PAN, FLAT AND NUKE BREAD
It has probably been quite some time since we’ve talked about all the lazy/bachelor/cheap ways of making bread. Flat bread started it all, that glorious concoction from Afghanistan and region I picked up on during my readings of the Soviet invasion there. I couldn’t try to down a Russian Hind attack copter by shooting at it tail rotor with a 303 round but I could make their culinary staple as I was already familiar with whole wheat flour from Mom’s proto-hippie stage. Flat bread is nothing more than whole wheat flour ( this ain’t a tortilla so don’t use white flour except as a partial substitute to trick the family into eating whole wheat. Use less and less white as time goes on ) and water, mixed as dry as you can, rolled thin- I’d use a floured rolling pin if I were you as I’m sure the hand method takes quite a bit of practice. Then you get a piece of metal on your stove ( cast iron is great as it evenly heats up ) that is hot enough a drop of water bounces around in agitation. Throw that puppy on and pay attention to it. You want to keep turning it so as to minimize the black spots. It also takes a little bit of practice to tell when it is done. Try a few small ones to start. You’ll tell the doughy ones from the done ones easily. Just keep them thin no matter the overall size. These cook up pretty quick. Hot out of the pan with butter, they are better even than regular bread straight out of the oven- and that is saying something! I used to go at it for over an hour baking up enough for the entire work week- I’d have a whole wheat waffle for breakfast and then several of these for lunch and it was enough to keep me going all day doing manual labor.
Pan bread is the same as flat bread, but instead of cooking it dry and then putting butter on it, you cook up your greasy dinner like meat and potatoes and when done throw your dough in the oil to cook up. It varies the flavor and either makes the next day’s breakfast or really fills you up after dinner. Nuke bread is the least tasty, but the easiest. I love wheat in most any form, but the mess is always a hassle in a very low water use household. I’d love to throw on some biscuits sometimes instead of another serving of beans or rice. But after toting a ton and a half of Food Bank slop in 95 degrees ( or in 5 in the winter ) I’m in zero mood to fight with food at home. Instead of wheat for dinner or making it for the next day I just make nuke bread at work. That is just a waffle batter spread out on a plate and microwaved three minutes on each side. If you kept a bag of flour ( again, whole wheat. It fills you up much better and gives you more energy ) at work and had some Styrofoam cups and plates- mix the batter in a cup and then use the plate in the micro- your lunch problem is solved with no clean up and little cost. Yes, it tastes a bit like wet cardboard. Taste is for rich folk.
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sounds like hardtack..try some water only pancake mixReplyDelete
Hardtack is rock hard. This is not.Delete
If things get bad enough remember that in really hard times people used to just mix water with flour and eat that. They called it "gruel".ReplyDelete
I know that historically, once bread became widely available, nobody would go back to gruel. It would probably actually take an Apocalypse to do that.Delete
'Taste is for rich folks'ReplyDelete
Classic Bison. Put this in your quotable quotes. I might even hang this up in my kitchen :)
The kids are bitching about variety in their gruel, or no seasonings, WHAM! Slapped up the side of their head and read the quote!Delete
You forgot the part of the recipe that states "ride five miles to work and back in order to not get fat eating this".ReplyDelete
I think it is the white flour versions that stick to your ass, not the whole wheat onesDelete
Jim lad, the secret to flat bread (Chapatti/tortilla/naan) is make it with lard. Using oil just makes them hard and taste like shit.ReplyDelete
Make them like you would pastry, flour (I like to use half n half white/whole wheat), salt, raising agent (Baking powder), and water to make a soft elastic dough. Leave to rest 30 mins or so. Roll it out as thin as you like, whack it on a hot gridle 30 secs a side, sorted.
Where people go wrong is, they try to knead the ever loving shit out of it. Light touch, rub lard into flour with finger tips to crumbly texture. Add water (enough to just bring it all together) It doesn't need to be pancake batter, but not like a baseball either, soft yet sticky is what you're after.
I don't believe the Afghan ( is it Punjab I'm after, for the tribal grouping rather than the artificial country? Or is that Indian? ) flat bread is like the rest, which do have oil. A differant taste altogether. I like my oil in butter form, added after cookingDelete
I think you are looking for Pashtun. Not Punjab. The Punjab is a mountainous region in India.ReplyDelete
Yes, thanks. I'll probably forget it againDelete