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.
- Place flour, sugar and salt in bowl, stir to combine and make a well in center of flour mixture.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Continue rolling out remaining balls of dough in same manner and place under damp towel to rest for approximately 15 minutes.
- Roll each snail shaped ball of dough in to 8-10 inch (20.32 – 25.4 cm) circle.
- Heat Flatbread Pan over medium heat until several drops of water sprinkled on pan skitter and dissipate.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.