Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Not Sour (Yet!) on Sourdough: Sourdough Paratha

Sorry! (Not sorry! No time!) No photos!

Not much commentary here, to be honest.

I have yet to convince myself that I am good at Indian breads, though I did make some nice naans from Sarah Owens' Sourdough book, and I did manage to follow Tracy's paratha recipe, both with good results. And after making Tracy's parathas, I decided the next thing I would do would be to convert that recipe into a sourdough recipe due to health concerns for the Maharajah, as well as a curiosity to see if improves texture and taste--which is already quite good with Tracy's recipe.

What follows is what I threw together last night (and cooked off this morning before work--since his majesty is working from home and I wanted to provide sustenance). I used Tracy's recipe as a guide.


1 1/2 C KAF Sprouted Wheat Flour (if you have whole wheat or atta, use that)
1 T white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C Sourdough starter (this time, mine was freshly fed)
Drizzle olive oil
2-3 T warm water
Room temp butter
Oil spray


Mix everything together, and add just enough water to make the dough come together. Let it autolyze/rest about a half hour before handling further.

On a floured surface, knead the dough a bit to build up the gluten. When dough is somewhat stiff, cut into four pieces. Roll them into balls. Flatten with palms of hand and roll out thin. 

"Shmear" (yes, shmear) the surface with butter and a very light dusting of flour. I didn't get fancy with rolling it up. Tracy employs a "pac man" type cut and then rolls it up. I'm lazy. I just rolled it up what I would call "flauta style," (only I rolled a bit tighter than an actual flauta),  pinched one end, then rolled that into a pinwheel, tucking the other end under, pressing down slightly to secure. Repeat process with remaining three balls. 

I set these in a covered dish in the fridge to rest until I am ready to cook them off.

As my nonstick pan was warming up, I rolled out the first paratha. Thin, but not too thin. Thin and as big as you can, but not so thin it rips when you pick it up is the overall guideline I'll give. Sorry, no photos. No time this morning before work! I was going to cook these off before making a batch of saag paneer (recipe to follow in another blog post).

Once pan was warmed up sufficiently (medium heat), I spritzed some oil spray and placed the paratha in. I let it cook, IDK! roughly a minute or two, and then I flipped it. I then took a clean dish towel and started to press down lightly on the edge all around the circumference of the paratha, and then press down in the middle. Flip again. repeat the dish towel routine. A rough estimate of time was about 2 minutes each side, and I flipped it about three times to ensure the paratha was cooked through.

I then did Tracy's bit after removing the paratha from the pan, where I take the edges and kind of, what I would say "rumple" the paratha to kind of open up the flakey layers.

I will know by lunchtime the results of this experiment!  

Final analysis: Definite winner. Maharajah said the bread was, and I quote, "Nom nom." I didn't get any more specific data on it (i.e. if it were flakier, chewier, etc), before he dove right in and started devouring his lunch.  

I did get more conclusive feedback. Maharajah said they were a bit more flakey than the previous batch I made (which was Tracy's recipe--not a sourdough recipe). So there is an added textural benefit to the sourdough!

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