Saturday, June 13, 2009

Whole wheat roti (Indian flatbread)

**This is not a gluten-free recipe and was posted before I eliminated gluten from my diet. **

whole wheat roti (Indian flatbread), adapted from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain BreadsI love eating at Indian restaurants, and one of my favorite parts of the meal is the bread. Naan seems to be the most popular, but I'm a big fan of roti, which is unleavened. As a result, it is more dense than naan, and is like some sort of cross between a tortilla and pita bread. Although I used pure wheat flour in this recipe, some versions of roti use part millet flour. I bet this would be great, given my newly-discovered love for millet. Unfortunately I didn't happen to have any millet flour lying around. Maybe next time...

This is another recipe from "Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads" and, like the Power Bread that I recently made, it uses the delayed fermentation method to create great flavor. If you were intimidated by the Power Bread recipe (and I'll admit that I fit into this category for a few months), then this may be your starting point. It's much easier and takes a lot less time. Again, I measured my ingredients by weight, but I'll also list the approximate volumes.

Whole wheat roti (adapted from "Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads")

227 g (or 8 oz or 1 3/4 cups) whole white wheat flour
4.5 g (or .16 oz or 1/2 tsp) salt
156 g (or 5.5 oz or 11 Tbsp) water
28.25 g (or 1 oz or 2 Tbsp) butter, melted

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir until it forms a ball of dough and everything is well mixed (about a minute). Cover and let sit at room temp for 12-24 hours (or put it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but let it sit at room temp for about 2 hours before using it).

Dust your work surface with extra flour, and knead the dough on this surface for about a minute. Add more flour if your dough is sticky (you want it to be barely tacky). Make a ball out of the dough and let it rest for 5 min. While it's resting, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust it with extra flour.

Knead the dough for another minute, adjust water or flour if needed (so that it's tacky, not sticky), and see if it passes the windowpane test (you should be able to stretch a small piece of it into a thin membrane without it breaking). If it fails the test, keep kneading until it passes. Then divide the dough into 4 pieces, form each into a ball, and place them on your baking sheet. Loosely cover them with plastic wrap or a towel, and let them sit for at least 20 min.

Roll the balls out on your work surface until they're about 1/4" thick. Let them sit for about 5 min, then stretch each one until it's about 1/8" thick (about 10" in diameter). Heat a skillet over medium-high and lightly spray it with oil. Cook each piece of dough (one at a time) until it's brown on both sides (about 2 min per side). Makes 4 large pieces.

When I make Indian food at home, I usually serve it with rice because I never think to make bread. I have a feeling that this is going to change. I ate this with my saag tofu, and it was fabulous (and did a good job at cutting the heat from the peppers). I love that you can really taste the wheat flavor because there's not a whole lot to this bread. At the last minute, I was able to practice some self restraint and kept myself from eating all four pieces. I'm still not sure how I managed that one. The best part of all: it was incredibly easy to make.


Julia said...

Your roti looks great! I'm with you -- I like bread with my Indian food much better than the rice. I by coincidence I just made naan last night.

Shaheen said...

Dal and roti is my ultimate comfort food. Love it.

Katie said...

Julia - Thanks! I'm definitely going to give naan a shot next time.

mangocheeks - I can see how they would be your comfort foods - they're both so good and hearty!

Ash bansal said...

Wheat Roti is healthiest compare to any food.
But No body sells whole wheat flour, no matter what is written on the packet.
There is no Vitamin E (Most important vitamin for body, highest in wheat by nature).

So what is the catch?
Wheat germ oil is removed by commercial grinding facilities from Wheat flour before it is in the market
because Flour goes ranacid very fast with wheat germ oil.

It is sad that most of the people eat lot of things made from Wheat but there are no benefits.

Grind your own organic wheat and see the difference! I noticed.

Ash bansal said...

here is the Grinder I use.