Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chapatis with Flax -- Recipe

These make a great substitute for tortillas and can be made up in 20 minutes -- less time than it takes to run to the store.

You will need a gas burner -- a camp stove or barbeque flame will work, and a flat pan or griddle. Everything should be preheated to high before you start to cook the chapatis.

Makes 15 large or 20 small flat breads for about $1.25cnd

3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup freshly ground flax meal
1 tsp. salt
2 cups of water, enough to make a stiff dough

Mix together and knead until smooth and elastic. Kneading by hand gives a better texture than kneading with a mixer. Divide into 15 (or 20) round balls. Place in a plastic bag to keep from drying out. Now forget about them for about 30 to 60 minutes, while you do something else.

Preheat your griddle or pan to high. It should be so hot that a drop of water will dance on the surface.

Roll thinly, 1/8th inch thick, on floured board or counter. To keep them round, turn dough a quarter turn after each roll. Place each one, as soon as it is rolled, on very hot, ungreased, griddle or pan. Cook a few minutes on each side of bread, until bread begins to puff and gets brown flecks. Its important to cook each side -- but not too crisp. This gives structure to the dough so that it can puff dramatically at the next stage of cooking.

Immediately place over gas flame burner -- directly on the flame. Bread will puff dramatically. Cook only a few seconds on each side to puff the bread. Use tongs to flip it. A metal spatula may damage the crust. If this is done correctly the flat bread will puff like a pita. If it doesn't puff completely it will still be delicious. The puffing makes the bread light.

Cover finished chapatis with a towel to keep them warm. Serve warm.

Leftovers will store well in a plastic bag in fridge or freezer. To serve reheat briefly on a hot griddle and serve warm, like a tortilla. These can be used like tortillas in quesadillas or enchiladas. Or serve with tatziki or hummus.


  1. I would like to try your Flax Chapathi. Do they stay fluffy after a while?

  2. The chapatis stay light once they have puffed up but they don't remain puffed up. Its a different texture than just frying them on both sides -- lighter with more air. And they don't get hard like a flour tortilla.