And so it is…the last bread class towards getting my Artisan Bread Certificate. This course is entitled Global Breads and for 10 weeks we shall take a trip around the world through food. First up a taste of India in the Caribbean.
A roti is an Indian unleavened flat bread usually made with whole wheat flour and cooked on a griddle. There also exists a Caribbean version which is more crepe-like in nature. Rotis can often be made with a spicy filling and for my vegetarian/vegan brethren, that filling is often curried vegetables and/or legumes. We made a Trinidadian classic in class: the dahl puri roti. After the dough was mixed and divided, it was filled with a spiced split pea mixture and then formed into a ball. The ball was rolled out (as best we could) into a circle and then cooked in a lightly oiled cast iron pan. The roti was brushed with an oil/butter mixture and then folded in half and/or quarters depending on your preference. The finished product and filling are featured in the first picture on the left at the end of this post.
Doubles are a popular street food in Trinidad and Tobago. It is like a sandwich, having two (i.e. ‘doubles’) pieces of fried flat bread surrounding a curried chickpea filling and usually topped with pepper and mango. Though popularly eaten as breakfast food, doubles are enjoyed anytime of the day by just about everyone who has tried them and like them. (I can attest to this as I had a double in class around 9:30pm, another one at 11pm and yet another the next day at 11:30am.)
In class, we added yeast to our doubles dough and let it rise until it ‘doubled’ in size. Eight single size pieces were formed and there was enough left over to make a sacrificial double. It would go into the frying pan to test the oil’s readiness. With the temperature climbing towards 375ºF, it was the perfect time to let the doubles go for a little dip. In just under a minute the dough puffed up and was ready to drain on a cooling rack. If eating immediately, you can assemble your doubles right away. If eating later, put the components into a tiffin carrier (pictured upper right) if you have them and bring them to school/work for lunch. A stainless steel container is less likely to be permanently stained by the generous portion of turmeric contained within the dough.