Roti–Indian Flatbread

I love bread! It is a horrible and honest answer, but since I was a child I have enjoyed bread of any kind. I was excited to have found a recipe for what I had thought was naan. However, I was surprisingly excited to understand the differences between naan and what I found to have made, roti. The following describes the subtle differences:

Naan or Nan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread. It is popular in West, Central and South Asia. In Iran, from which the word ultimately originated, nān does not carry any special significance, as it is merely the everyday word for any kind of bread. Naan in other parts of South Asia usually refers to a specific kind of thick flatbread. Generally, it resembles pita and, like pita bread, is usually leavened with yeast or with bread starter. Naan is cooked in a tandoor, from which tandoori cooking takes its name. This distinguishes it from roti, which is usually cooked on a flat or slightly concave iron griddle called a tava. Typically, it will be served hot and brushed with ghee or butter. It can be used to scoop other foods, or served stuffed with
a filling.

roitindianflatbread

Roti is generally an Indian bread, made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is also consumed in parts of South Africa, the southern Caribbean–particularly in Trinidad and Tobago–Guyana and Fiji. Its defining characteristic is that it is unleavened. Indian naan bread, by contrast, is a yeast-leavened bread. Roti and its thinner variant, known as chapati, are integral to Indian and Pakistani cuisine

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used whole-wheat flour.
  2. I used more than the amount of water suggested.
  3. You want to create dough that is firm but a cohesive piece.
  4. I mixed the dough in my Kitchen Aide mixer, then I kneaded it to incorporate the missed flour and lost pieces.
  5. I was able to divide my dough into nine balls, probably 12 had I made them evenly sized.
  6. Be sure to roll them thinly. Thicker pieces will leave a doughy texture when cooked.
  7. After rolling them, place them on a cookie sheet layering them with paper towels to keep them from sticking.
  8. Be sure to not over flour them because the flour residue will stick to the naan during the cooking process and be left afterwards. No one likes raw flour.
  9. Heat the skillet, without oil or Pam, on high.rotiindianflatbread2
  10. The dough will begin to bubble with air pockets within 30 seconds. Flip the bread immediately to reduce the chance of burning the bread and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  11. The tops of the naan will be freckled with brown cook spots.
  12. Oil only the top of the naan. Because the bread is thin, the oil will be absorbed on both sides.

Understanding my love for Indian dishes, I am thrilled to understand both the difference between naan and roti and having found a recipe that allow for a traditional bread to accompany my future exotic dishes. Paired with a curried quinoa stew or as a side to a tikka masala, the roti is simple and easy to make. You can even add peanut butter and enjoy as is, like my mother. Hurry though because with friends and family there might not be any left
for you.

Leave a comment with your favorite Indian recipes. Follow my Pinterest for more recipes. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

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Whole-Wheat Honey Bread

 

honeywheatbread3

Since I was a kid, I have always loved bread; however, breads need to be eaten in moderation.  Making homemade bread can warm your house and provide aromas to your senses.  This whole-wheat honey bread takes me back to the days where my grandparents baked everything from scratch or my mother would take us to the local bakery.  In other countries, making bread is standard.  Rarely do individuals buy pre-processed Wonderbread from a grocery store.

honeywheatbread2After baking, there is nothing better than eating a warm piece of freshly baked bread as a sandwich, side dish or peanut butter lathered snack.  Using whole-wheat flour can increase the health benefits such as dietary fiber leaning towards less weight gain.  If you are like me, insulin resistant, whole-wheat grains can help reverse the cycle along with other necessary precautions.  The high fiber and low glycemic index of whole wheat grains allows for a well balanced diet when reaching for those carbohydrate filled breads.

 

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used regular whole-wheat flour in place of bread flour.  It made the bread denser, but every piece was like the center: gooey and delicious.honeywheatbread
  2. I suggest melting the butter before adding it to the milk.  This allows the milk to keep its temperature and having to take time to mix until the butter melts.
  3. You’ll need a dough hook for this recipe.  Dough hooks keep incorporating the mixture without flour and pieces getting stuck in the center of a whisk.
  4. You can mix the dough with your hands in place of dough hooks.  Be sure to knead it well and flour your hands.
  5. Allowing the dough to rise is important.  It should triple in size by the time it is ready to cook.  Do not rush this process.
  6. Allow the bread to cool before setting it on the cooling rack.  It will harden and keep its form better.
  7. I cut my bread into slices before packing it away.  Allow it to cool so that you don’t smash the bread in the process.

Making bread is a process that takes time.  It needs to rise and rest allowing the gluten structure to become finer and preventing large air holes in the bread.  Also, it provides texture to the bread and permits the yeast to convert more sugars from the flour giving you a nice flavor complexity.  The bread will be delicious along with your satisfaction of making food from scratch.  Scrap all those pesky preservatives and aim for a higher goal.  The bread can last for two weeks in the cupboard or fridge and about one month frozen.  Lather it with nut butter or pumpkin pecan butter for a delicious pairing.  The sweetness of the honey and the nuttiness of the butters create a mouth-watering delicacy.

Leave a comment with your favorite bread recipes.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.