How are chapattis made

Chapattis are a baked product related to bread and originate in Asia, where they are eaten with almost every main meal. Traditionally, chapattis are made fresh for each meal and are roughly round in shape (see Fig. 32), with a diameter ranging from 12 to 18 cm and thickness varying from 1 to 3 mm. A great deal of variation in size and formulation occurs depending on personal preference.

Typical recipe:

Flour 1 kg Water 650-750 g

Wheat flour is used to make chapattis. The extraction rate can be anything between 75% and 100%. The dough is made by mixing flour and water, with salt and fat added according to personal taste. The recipe does not contain yeast. The dough, which is fairly firm, is rested for up to 30 min before being scaled into portions weighing 30-85 g. These are rounded into balls. A further rest is desirable before rolling the balls into thin discs 1 -3 mm thick.

The rolled out chapattis are cooked on both sides using a hot plate at a temperature of 233-260 °C (450-500 °F). Cooking time will depend on the thickness, and continues until the chapattis start to blister on both sides and the colour starts to turn brown. This stage takes approximately 1 -2 min for each side. Chapattis may be eaten after this stage has been reached or they may receive a second baking called 'puffing'. In the puffing process, which takes just a few seconds, a chapatti is placed under a grill or over a red-hot fire and it immediately puffs up into a ball. As soon as it has puffed it must be taken away from the grill or fire or it will burn. At this stage the chapatti is composed of two layers of skins with a space between. Puffing is rarely carried out on chapattis more than 2 mm thick as they do not puff well.

After puffing, the chapattis collapse back to the original shape and they should be stacked one on top of the other to avoid drying out. To prevent them sticking together, the surface of the chapatti is greased with butter, a practice with the added advantage of making them soft and imparting a buttery flavour. The final chapattis will vary in colour according to the type and extraction rate of flour used, but almost all will have brown blisters, some of them slightly burnt. If chapattis are stored after cooking for more than a few hours, they tend to stick together and lose their attractive eating characteristics. Stale chapattis can be improved by reheating but they do not regain their original quality.

Continue reading here: What are stotty cakes and how are they produced

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