The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

failed wild yeast dough rescued to make great chapatis

ejm's picture

failed wild yeast dough rescued to make great chapatis

A few mornings ago, I imagined that my wild yeast starter was all ready to make bread. I announced I would make focaccia with it to go with that evening's dinner of puy lentils and sausage. Silly me. I should have known this would be a mistake. My failures with my wild yeast are legion this winter. The focaccia dough failed entirely to rise. Not even a glimmer of a bubble. After several hours. So I stuck the slumping lump of dough in the fridge and made another announcement: I would make chapatis with wild yeast (ha) dough the next day, because they're made without yeast anyway. What a brilliant save!! The chapatis tasted faintly sour but they were absolutely wonderful. Especially when you consider that the dough might have been baked into a spectacularly terrible focaccia.
omelette and chapati


Bushturkey's picture

Yes, pitas.

Chapatis are not leavened, but only inlcude 3 of the 4 bread ingredients - flour, water, salt.

Pita bread, pide, lebanese bread are leavened.

ejm's picture

It does look just like pita, doesn't it?

Of course you are right about pita being leavened and chapati not being leavened. However, this particular dough didn't have any leavener in it either. The ingredients were flour, water, salt, olive oil and malt powder (the olive oil and malt powder because it was supposed to be focaccia). Instead of yeast, I had used my "wild yeast" starter (made with flour and water) that turned out to be not actually viable. The perfect ingredients for chapatis.

We only used half of the dough to make chapatis. The next day we used the other half (still completely unleavened - not one bubble) to make fabulous parathas (sorry no photo this time). I did post about making paratha a couple of years ago:

Here are my usual recipes for chapatis and pitas:
subfuscpersona's picture

Where did you get the rack shown in photo #1 that goes over the burner and has legs to elevate it somewhat from the heat source? (Looks like the rack is about 1 -2 inches above the burner?)

Anticipating the hot summer months (when I don't like to be baking bread in a 450F oven in my un-airconditioned kitchen) I'd like to get back to working with flatbreads.

I have, in the past, used a squished-up coat hanger to balloon the chapati after the initial cooking. It would be much nicer to have a rack that would free my hands. (The coat hanger idea is from the recipe book The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuni Devi)

Looking forward to your response... thanks - SF


ejm's picture

The racks are available in our Indiatown. Pretty much any store that sells Indian spices, vegetables, saris, etc. has such a thing. They call it a "roti fluffer". It didn't cost a whole lot - $5 sticks in my mind.

It looks like this online company is selling them but I can't see a price or a location:

(It's unfortunate that the word "fluffer" appears to have been usurped by unsavoury types and this is not the ideal word to use when searching for such a rack online... :-/)