Spelt Flour Chapati Recipe

 

In fitting with today’s delightfully autumnal weather, I decided to cook a hearty vegetarian curry with butternut squash. As is the case for most dishes, Indian curries taste best if eaten with freshly baked breads. I’ve made this spelt flour chapati recipe many times since visiting India in 2007 and it didn’t let me down today. These homemade spelt chapatis are no hassle at all – you’ll be done in just over an hour.

Spelt flour chapatis
Spelt flour chapatis

When visiting Malaysia recently, I picked up a tava (a round flat or slightly concave iron griddle) used in Indian cooking to make flatbreads. I haven’t got the traditional Atta flour handy, so I’m opting for a mix of wholemeal and white spelt flour instead.

Chapatis are…

  • Unleavened flatbreads (i.e. made from a dough containing no yeast or leavening agents)
  • An integral part of the Indian cuisine (also eaten in Pakistan and other parts of South Asia)
  • Traditionally made with Atta flour (stone ground wholemeal flour which has been sifted to remove the coarsest bran), salt and water. You can use a mixture of wholemeal and white flour if you don’t have Atta flour to hand.
  • Cooked on a tava (you can also use a flat bottom non-stick frying pan)

Spelt chapati recipe

Ingredients for 6 chapatis

  • 100g finely ground wholemeal spelt flour
  • 100g white spelt flour plus extra for dusting
  • 125g water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil plus extra for brushing

How to make the spelt flour chapatis

Before you follow the instructions, here is a video for a quick introduction of the process:

  1. Place the spelt flours, water and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Form a soft dough with your hands. Note that firmer dough is easier to handle but makes harder chapatis. If required, just add a little more water until you get the right consistency.
  3. Add a tablespoon of oil and transfer to a clean surface.
  4. Knead for about 10 minutes.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball, place in a bowl and cover.
  6. Allow to rest for about 30 minutes.
  7. Divide into 6 equal pieces.
  8. Shape the dough into balls by rolling the pieces between your palms.
  9. Place them on a lightly dusted surface.
  10. Roll out the dough balls (one by one) into a thin round on a lightly floured surface.
  11. Heat up a frying pan over a medium heat and place the chapatis (one at a time) straight on the hot surface.
  12. Keep it there for about 30 seconds until blisters appear and it becomes slightly darker in colour.
  13. Turn and cook the other side in the same way. The steam trapped in the middle will cause the chapati to puff up. Use a clean kitchen towel to gently push down as air pockets form.
  14. Once done, lightly brush the chapati with rapeseed oil (traditionally ghee is used) and cover with a clean dish towel until ready to serve.
Spelt chapatis
Spelt chapatis

Enjoy with dhal or your favourite curry – no cutlery needed!

Flammkuchen Recipe (Alsatian / German Flatbread)

 

My friend Felix from Munich frequently impresses guests with his delicious Flammkuchen, a type of German flatbread with a delicious sour cream, bacon and onion topping. He provided all his Flammkuchen baking insight to me yesterday, so what better way to finish a long week than unwinding with a freshly baked Flammkuchen and a nice glass of Austrian Weißburgunder, watching a movie on the couch wrapped in a cosy blanket – or dressed in one of these (who knew that Tart Flambée T-Shirts were a thing??!). Here is his Flammkuchen recipe for all of you to enjoy!

Flammkuchen
A very tasty freshly baked Flammkuchen

What is Flammkuchen?

Flammkuchen (or Tarte Flambée in French) is an Alsatian dish – it’s easy to make and you’ll only need a few ingredients. The traditional Flammkuchen toppings are sour cream (Felix recommends crème fraiche as it’s thicker), onions and bacon. I’m planning to experiment with different toppings, but to start with, I go all traditional on this recipe.

Flammkuchen recipe

Before I jump into the Flammkuchen recipe instructions, a few additional notes on what Flammkuchen is and what it’s not.

Flammkuchen is often referred to as ‘German pizza’, so I just wanted to set the record straight on this one.

Flammkuchen and pizza use the same base dough. The key difference is that Flammkuchen uses a base of sour cream or crème fraiche while pizza comes with tomato sauce. Flammkuchen is also not to be confused with white pizza which is pizza with a cheese base. Cheese is not traditionally used as a topping for Flammkuchen and the bread dough crust is generally thinner when compared to pizza. And… the Flammkuchen shape is usually rectangular or oval rather than round as it is for pizza.

Flammkuchen Tarte Flambee
5 from 4 votes
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Flammkuchen Recipe

This delicious Flammkuchen recipe is easy to prepare and rewards your work with delicious flavours. The quantities below are for 4 portions.

Ingredients

Flammkuchen dough recipe

  • 500 g flour I used 400g strong white flour and 100g wholemeal flour; however if you can get your hands on strong 00 flour this will work even better
  • 7 salt
  • 7 dried yeast
  • 320 g warm water
  • A little olive oil

Flammkuchen sauce and toppings

  • 12  strips of bacon cut into small squares or cubes
  • 2 onions finely sliced into rings
  • 250 g crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 230 g natural Greek Yoghurt
  • tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh thyme optional

Instructions

How to make Flammkuchen

  1. Combine all dough ingredients in a large bowl to form a rough dough.
  2. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic, stretchy and velvety dough.
  3. Place the dough back into your bowl and cover with a lid.
  4. Leave to rest for 2 - 4 hours at room temperature (or overnight in the fridge).
  5. Preheat the oven and a baking tray to 250°C (the highest temperature possible) 30 minutes before the bake. If you have a pizza stone, preheat the oven and the pizza stone 1 hour before.
  6. Divide the dough into 4 parts (8 parts for smaller sized Flammkuchen). I use a dough scraper to do this.
  7. Shape each part into a ball and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Combine the crème fraiche and yoghurt in a small bowl, add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix well.
  9. Roll out the dough pieces (2-3 mm) and transfer to baking sheets.
  10. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  11. Fry the bacon strips briefly until almost cooked, don't let them get crispy.
  12. Fry the onion rings in the same pan until slightly browned.
  13. If you are making all 4 Flammkuchen but baking only one at a time, don't add the topping to all of them at once. One by one works better as the topping doesn't melt into the dough that way.
  14. Evenly and generously spread the cream mixture onto the dough (you want a really thick coating in order for the finished product not to be too dry), leave a small border around the edge (this will turn golden-brown and crispy).
  15. Scatter the onion rings and bacon on top and sprinkle with thyme.
  16. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges are nicely browned and the bottom is crisp.
  17. Serve immediately.
German Flammkuchen recipe using onions, sour cream, bacon
Flammkuchen with delightfully crisp onion rings

If you have leftover dough, you can refrigerate this in cling film and bake more Flammkuchen the next day.

If baking the next day is not an option, you can freeze it too. Roll out the dough into a base and par-bake (for about 3 mins). It needs to be fully cooled before you freeze it. When you feel like a cheeky Flammkuchen, simply take out the base, add the topping and bake again.

Hope you enjoy this Flammkuchen recipe as much as I do, it’s perfect for a night in!