Recipes for yesterday’s baking – chapatti, muffins and a loaf
To make a batch of chapatti, I used the recipe from the back of the sack of flour.
Mix 300g of chapatti or wholemeal flour with enough cold water to make a stiff dough. They didn’t say to add any salt, so I didn’t. Knead for 3 or 4 minutes, place in a bowl, cover with a plate and leave on one side for half an hour for the gluten to develop.
When you are ready to cook them, get out the biggest frying pan you have. I have a flat edged one, like a tawa, which makes it easier to flip them.
Divide the dough into equal lumps. I weighed my dough and divided the weight by 10. This makes smaller chapatti as that is what I wanted, if you want larger ones, divide into fewer lumps, bearing in mind you will need a very large pan to cook them.
Heat your pan to a medium heat, do not add any fat. While it is heating, sprinkle the worktop with a little flour and roll out one lump to credit card thickness. Slap into the hot pan, cook for a minute or two until there are dark brown spots, then flip it over and do the other side.
While that is happening, roll out the next one ready to go. When the first one is cooked, put on a plate and cover with a clean tea towel, the steam keeps them soft.
Now repeat until all the lumps are cooked chapatti. Wipe the surplus flour from the pan with a piece of kitchen paper when necessary, or you will have burnt bits of flour on your finished chapatti.
Once cool, they can be frozen and kept fresh ready for when you want one or two. Great used as a wrap or as the carb with many things. Chapatti made with chapatti flour taste nicer then those with wholemeal I think, although either are pretty good. And extraordinarily cheap, about 1p each.
Chocolate, Raisin and Pecan Muffins
I used the basic muffin recipe from Susan Reimer’s Muffins.
255g plain flour, I used chapatti flour, which is fine wholemeal
3 tsps baking powder
Half tsp salt
85g-110g white sugar, I used 80g
1 egg, you can just leave this out and use the same volume of milk to replace it if you want
90ml veg oil or 85g melted butter
then I added
2 heaped tblsps Cocoa
Handful raisins, about 80g
Handful pecans or walnuts, about 25g
Heat the oven to 375F, 190C, 180C fan, gas mark 5. Line or grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
Halve the pecans or walnuts. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Add the sugar. Stir it all together well.
In a separate bowl or jug, beat together the egg, oil or melted butter, and milk.
Now pour all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir just enough to mix together, the odd lump here and there doesn’t matter, but too much stirring will give a tough muffin.
Share out the mixture between the twelve muffin holes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops spring back when gently pressed.
I put some chocolate fudge sauce on top of these.
For the fudge sauce….
Melt 50g butter in a pan, add three scant tblsps water. Sieve 250g icing sugar and two heaped tblsps cocoa into a bowl. Add the sugar cocoa mix to the melted butter, you will need to add it in two or three goes. Beat it all well until glossy. You may need to add a tad more water, add it half a tsp at a time, it goes too runny very quickly.
Spread over the top of the cooled muffins. Any leftover sauce can be used to top anything you fancy….bananas and cream: pancakes: ice cream: brownies. Add a little more water, a tsp or two, if you want a runnier sauce or use cream instead of water for a richer version.
Keeps for ages in a jam jar in the fridge. Replace the water with the same amount of any alcohol you fancy. An almond or hazelnut one would be lovely to give a nutty hum, or Cointreu for the classic chocolate orange combination, or brandy or whiskey for a wonderful warmth.
A loaf made with chapatti flour
Put 500g chapatti flour in a bowl. Put a tsp of yeast on one side and half a tsp of salt on the other side of the bowl. Mix it all together and add enough water to make a loose dough, knead for a minute or two if you like. The water doesn’t need to be warm.
Cover the bowl with a plate and leave the dough until it’s double in size. An hour should do it, or two at a pinch. Loose doughs have enough room to rise.
Tip it on the worktop, give it another little knead if you like, you don’t really need to, and add enough flour in to make a firmer dough. Shape it into a tight ball shape, tucking it round and round to make it tight, and place on a baking tray. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave on the side for half an hour or so.
In the meantime, heat the oven to 220c, 210 fan, gas mark 7. Put a baking tray quarter full of hot water in the base of the oven, wait a few minutes until it’s all steamy in there, then pop in your loaf and bake for 45 minutes until the base sounds really hollow when you rap it. The loaf may look done before the 45 minutes, but it probably won’t be.
Leave to cool if you can manage it before you hack off a wedge. Best sliced the day after baking, fresh bread doesn’t slice very well.
I make loaves like this with wholemeal, granary or white flour, whatever I fancy on the day. When doing a white one, I don’t usually bother using a strong flour and it comes out fine. It would probably be better with a strong one. Slash the top before putting it into the oven if you like. I don’t usually as I find it makes the loaf flatten out as it cooks. That might just be my technique, give it a go and see what happens.
You can moisten the top and sprinkle over poppy seeds, sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, or crack over some crunchy salt and fresh ground pepper, or sprinkle some cayenne or paprika over.
Be prepared to eat a lot of bread if you make your own. It’s very yummy!
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 budget meal plans, most are cheap meals for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are cheap family meals for 4 people, or meals for one