24 March 2012

step-by-step guide to 100% chapatti flour sourdough loaves

Chapatti flour rocks!

It makes delicious sourdough, rather more easily than I would have previously thought.

Mamta at Mamta's Kitchen, is looking for a recipe for a loaf that can be made in India, which partly uses atta/ chapatti flour.
Without the final resulting loaf crumbling, and it needs to be relatively easy to make.

Seemingly, there's no need to tinker with flour combinations to my mind, as you can make a wonderful loaf entirely from the chapatti flour.  As there probably isn't ready access to strong white bread flour in India, I'm rather pleased with this discovery.

I've promised Mamta and her SIL an easy to follow guide to the method, so please forgive my overusing photographs, coupled with an uncharacteristically long post, for me anyway.

First up, a confession.
I haven't actually tried this with dried yeast, as I don't have any yeast in the house.  I have had to resort to estimating the 5g of dried yeast.  It certainly won't require any more than that.
But, if you follow this recipe by eye, this part of the recipe shouldn't matter a gram or 2 either way.

So, if you are tempted to give it a whirl.  And if you try it with yeast, please let me know if 5g is round about the mark.

printable version: chapatti flour sourdough loaves


560g atta/ chapatti flour
390-400g water plus a drizzle of (olive/ sunflower/ vegetable) oil
200g leaven @100% hydration - or 5g dried active yeast
5g salt

  1. add your oil to your water
  2. use your eye not the clock
  3. if lining your tin, use baking parchment - not greaseproof paper which welds itself to bread dough
  4. if the dough is reacting slower than you think it should, just wait ... and keep waiting some more for that sign of life.  It will rise on you
  5. a slower loaf is a tastier loaf
  6. just use tap water, left on the counter to take the chill away
  7. don't worry about how it looks, it's how it tastes that matters

add your oil to your water

put all the ingredients together in a large bowl

mix with a knife

bring together with your hands 

and knead for 30secs

 until you have a firm, well mixed ball

place the dough ball in a clean, lidded pot

and leave for 8-10hrs, ie overnight till the following morning

 first thing, knead your risen dough for 30secs
shape into a baton and place in your baking vessel - either a non-stick bread tin 

or even into a non-stick cake tin, whatever you have.
line it with baking parchment if it's not non-stick

flour & cover till almost double in size, this can take 1hr30mins in summer or 3-5hrs in winter, depending upon your room temperature

heat your oven to 220deg, with a little water in an oven proof bowl

slash your loaf

put your loaf in and bake for 40-45mins

shake from the tin and cool on a wire rack

and slice evenly

served with home-made marmalade

11 March 2012

chapatti flour in sourdough bread

Mamta Gupta at the excellent Mamta's Kitchen, has asked for advice regarding her bread, which uses atta/ chapatti flour, on the Wildfood forum.
And I have to thank Mamta for bringing atta flour to my attention.
It's a delight in sourdough bread, so much so, I'll be incorporating it into part of my weekly bakes.

I dig chapatti flour, a lot.
Back to Mamta and her issue, her bread crumbles and disintegrates on slicing.
If you have any thoughts, why not pop over to the forum and help her out.

Maybe it's simply down to not enough water?

But I feel it's adding sugar, using a little too much oil, and not getting the proving timings quite right that may be contributing.

So I've taken a gallery of images of the process I follow, to help pin point what to watch out for.

  • don't use too much oil
  • don't worry about the water temperature.  I used cold water, 13deg yesterday
  • try not to use flour when kneading
  • time things by eye, not by the clock
  • try to judge that first prove well, with enough elasticity and air.  Too short and you'll hamper the final lift in the oven
  • the second rise isn't as important - if that makes sense - use a tin and you'll see it better
  • keep your dough neat with a bakers' fold.  This helps with the final shape
  • be forgiving.  Loaves don't have to look perfect to be enjoyed

Mamta's chapatti flour sourdough loaf

325g water & 1 teasp ev olive oil

125g refreshed white leaven (100%) (substitute your usual yeast)
200g chapatti flour & 320g strong white flour (40:60)
5g fine sea salt 

water plus 1 teasp ev olive oil
mix water @13deg with leaven

add flours and salt

pull together to a sticky firm mix

knead for 30secs as best you can

fold and rest for 45mins

no need for flour, knead for another 30secs



and rest, covered with cling film

for 4hrs

until elastic and well aerated

form into a baton, into a tin and dust with rice flour

leave to rise for 1hr30mins

hack with a scalpel .... or rather slash

bake at 220 for 25mins, reduce to 190 for 15 - 20mins

cool on a rack

tangy, soft, light moist chapatti flour sourdough