This is a detailed post that deals with techniques of roti making. See, you don’t need a recipe for soft roti. There isn’t one. The secret is not in recipe but in technique. So once you know the technique, you’ll figure out a recipe good for your sort of flour and weather.
14 soft roti recipe secrets revealed
1. Science behind soft roti making
Making soft roti requires some patience. The trick is to make the gluten (a type of protein) in whole wheat flour make a matrix that will hold its structure and fill the air in dough. This is attained by kneading, then resting and again some final kneading. Kneading also makes the dough soft and pliable so making roti/indian flat bread becomes even easier as the dough is not sticky or too soft; and you actually enjoy making roti.
2. Grease board or counter and rolling pin
This is simple but crucial. A little greasing in beginning of roti making can make a non stick like surface that also protects your wooden board and rolling-pin. And roti sticking problem can be overcome.
3. Always knead dough in warm water
This is the most important tip. You need to rest your dough for 15 minutes but if you knead your dough with warm water 5 minutes resting is good enough.
4. 2-minutes kneading is enough
Seriously, who’s got energy to knead dough for 5- 10 minutes long. I know women with tennis elbow, shoulder and neck injuries; they certainly find it too strenuous. Just mix the flour and water until you have crumbly mix and bring together gently, that’s it. Leave it for few minutes then gently knead for a minute. Warm water helps here too. Although, no harm in kneading for as long as you like.
5. Rest the dough for soft roti
Rest the dough for a while. Don’t go straight away making roti. I know, we all are in hurry when the clock is ticking and kids are hungry. But 5-7 minutes resting can make a big difference and rested dough is pliable too. It gives you that perfect command. And you don’t find roti making so over whelming.
6. Make a pliable dough
That’s important. Check the dough after resting don’t just start making segments. If it’s hard add a little water and make it soft. If it too sticky, add a little flour and knead again.
7. Perfect portions
See, you won’t get those perfect circles that’ll impress your mother in law until you make perfect round portions. (Oh! I know how hubby suddenly start missing ammi’s food(mother-in-law) seeing shapeless crispy rotis.) So, a little attention here if you care for the shape.
8. Not too thin or thick
We all feel thinnest roti is perfect. That’s not true. Thinnest is driest. It will quickly give away moisture. Make roti that is not too thin and of course, even not too thick.
9. A little flour is good
We all feel too much flour dries out the roti, that’s true . But, if your dough is soft then you can use a little flour to dust that will avoid sticking and you can easily shape perfect circles.
10. Wipe off everything tidily
This doesn’t have to do with softness. But, we know how tidiness is as tied with being lady like as soft round roti. This tip will also send away those insect that love flour and greasiness. Wipe off the board, rolling-pin, counter and everything with a dry cloth so there is no loose flour particle clinging anywhere.
11. Roti Freezing tips
Now, once you are done, count off all roti if you have more roti than you would need. Separate them and freeze after 15 minutes or while still warm. Do not freeze hours later. Freezing warm roti will give you soft roti after re-heating. Just put a pile of roti in zip lock bags and freeze. When required, heat frozen roti directly on tawa. And you’ll have almost fresh homemade roti. You can use frozen roti up-to 15 days.
12. Roti Storing tips
Always store hot rotis in hot-pot or an any container with lid so roti doesn’t get dry. Fresh Roti releases lots of moisture upon cooling. All moisture gather in top of your hot-pot or container and then drips from sides. All liquid gather on the base. So roti on the base gets wet. Too avoid this, people use cloth or paper. Paper sticks to the roti and if it is newspaper; naturally the last roti goes wasted. And if you use cloth, washing a sticky cloth every two or three days is a hassle.
The solution is to place the pile of roti on a plate of the size of roti and keep roti along with plate in a container or hot potpourris . All water will drain under the plate, the problem is solved to an extent.
13. Roti re-heating tips
Never reheat on too hot griddle. Heat on medium heat slowly one by one and you’ll have good soft roti even after few hours.
14. Dry weather care
Specially in winter weather is very dry so while making roti a little care can solve the problem. If making more than 10 roti, divide dough in two halves and make segment of only one half. When 10 roti are ready, make segments from remaining dough. This will save dough from drying quickly. Also cover dough with a cloth while resting.
You can always store extra dough, covered in fridge that stays good for a day. This is specially good for dry places where roti gets hard quickly and only fresh roti stays soft. So make a large dough enough for the day. And make fresh roti for lunch and dinner. Although, a bit too much work but absolutely worth it.