The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Greetings from Boston/Karachi -- and request for in-laws help!

annasyed's picture

Greetings from Boston/Karachi -- and request for in-laws help!

Greetings and salutations!

Finding this site has really brightened my day. My imagintion is piqued! After the baby is solidly sleeping, I plan to take her out for a stroll to try to find saffron, so that we can try out your saffron buns.

My husband and I are about to embark on a long trip to Pakistan to visit family in Karachi, God willing. While there, I would love to share my newly honed bread-baking skills with my dear in-laws. I anticipate a few difficulties, and am hoping for some expert advice.

Issues on my mind:

1) Their oven never gets all that hot (maybe maxing out arounf 350). It lacks a dial (so I can't really tell what temperatue it is at, in any case) -- and it heats unevenly. I made some fairly mediocre baked moussaka for them when I visited last year, and found the oven tricky to use. I know that it is a poor artist who blames her tools, but... what sort of bread might be very forgiving of such an oven?

2) I can get maida and atta in Karachi -- could you recommend a recipe for a "double roti" type of bread (this is what they call sandwich bread) which uses these flours? I think that their preference would be for a soft, sweet bread.

3) As the mom of a 12-week old girl, I find that doing anything with very exact timing to be beyond me. If you can suggest a recipe which is forgiving if I get pulled away by my 11 pound boss, then that would be just lovely.

I really, really appreciate any advice.



Mebake's picture

Welcome TO TFL!

Rotis/ Chapathis/ Naans all need blazing heat surface to cook on. I suggest you stay away from their oven , and use a heated tawa on their stove to bake roti or chapathi.

350F in a gas oven means that it would only be able to bake enriched doughs, such as sandwich bread loaf that contains butter, milk, sugar, baked in a non stick pan. Sweet pastries will also work in that heat range.

Best of luck


copyu's picture

I don't know if this is helpful—it's more of a 'grilled bread' than 'baked'. In a small oven, it might work. Otherwise, some good old chapathi on the stove-top would probably(?) make a good can be difficult to please! 

I'd really need to know more about the oven to make useful suggestions. (Size? Electric? Gas?...)

Sincere best wishes,


EvaB's picture

They are not that expensive, and they will work no matter where you are, the best one I have cost me about $7 Canadian, and has both metric and standard temps, but with the standard temps larger type, I had to really search to find it in this combination, but Safeway (large grocery chain) has the smaller, hang or stand on rack ones for around the same price, with the metric larger than the standard.

I grew up with standard temps, and when we switched to metric, I may have to use that for tempertures outside, and for gasoline etc, but I still bake with my Farenheit temps.

By the way, you should still be able to bake bread even if it doesn't get over 350, by covering the bread with a large lid, or cooking it in a pot or casserole dish that has a cover. Think large roaster for two loaves, and a small roaster for a single loaf, the blue grantie ones should work. I just baked bread that the original recipe called for 400 temps and 50 minutes cooking, and baked on a stone, I found the modified recipe by the original authors, which calls for 375 temp and 60 minutes while baking in a loaf pan, spritzed the top with water, sprinkled sesame seeds on and baked uncovered. According to my husband its great!