Indian Chapati Pan Bread

The fastest, easiest bread I ever made, this recipe takes under an hour for sixteen breads. It's the traditional partner to Indian curries, which are eaten by scooping up morsels into the bread, to be eaten from the hand. If you work with a partner, one of you can be cooking the chapatis while the other one rolls, saving up to a quarter of preparation time.

INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 16 chapati

  • 1 cup chapati flour (Indian whole wheat flour)
  • ⅓ cup warm water (generous)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  1. In a mixing bowl, make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the warm water and oil into this depression; fold ingredients together with a fork until a dough forms. Knead the dough in the bowl for 10 minutes. It should be smooth and elastic.

  2. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll 1 of the pieces against the table with your hands to form a cylinder; cut the cylinder into 4 nuggets. Cover remaining dough with a damp cloth while you work.

  3. Form each nugget into a ball the size of a marble, and roll it on a floured surface with a rolling pin into thin disks (-inch — a little thicker than a CD). Repeat with remaining dough. They can be stacked.

  4. Heat an iron skillet over a medium flame for 5 minutes, until hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle on it. Dust off the excess flour from a chapati and place it flat into the dry pan. Leave it until bubbles and air pockets are visible on the top; flip it to cook the other side. Some brown spots are fine. Repeat with remaining dough. Stack the cooked chapatis on a plate, and cover with a dry towel to keep warm.

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