgzp8gn4p.jpg

 

DSC_4044_zpsyunrbhhv.jpg

 

It's good, flexible and wrappable bread.

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