A good loaf of bread in California is four to five dollars. That’s a chunk of cash for what many think of as “the staff of life.” But what surprises me is how many people today don’t know that for pennies you can make delicious quick breads. If you have a good cast iron skillet you can make delicious chapattis out of flour and water. It takes experience to get it right and even pros can burn them but they are delicious and you turn a tight budget into a gourmet opportunity. The key is to use cast iron and to have it warm before you put the flour mixture in it. The flour mixture is just flour, water and a tiny bit of salt and it is made up just like kid’s play dough but it is a bit “dry.” You can roll them out on a floured board or have a little flour in the skillet and pat the dough into it. Be careful that you don’t get burned. Cook it on medium heat, flipping it after a few minutes depending on how hot the skillet is. If you incorporate herbs and seeds into the dough it is very tasty. Sesame seeds, caraway seeds and herbs and spices make these chapattis a treat. Have them with anything from shredded carrots, sprouts, hummus, beans or sour cream and cheese.
Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:
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