The Fresh Loaf

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Long Time Away & Chapati Flour Loaves

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lynnebiz's picture
lynnebiz

Long Time Away & Chapati Flour Loaves

I've been mostly a lurker here on TFL, but I've had to keep away from my favorite forum for quite awhile - for a couple of reasons. First, my family was going through so much stress I was trying to focus on any possible solution(s). A very small member of our family was kidnapped by his biological (but mostly, during our tiny guy's short years, absent) father, kept out of state - the father lied to the court & it took a whole year to wait for the court dates. While the little boy isn't technically my grandchild (his mom is my son's girlfriend), I consider him to be, and I, along with his young mom & the rest of our family, fought tooth & nail for the little guy.

A whole year & a million prayers later, he's finally back with his mom (and us!). During this ordeal, my health got worse (I have an annoying disability that causes pain & fatigue), and I was wobbling around with a cane (both knees have significant cartilage loss). After all four of my adult kids intervened, worried about my future health (and my possible absence when they have kids), I decided I had to lose weight. Bread, I felt, is way too tempting for me - IMO, whole grains are very healthy - but I'd end up eating a whole loaf in a day, so I kept away from baking.

So far I've lost 43 pounds! (with about 60 more to go) I also discovered that yes, I can & do limit myself with bread - surprisingly (to me!) I ended up eating way too much pasta when I cooked some for my son, (I didn't even realize that it's comfort food to me), so it's more important for me to keep that away. I'm trying for a slow loss (now that I've lost enough so that 90% of my knee pain has vanished), substituting healthy foods, smaller portions & exercise - since that is what leads to more permanent weight loss. In other words - healthy living. :D

Anyway, I'm rambling (typical for me, haha) - I wanted to share that I made a terrific loaf of whole wheat bread with chapati flour I bought at a local Indian grocery store near me. I decided to take a chance and pick up a 10 pound bag to use to make sandwich loaves. After, I did a search here on TFL, and yes, someone wrote that it's just regular ww flour.

The chapati flour I bought is Laxmi brand. I noticed the dough was more yellowish than I usually experience - and it was really easy to handle. I can always tell how the bread is going to turn out by the handling of the dough- I've been baking bread since I was 14 yrs old, I'm now 58, and I usually go by 'feel' rather than science. In fact, most times, I seldom even follow a recipe. I did find a recipe online for a whole wheat sandwich bread (I used instant dry milk since I have lots in the house, and when it comes out of the oven, I spread some butter on the top - while I love crispy crusts, I try to keep the crust soft for my little favorite guy!)

One loaf is already gone - I'll try to get a photo of the crumb when we cut into the second. The loaves look - and taste - wonderful. I'm really happy with the results, especially since I was dog-tired when I (literally) threw it together - it was a very rare time when I really did NOT want to knead, but since I wanted bread right away, I couldn't wait the approx. 18 hrs for a no-knead bread.

At any rate, I'm very glad to be back, even though I'm mostly a lurker. Love this site - and love baking bread. So happy I now can bake without being concerned that I'll stop my (very necessary) weight loss. Can't wait to try a whole wheat baguette with this flour, too!

varda's picture
varda

Hi Lynne,   Nice to see you posting again.   Can you tell me where you got the Chappati flour?   Is it the same as Atta?   I have been baking with whole grain durum, but am looking for a more refined version.    Thanks.   -Varda

lynnebiz's picture
lynnebiz

Hi Varda & thanks so much!

I bought it at the Indian Grocery store on Moody St. in Waltham (Varda & I are sort of neighbors, lol). It's the one on the corner - biggest one there on the street - I think there are three, but I like this one the best. They also have a butcher - yeah, an real butcher, rare these days - in the back & so far, I have found the prices for their meats to be reasonable. Just like any other store, I pick & choose for quality & prices. The quality of their veggies & fruits change, it seems, by the time of day (the store is popular & they seem to sell out a lot of produce before closing). Again, I pick & choose carefully - when I went in close to closing time one day this week, I could find no fresh veggies or fruits (besides mangoes, which is a favorite of mine) that were worth buying. Yet earlier in the day I find their produce looks pretty good.  To save time & effort (gas if I were using my poor, sad car) I try to do as much shopping in one place as I can - but I won't compromise quality.

Back to the flour - they had another one on sale, but it was gone when I got there. I paid, I think, $7 or $8 for a ten pound bag for the one I chose.  This really helps me, since I've been doing all my shopping by bus & subway (my car is almost fixed now) & the chain grocery stores usually charge so much for w.w. flour. Besides, shopping in an ethnic store is SO much more fun, lol.

The other brand that was on sale would have been $6 for 20lbs! Of course, I don't know the quality of that one in comparison, but I would try it if they stocked some more (and I happen to get there again). I really liked the brand I did try, and I think 10 lbs is enough for my household right now. The remaining amount fits nicely in my freezer, to keep the whole grain fresher - and keep it all away from any possible mice, ugh. We were invaded recently, much to my chagrin. (I do think that problem has been resolved, but I'm not taking any chances).

Lynne

Nim's picture
Nim

I don't live too far either (in NH) but for the Atta, try the Sonali or Sujata Chakki atta. I think they are the best from the ones available at Indian stores. I am glad you posted this coz the only time I baked bread with Atta (I routinely buy 20 lbs bags and therefore always have them at home) my results were not good so I stick to KA whole wheat flour for bread. Could you share the recipe and crumb pics? I'd like to give it another try! Grocery shoppingwise it would be a lot convenient for for me.

lynnebiz's picture
lynnebiz

 

This is the recipe I used (I can't remember if it's OK to put links to other sites here, but here goes):

http://www.food.com/recipe/100-whole-wheat-bread-82530

It's a recipe used by the Abbey of the Holy Trinity - wish I knew where it was. Anyway, I adjusted the recipe somewhat.

These are my substitutions:

1.) Instant, nonfat milk powder mixed with the right amt of water  (didn't really measure out the powder exactly, as I was too rushed at the time, but it worked out fine).
2.) Instant yeast instead of those expensive yeast packages - can't remember how much I used.
3.) More whole wheat flour instead of the white flour listed.
4) Oil instead of butter.

I also used some butter on top of the loaves in an attempt to keep the crusts soft for my grandson - I just spread it on the finished loaves, while they were still hot (with his help, of course). Still ended up being too hard for him, so I just cut the crusts off. No matter, it still made a perfect PB & J sandwich, which was my intention for that day! Bonus was that this makes a terrific all around sandwich, and it slices very, very thin for toast. I think the quality of this flour really helped with this.

Nim's picture
Nim

Thanks, Lynbiz. Don't know why I did't see this till today!

varda's picture
varda

I'll take a look.   I think I know what store you are talking about but I haven't been that way in a few years.    I meant to say earlier,  congratulations on the weight loss.   That's a great accomplishment.  

lynnebiz's picture
lynnebiz

Sorry for the delay in my response - got a bug & we discovered mice in our house, so we are on a massive kitchen cleaning effort here. Ugh. We discovered them awhile ago, so after getting some ultrasound devices (along w/my son putting some harsher item in the basement - told him not to tell me ANYTHING about it, as I'm very sensitive to stuff like this - just take care of it!!) our problem was resolved. However, my eyesight isn't that good - he just discovered they had been in cupboards we previously didn't realize, so: he removed every, single thing from the shelves, and with gloves & a mask, he cleaned everything. I took on the easier job of getting everything cleaned in our dishwasher & putting them away.

Gross! But at least foods are now protected (I had to throw away a lot of food when we discovered them, including a whole five pound bag of KA flour).

So - no more gross conversation! (my apologies to all for this, lol)

I was in Waltham before I got sick, and noted the name of the store I went to. It's the Waltham India Market (duh! you'd think even my aging mind could remember that!), and it's at 327 Moody St. in Waltham, MA. I found some reviews on Yelp, too.

Here's a couple of photos of what's left to our loaves (I made one large & one small with this recipe -perfect for my pans):

 

 

These aren't the best photos I've ever taken - not by a long shot! But everything is torn up right now, so it's the best I can do. (I'm also amazed at how easy it was to upload the photos - I tried doing this before, and was baffled, even with the easy instructions - just goes to show how much stress I was experiencing at the time!)

 

varda's picture
varda

for the name and address of the store.  I'll try to get there soon.   Now I'm asking myself why I didn't think to go to an Indian store before for Atta.    Your bread looks nice.  -Varda

Ghobz's picture
Ghobz

Hi Lynne,

When I need to loose weight I follow a french diet (chrono nutrition) that I adapted to suit my taste for vegetables: The original diet lets you eat a very minimal amount of vegies, only 1 cup at supper, and that isn't enough in my opinion, so I introduced vegies with the meat at lunch time, 1 cup, on top of the 1/2 a cup of pasta or other carbs the diet calls for.

When I'm on that diet, I eat bread in the morning, for breakfast, buttered and with lots of cheese (any kind you wish). And yes, only a french doctor's diet would call for butter in the morning and dark chocolate as an afternoon snak. It has to be good bread though, not industrial, and good real butter, margarines and fake butters are forbidden. The bread should preferably be artisan style (whole grain is best but white, lean breads are ok) and it shouldn't contain sugar at all and no milk in its making.

If really you have trouble living without bread because of a weight-loss diet, look up Dr Delabos' Chrono Nutrition books. It worked wonderfully for me and I kept the habit of a breakfast with 60 g of good bread, toasted, buttered and topped with 70 g of good cheese (usually brie or cheddar). Believe me, I don't mind renouncing to bread for the rest of the day, since I know I will have it the following morning. A good baguette or chiabatta or pain de campagne is what I usually eat because they're not dense (lots of wholes) and it makes for more "bread surface" to accomodate for the large amount of cheese.

lynnebiz's picture
lynnebiz

Hi Ghobz -

I don't follow any set 'diet' - to me, that spells disaster because of a lifetime of attempts & fails. I do use a site that's helped me a lot: My Fitness Pal. (not sure about putting links on this site - just add dot come to myfitnesspal) There I get support from others on the same quest - vital to my success - and also I log in everything I eat. While previously something like that really turned me off, I decided to give it a try, since it was my very concerned & loving daughter who sent me the link.

My success surprised me! I found that as long as I either measured or weighed my food (already have the scale for bread baking), I became aware of where I was wasting calories & fat. I soon began substituting healthier options (I know that a diet heavy on fresh fruits & veggies, preferably raw, is best for me - and I soon discovered substituting small meals helped me so much). I keep to about 1200 calories a day, less if I'm not hungry. I've lost 43 pounds so far, which is the equivalent of my 4 1/2 year old grandson, haha!

I usually take my two dogs for short walks twice a day - soon after I started, I began extending their walks and adding more, since I started to feel so terrific. My usual walks average about 2 miles a day now - a big step from my days of wobbling around the house with my cane! (I've also added a good quality fish oil to my diet in addition to the glucosamine & condroitin I've been taking, and will notice increased pain when I forget to take it).

I also realize that I can eat homemade bread without over eating - I know whole grain is better for me, but I love me some good bread with a crispy crust, so I'll allow myself a small portion if I want it. I kept away from bread for a few months because I didn't trust myself with overeating! Fortunately, I do better with that than with pasta (a learning experience that really surprised me).

And, yes - I include a small amount of butter (also discovered that I won't eat too much of that) and a small amount of dark chocolate. Unfortunately for me, I can't keep a larger amount of any chocolate around the house or I will eat it all - so I limit myself to a small portion I can buy & share with my son, or someone else - immediately. Just being smart there, lol.