Adventures in Bread Making 3 – Whole Wheat Kulcha

Whole Wheat Kulcha

Much as I love chapatis (Indian flatbread), I am always looking for easier alternatives to make. Even though our moms make it look effortless, to me, like many others, making chapatis is a pain in the rear. Naans, of course, are easy to make, so are Kulchas.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Kulcha, here is a little primer. Kulchas are leavened flatbreads from Punjab and are popular in both North India and Pakistan. Traditionally made with white, bleached flour, potatoes, garlic, paneer etc are often integrated into the dough. The bread is usually panfried with a little grease but can also be baked. Kulcha is typically eaten with Cholle but it can be eaten with just about any North Indian style curry.

Rather than make a traditional Kulcha, I decided to try a wholewheat version.The results were altogether satisfactory. We ate them with Cholle, the wife approved as did the picky and the non-picky child. I got my idea from here. Here is what I made.

INGREDIENTS (for 4 Kulchas)

  • A little warm water (1/3 cup) – 10 seconds in the microwave should do the trick
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • Some warm milk(add one Tbsp at a time)
  • Some warm water (add one Tbsp at a time)
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • Some minced garlic, chopped cilantro and salt mixed together (optional)

STEPS

1. In the warm water, dissolve the yeast and the sugar. The sugar increases the yeast activity.

2. In about 5 minutes, you should see the yeast starting to bubble and foam.

3. Add the bread flour, whole wheat flour and the baking powder.

4. Add the salt.

5. Start kneading.

6. Add the yogurt. NOTE: You may want to bring the yogurt to room temperature before you add it to the mix. Lowering the temperature reduces yeast activity.

7. Add some warm milk and warm water to make the dough pretty elastic. Add them 1 Tbsp at a time and you can’t go wrong.

8. Add some olive oil to the dough.

9. Fashion into a round ball and place in a lightly greased bowl covered by cling wrap.

10. In about 3 hours the dough would have doubled in size and you are ready to make the kulcha.

11. Divide the dough into 4 equal sized balls.

12. Roll out the dough ball into a circle about 8 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick.

13. Optional step – put a little bit of the garlic+cilantro+salt mixture on the kulcha.

14. Pan fry with very little grease on both sides of the bread.

15. Serve warm with cholle.

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