I had never eaten a chapati prior to my own making of one, nor had I eaten Essene bread before I made it myself. Learning something foreign and then mastering it is one undeniable pleasure and moreso when it is culinary and success can be gauged by your own sense enjoyment.
Chapatis come from the Indian flatbread family. My first attempt at this family were stuffed parathas, which Xin said was not cooked enough (but could not be cooked more). Disappointed, I decided to try puris (deep fried bread). That was very popular and tasted quite good. I learnt a few lessons from that. Especially the best ways to knead and how to roll them better. I tried a chapatti which, though biscuit-like, were well cooked and tasty and I managed to roll them up with newly-made hummus for Xinna in a small crisis. I immediately went for a tricky recipe and put blended spinach in the dough making a beautiful green. The taste did not match the beauty.
Each time, I was not completely satisfied with the result, but last night again I tried plain ones and suddenly it went perfectly. The expanded as they should – looking just like restaurant ones. It was a simple joy to make them.
Essene bread is an interestingly simple recipe. It has only one ingredient: blended wheat sprouts. I had a go at this several weeks ago and although the taste was interesting, I could not say that I liked it. I resolved to repeat the recipe with my own extra ingredients: ground almonds, cinnamon and honeysuckle honey. Again, it was much better. Alice and Mark (especially the latter) took to it keenly this morning. I am not yet satisfied I have a recipe to keep on advancing it, using the wheat sprouts as a base and change the ingredients and cooking time.
Interestingly, I have never made traditional leavened bread – something I will remedy at some stage.