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How to make Chapatti and Soft Wheat Tortillas

Start a Riot in Your Kitchen with Hot Chappatti!

Grains and beans, when eaten together, yield the same high-quality protein that meat and dairy products do at a lot less cost. Chapatti (also known as soft wheat tortillas) are a tasty way to prepare the grain part of the meal.

Yield: 12 - 16

Sift or stir together:
  • Four cups high protein flour (sometimes called bread flour).
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • A pinch or two of spice, if desired (cumin powder is tasty)
You may use white or whole wheat or a combination. If you are not used to whole wheat but want to try it, start out with 1/4 cup and gradually increase the amount. The reason we use bread flour rather than all-purpose is because the higher gluten level in the bread flour holds the tortillas together when you roll them out and cook them.
Slowly drip into the flour mixture while stirring gently:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (olive oil is great!)
Rub the flour/oil mixture between the palms of your hands, if necessary, to distribute the oil throughout the dough.
Pour slowly over flour/oil mixture:
  • 1.5 cups cool water (no hot water! It will activate the baking powder!) Let the dough sit for a minute or two while the flour absorbs the water.
  • Knead the dough. Your goal is a soft but-not-sticky elastic dough. If your dough is sticky, you will have to use a lot of flour to roll it out and the chapatti will be erratic in shape and thickness. If your dough is too stiff it will not roll into circles easily. Add flour by sprinkling over the top of the dough or by flouring the surface you are kneading on and pushing the dough into that while you knead it. When it is just-past-sticky, knead for another minute to make sure.
  • If you add too much flour, then add water by sprinkling DROPS from your hand onto the dough and kneading it. A little extra water goes a long way. Adding it in drops keeps the dough moisture more distributed and consistent.
Knead for a minute after each addition of flour, feeling the dough take shape and character under your hand. A dough is much different than a cake mix... it is more of an entity, and fights back a bit when you push on it. This is why you use high-protein flour - it has more of the gluten that produces the elasticity! You want it soft but not sticky. And add the flour slowly; it is much easier to add flour to make a dough less sticky than to add water to make a dough softer.

If possible, let the dough sit at least 15 minutes in a covered bowl. The gluten will continue to develop while it sits.

Or - cook them in a Waffle Iron!

Top the chapatti with vegetarian chili, hummus, shredded cheese and lettuce, or soybeans and taco sauce.

This recipe may be doubled. Uncooked dough can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two if stored in air-tight container. You will need to bring it to room temperature before rolling and cooking or it will be flat and heavy. If the dough has started turning gray, it is too old.. the baking powder has already reacted.
Maura Enright, Proprietor
©2012 by Maura Enright
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