Chapati are basic unleavened bread — made without yeast. They can be made with just 3 simple ingredients flour, water, and salt. In this recipe I’ve used whole wheat flour, and flax seed for extra fiber, but you can successfully make chapatis with just all purpose flour, omitting the flax and bran. To find out how to make chapati keep reading.
Chapati can be used in the place of flour tortillas. They can be used as a scoop for chili or curry dishes. Make a batch in 30 minutes and have them for your next meal — no rising time, and very little clean up necessary.
Makes 16 chapati
Time 30 min.
3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup flax (optional)
1/2 tsp celtic salt
Additional flour for dusting the counter top for rolling
Mix water, salt, flour, and optional flax in your stand mixer with the dough hook, or by hand. Knead until smooth. You may need additional flour if your kitchen is humid or it is damp outside.
Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.
Dust counter top and break off a 1 1/2 inch ball of dough. Roll it into a thin circle. You want the dough fairly thin, but not so thin that it is like a noodle. Chapatis are thinner than tortillas.
Heat a dry frying pan until water dropped on the surface sizzles and evaporates immediately. Pan should be hot enough to fry the dough in a minute per side, but not so hot that it cause the dough to burn or char.
Place chapati gently on frying pan and fry each side until brown flecks form on the surface of the dough. Turn the dough over again and fry each side, allowing the chapati to puff up. This second cooking can be done over a hotter pan or directly over a gas flame for really good results.
We sometimes cook them on our wood cook stove, directly on the surface. We do the initial browning on the cooler area of the stove and then for the second heating place the chapati directly over the fire box, being careful that the fire isn’t so hot as to char the chapatis.
When we first learn to make chapatis we were taught to do it over our barbeque grill which has a griddle and a gas burner. We cooked the chapatis first directly on the griddle and then for the second cooking placed them for a few seconds directly over the gas burner to puff. It was dramatic and we fell in love with chapatis as we saw them puff up for the first time.
In this video, we cook them over a frying pan on an electric stove, and you’ll see that the results are not as dramatic, while they remain just as tasty. Chapatis make great travel/camping bread so take the ingredients with you on your next camping trip, too.
I hope you’ll add chapatis to your regular bread making repertoire. My family makes them whenever we find ourselves short of bread and need some for the next meal. FYI, this is the same recipe/ingredients you would use if you were making Kosher matzo for Passover. You’d handle the dough differently, after you prepared the initial dough, but the ingredients and the proportions are the same. Matzo is a traditional Jewish unleavened bread. Interestingly, I learned to make chapatis from an Israeli woman who stayed at Joybilee Farm for a few weeks to learn about organic gardening with the Wwoofer program. She was a chef in Israel and brought several amazing new recipes to me. It was from her that I learned the value of using coconut oil for all my frying. (Thanks, Ruth.)
Once you’ve made the chapatis, you can go one step further and turn them into chips. See my direction for making whole grain chips, using chapatis as the base on my recipe on the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge.