I don’t really like making bread. I mean, I really like bread if it’s warm and fresh and just the right balance between crunchy and chewy. I love good bread. I swoon for quickbreads and the very thought of sourdough makes my mouth water. But when it comes to baking my own bread, I am pretty darn lazy.
On occasion, I find it fun to activate the yeast, to kneed the dough, let it rise (for hours and hours) and then punch it down into submission. Occasionally, that process is fun and the product is tasty. Generally, though, I am most interested in something that I can create in 30 minutes to an hour. So, I’ve started looking for ways to make my own flatbread. Initially, I was thinking tortilla, then pita, then naan, but then I stumbled upon this recipe for Indian Chapati Bread. It was simple, required only the most basic of ingredients, and was purported to take only30 minutes of my time. Done.
What I got from the recipe was that it would likely be a cross between tortilla and naan. Not as chewy as naan, but more bubbly than a tortilla. What I got was sort of a large, tasty cracker. It wasn’t bad, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t put enough moisture in the dough or I made them too thin or I cooked them too long or something. Then, more recently, I was looking at the comments for the recipe on the site where I got it. This is what I found:
“This recipe was good, but it’s easy to wind up with chapati that are hard and dry. To get chapati that are soft and flexible it is crucial that the skillet is very hot, as per the instructions, so that they are done in under 30 seconds per side. Don’t be too stingy with the water or cut back on the oil. If your chapati are still too dry, try rolling them out thicker.”
So, evidently, I was doing all of those things wrong. Whatever. I will try it again, because it was fast, and if I do it right, I guess it will be even faster, right? I did add one thing to the recipe, which I highly doubt was the reason for the cracker consistency, but very much to blame for how gosh darn tasty they were. I recently discovered a large, well-stocked Mediterranean grocery store. I had been looking for one, and I just aimlessly wandered right into this one. I had been looking for zaatar, and that’s where I found it. (Follow the link for a description, I can’t really do it justice). So, when I was rolling out the chapati, I threw in some zaatar for flavor. Thus, I had created large, savory Indian/Mediterranean crackers. They were equally good for hummus, curry, or breakfast, whichever was most available or pressing.
Note: the photo is a little deceptive. The green stuff sitting next to the chapati is not related to this recipe. It’s just oregano from my mother’s garden that I was drying out for my spice collection. I just kept it in the frame because I thought it made a pretty picture. Although, I should say that oregano is one of the spices present in zaatar, so maybe my placement was relevant after all.