Question 1) What’s your favourite type of flatbread?
So I came home last night and attempted to make tortillas with the 2/3 cup of cooked rice I had sitting in the rice cooker (aka not enough to make fried rice). It was something of an experiment. Having read about homemade tortillas by Alana Chernila in her book ‘The Homemade Pantry‘ and Shailja’s naan bread (you can read about it on her beautiful blog here) I was inspired to make my own in order to have tasty bread without going out to the store for commercial tortillas, especially since I don’t like the texture much as well as having a bag of flour at home enough to feed The Hulk. I wanted to make bulgogi pulled pork sandwiches for the next day, so I had good reason to make these.
I played around in the kitchen, adding first the 2/3 cup of cooked (jasmine) rice that I had, then adding flour and the rest of my dry ingredients, before adding warm water. To be honest, it was closer to hot water, so that hurt when it came to mixing… by hand. I wasn’t sure how cooked rice would work, since every rice based bread recipe I’ve seen calls for rice flour. I ended up adding extra flour after adding the water.
To go along with the jasmine rice theme, I added sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and since roti and chapatis remind me of a dear friend with Nepalese and Indian roots, I added garam masala, for flavour. The kick from the red pepper flakes really came through (though it’s hard to see after the flatbread is made), as well as the garam masala. It makes for a nicely flavored base for wraps, without overtaking the flavors of what it is there to complement.
Question 2) I know it does not qualify as naan, since it does not contain yogurt, but does it fall under the category of roti or chapati? I used a small amount of baking powder as a leavening agent, but not yeast. Does anyone know the difference between the two? I’ve been reading about flatbreads, but these two seem very similar. One useful article about the extremely varied flat breads in the world is available here. This article provides somewhat of a vast overview of the types of flatbreads in the world. However, from what I’ve found out so far (from perusing the internet!) the variety of flat breads range greatly. Please let me know if you can clarify this difference! Many thanks.
Makes approx 10 pieces of flatbread
– 2/3 cup cooked rice (I used jasmine, but you can use whatever you have leftover!)
– 1 cup + 1/2 cup flour + PLENTY EXTRA for flouring your surface. You will need a lot for this to keep it from sticking to the surface
– 2/3 cup warm water
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
– 2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
– 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional – for nutrition and added nuttiness)
– 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional – opt out if you prefer a mild flat bread. If you like spice, this is actually enough, as it gives a bit of a zing, but not enough to detract from your ingredients.)
1. Measure out and mix your dry ingredients together, including the rice and 1 cup of flour.
2. Add the butter and rub it into your dry ingredients with your fingers.
3. Add the water. Add the other 1/2 cup of flour slowly. Blend everything together with your hands, then let rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
4. Divide up the dough into 10 balls using a spoon and spatula to scoop and drop onto a floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes more.
5. Heat up a skillet on medium heat. Do not add oil. It cooks fine on a dry surface.
6. Roll the dough ball in flour before transferring it to a floured surface to be rolled out into a a flattened circle. You want it thin enough to see the kernels of rice show through the ‘skin’ of the dough.
7. Cook for 1.5 minutes per side, then let cool on a rack whilst you cook a second piece of bread. Transfer the cooled bread to a plate.
Store covered, in the fridge, or in the freezer if you want it to last longer. This is a little time consuming, so set aside an hour or two on an evening when you’re not in a hurry. The results are wonderful though, and your house will smell lovely.