East African-Style Chapati Bread

Makes: 
8 servings
Utensil: 
7 Qt./6.6 L Roaster with Cover
6 Qt. (5.6L) Culinary Basket
Flatbread Pan
large mixing bowl
Rate Recipe: 
Contributed By: 
Cathy Vogt
Certified Health Coach & Natural Foods Chef

Chapati, traditional unleavened bread, is a staple food in many parts of East Africa. Chapati is generally made with all-purpose flour, salt, oil or ghee and water. Proper mixing, rolling and resting techniques are what produce soft Chapati dough that has light layers.

Ingredients

3
cups
all-purpose, unbleached flour, unsifted
(375
g)
1
teaspoon
sugar
(4
g)
1 12
teaspoons
salt
(9
g)
1
tablespoon
ghee or vegetable oil
(15
mL)
1 14
cups
water, warm
(300
mL)
extra flour for rolling
extra oil for brushing on Chapati

Directions

  1. Place flour, sugar and salt in bowl, stir to combine and make a well in center of flour mixture.
  2. Pour ghee or oil and warm water into well and, using your hand, stir to combine and incorporate liquids into flour. Stir in a circular motion until all liquid is absorbed and it starts to form a soft ball of dough.
  3. Remove dough from bowl and on a lightly floured surface knead dough with palms of hands for approximately 10 - 15 minutes until it is soft, smooth and supple. Dust hands and board lightly with flour throughout this process if dough begins to stick.
  4. Divide dough in to 8 equal parts and form each part in to a ball. Cover dough balls with slightly damp clean towel and let dough rest for 20 - 30 minutes.
  5. Press dough ball in to a circle with palm of hand and with lightly floured rolling pin roll circle in 8-10 inch (20.32 – 25.4 cm) approximately ¼ inch (.64 cm) thick round.
  6. Brush dough round very lightly with vegetable oil, and then tightly roll circle up like a cigar or jelly roll. Twist jelly roll into a circle resembling a snail, tucking end into center of roll. Turn roll over and press down lightly.
  7. Continue rolling out remaining balls of dough in same manner and place under damp towel to rest for approximately 15 minutes.
  8. Roll each snail shaped ball of dough in to 8-10 inch (20.32 – 25.4 cm) circle.
  9. Heat Flatbread Pan over medium heat until several drops of water sprinkled on pan skitter and dissipate.
  10. Meanwhile, place 6 cups (1.4 L) of water in roaster, place culinary basket inside, place on stove and turn heat to medium. When water in roaster boils turn down to lowest heat possible.
  11. Transfer chapati to Flatbread Pan by draping over rolling pin. Gently place chapati on pan and cook for approximately 2 minutes until underside develops golden brown speckles and topside looks translucent. Shake pan a few times during cooking time for even browning. Turn chapati over and cook for an additional 1 - 2 minutes until brown. Chapatis will bubble up slightly.
  12. When chapati is done cooking, gently place in culinary basket with cover ajar to keep them moist and warm. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
  13. Chapatis are best served warm, as is, with butter and cinnamon or to accompany a meal. Use chapati as a utensil to scoop up spicy lentils, curried fish or chicken stew or other favorite dishes.

Tips

  • Oil hands lightly before mixing dough to prevent dough from caking up on hands.
  • Chapatis can be made ahead of time and easily reheated in the Culinary Basket for a few minutes prior to serving. After heating, wrap chapati in a clean towel and place in a basket to keep warm.
  • Substitute half of the all-purpose flour in recipe for whole grain or whole wheat flour.
Nutritional Information per Serving
Calories: 
188
Total Fat: 
2g
Saturated Fat: 
0g
Cholesterol: 
0mg
Sodium: 
438mg
Total Carbs: 
36g
Dietary Fiber: 
1g
Sugar: 
1g
Protein: 
5g
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