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


Kavey said...

I think the extra photos are fab, love them for recipes, then I know if I'm on right lines or not ... :-)

Gill the Painter said...

Morning Kavey.
I hope I haven't got a blind spot to bread making, but I think they are easily to follow.

I'm with you, I do like a good photo. Your mother wanted them for her recipe site, so I'm pleased to hear you approve of them.

I'll be making bread with chapatti flour from now on. I'm pretty impressed with the results as you can tell: 2 posts in one month.

Who'd a thunk ...

celia said...

Gorgeous loaves, Gill, especially the top one which looks like the domed bit on a man's bowler hat. I love the shape!

Gill the Painter said...

They're a bit different aren't they, Celia.
And goes to show you can use any tin if it's big enough.

Or free form by hand of course.

Or a pullman tin, when I get one!

Mamta said...

The bread looks so lovely Gill, thank you for trying it out. And there have I been, trying to slowly increase to 60% chapatti flour to strong flour, worrying about whether it will rise or not! Thank you for this. I have already added it to my mamtaskitchen facebook page; http://www.facebook.com/mamtaskitchen
I will add it to my site, just as soon as I can get around to it.

Gill the Painter said...

The pleasure was mine, Mamta.
I learnt something new, which is what it's all about.

Your facebook page is excellent.

Joanna @ Zeb Bakes said...

Great step by step Gill and lovely looking loaves, where do you get your chapatti flour from ? I have a small bag from T...o's in the cupboard I might try your loaf as I haven't got round to making chapatti with it!

Gill the Painter said...

I usually get my provisions from the Asian markets in town.
We have 2 excellent Indian caves, one is more for the home cook, and the other over the road caters for large amounts of products.

Next door is a Chinese market too.

I'll take you down there one fine day.

Mamta said...

Made the bread; I used 5 g dry yeast. It took about 6-7 hours for the final 'rise'. Looks great, slices well. It is a tiny bit heavy, may be more time to rise? The taste is like a sour-dough loaf, wonderful, an added bonus! For people in India, who are mostly used to a white, pre-sliced bread, it may be a little bit heavy, so I am thinking 80 chapatti four/20 white flour mix, what do you think?
I have made sandwiches and am going out bird watching in a bit. let's see what my friend thinks!

Gill the Painter said...

The slow final rise is too long for people,
so we definitely need to up the yeast to a sachet of 7g.

But I'm pretty pleased it's worked.

We're nearly there, Mamta.

Joanna @ Zeb Bakes said...

There are two sorts of dried yeast commonly available here. You can add both into the flour in fact, but one sort is traditionally activated (or 'proved' to work) in a little warm water first.

They have seriously confusing names! A little bit about them here http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/yeast. I use both, my preferred variety is the Allinsons in the pale green sachet or tub, but it is more expensive of course. I am wondering if a little pinch of ascorbic acid, (VIt C powder) in the dough, Dan Lepard always recommends for wholemeal flour doughs, though purists say it is an additive, might help with the lightness? What an exciting project you two are working on!

x Joanna

Gill the Painter said...

VitC would do it for sure, Joanna.

And the yeast I've just bought this morning is Allinsons dried active yeast.

And I think we need to use warm water, to get away from the slow, slow prove.

Good thinking.

Mamta said...

Gill, I am thinking of trying the chapatti flour bread with 80% chapatti flour, 20% plain flour (not strong flour, which is not easy to find in India), and have 1/2 cup yoghurt making up the volume of the water/oil mix. Yoghurt works in naan, and I have made bread from left-over naan dough before; http://www.mamtaskitchen.com/recipe_display.php?id=13589, so it should work. What do you think?

Gill the Painter said...

I think that's an excellent idea.
Your "from naan dough bread" looks fantastic mamta!

I'm pleased to see the yoghurt in there too, as dairy is a softener.

This weekend, I'll really up the hydration and use 430g water and milk.
I'll up the oil too.

Good fun isn't it.

Mamta said...

Just one more thought, I am finding 100 Chapatti flour bread tasty, but a bit heavy to digest. I get this feeling of heaviness for quite a while afterwards. I don't know why this should be so, as I am used to eating chapatties! The bread is nearly gone now. Tomorrow I have to go for a funeral in London, so may try the 80/20 bread on Sunday.
I use 'medium' chapatti flour, which still has quite a lot of roughage, which may be making it heavy. So I might give it a quick sieve to remove some of that, to bring it closer to 'fine' chapatti flour. What do you think?

Gill the Painter said...

Sorry to hear about the funeral Mamta.

Mine's medium flour, but I like all the roughage I can get.

That's a shame you're finding it difficult to digest though - I know how miserable that feels. Sieving the flour first is a great idea. You can dust the surface of the loaf with the husk afterwards if you so wish.

Just starting my loaves in a minute ....

Andrew Taylor said...

Hi Gill, Mamta and Kavita
From my own bread making experience at Chartreuse you need to feed the yeast something to get it multiplying to produce carbon dioxide. I used honey and white sugar but you can also use tomato purée. What you use will not taste in the bread. Also, I am sure you know this, but salt will kill yeast. Put the salt in the flour with the oil and the yeast water and honey in a hug. Mix them once the yeast water has a good head of froth.
Although I'll give you a hug, that should read 'jug'! I can't edit the post on my I-phone :-)

Gill the Painter said...

good morning to you Andrew.
Thanks for the hug.

We're going to come up with a maida flour loaf, and will incorporate your terrific feed ideas into that.

Honey is my preferred choice of sweetener in anything.

Joanna @ Zeb Bakes said...

testing testing - ah I think I know what it is I might have to preview it before I can publish it..... lets see if that works....

Hungry Housewife said...

Gill!!! I love your blog - your paintings are just gorgeous!!
I am dying to have a go at this bread, and have printed off the recipe. Funnily enough I was only wondering last night if one could make bread with chickpea flour, or chipati flour - then I accidentally ended up here!!
Emma (aka Hungryhousewife!!)

Gill the Painter said...

Morning Emma.
Good to see you here.

And good luck with that recipe.

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