Makes about 14
1 cup whole wheat flour plus 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, or 2 cups chapati flour
1 to 1¼ cups water
All-purpose flour, for rolling
Butter, for serving
Mix the flour(s) in a large bowl. Add ½ cup of the water to the flour, and mix with your hand to combine. Add another ¼ cup water, and mix again. Continue adding the water, a little at a time, until the dough forms a ball. (The dough should take about 1 cup water.)
Now knead the dough vigorously on a clean, unfloured surface until the dough is moist, soft, and slightly sticky but doesn’t cling to clean hands or the work surface, about 5 minutes. If the dough is dry, dip your fingers into some water, and knead the water onto the surface, and let rest at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
When the dough has rested, prepare a small bowl of all-purpose flour and also flour your work surface. Break off a piece of dough a little smaller than a golf ball. Toss it in the bowl of flour, and then roll it between the palms of your hands to make a ball. Set the ball on the work surface, and flatten it into a 2-inch disk. Now roll the disk, flouring the work surface and dough round as needed, into a thin round 5 to 6-inches in diameter. Put the chapatti on a plate, and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Continue to roll all of the dough into chapattis, and stack them on a plate, pieces of plastic wrap between them.
Heat a griddle or frying pan (preference goes to cast iron) over medium-high heat. Place a chapati on a heated griddle or in the pan over medium-high heat, and cook until the top darkens slightly, and your see bubbles begin to form underneath the surface of the dough, about 1 minute. Now flip the chapatti with a spatula, and cook the other side until you see more bubbles, about 30 seconds.
If working on a gas stove, turn on a second burner to high. Using a pair of flat tongs, carefully pick up the chapati by the edge, and put it directly onto the burner. Cook until the chapati balloons and browns, 10 to 15 seconds. Then carefully turn it, using the tongs to pick it up by the very edge, and cook until the underside browns and the bread balloons again, 10 to 15 more seconds. Remove the chapati from the fire the tongs, or slide it off the griddle, put it on a plate, and rub with butter. Serve immediately while you continue cooking the remaining chapatis.
If working on an electric stove, cook the chapati on the griddle, or in the pan until the bubbles have begun to form on both sides. Then continue cooking the chapati, pressing down the edges of the round with a wad of paper towels as it balloons and turning it in a clockwise motion, until the chapati is well browned and swells like a balloon. Turn and do the same on the other side.
© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran