How Do YOU Like Stanley Plums

How Do YOU Like Stanley Plums?


You know the plums you got last week? Those delicious Stanley plums? Believe it or not, Stanley plums have never been one of our popular items. Could it be that people just don’t know how good they are or what to do with them? We think everyone else has been missing out. And we think you can help.


Stanley Plums 2013


Since you seem to know a thing or two about plums (After all, you did just order 30 pounds of them!), we are asking if you would share your favorite plum recipe and tell us what you think of the plums you got. Then, we can share this with the non-Stanley-plum-lovers among us.Over the next several days, we’ll be collecting plum recipes and feedback from you and everybody else who bought plums last week. We’ll compile the recipes and ideas on our website, and post for all to see so that next year… things are different.So tell us… how do you like your Stanleys?(Comments are now closed.)

In addition to comments, we invite your…

RECIPES! Do you make a special dish with Stanley plums? Please share the recipe right big text box on the form. We’ll post it on our website and give you the credit, so be sure to include your name.
PHOTOS! Do you have a picture of something you made with these plums? Upload it right on the form. Again, we’ll post it with your comments or recipe, so be sure to include your name.

If you’d like to review another fruit too, please fill out the form a second time so we can keep the plum comments separate.

Thanks so much! We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Tim & Erin

PS  If you have any plums left, try this simple and delicious Stanley Plum Crumble.

Stanley Plum Crisp 2013




Great plums! Almost wish I had order 2 boxes. Made plum butter in crockpot, canned plum halves in lite syrup w/ cinnamon stick, baked 2 loaves of plum bread, and lastly, a German plum cake. Yum! – (September 19th, 2013)

Lynne's Plum Preserves 9-2013The plums are delicious eaten straight up, and they also canned beautifully! I just did a light honey-water mixture (1/4 c. honey to 15 c. water), heated, poured it over the pitted and halved plums and then did a water bath canning. They turned a beautiful shade of red as they canned and then cooled. Looking forward to enjoying plums this winter! I also plan on making jam with some of the remaining fresh plums. – Lynne (September 19th, 2013)

The peaches that we ate fresh were delicious as were the plums. We canned for two days straight and made many jars of preserves, syrups and jam. Completely satisfied with my order. – Megan (September 19th, 2013)

I was so excited to see the Stanley Plums on the order! My grandmother was always on the lookout for them in the fall to make her grandmother’s plum kuchen. My shipment was perfectly in time with the arrival of some family that remember the kuchen well. It was such a treat and so great to relive the memories we have all shared around my grandmother and kuchen. I had way more than I could use at once, so, I cooked some down with some sugar, onion, and vinegar and made a chutney for gifts for the holidays. I also washed and pitted some and froze them for cobbler, tarts, and stews for the winter. I only wish I had time and room for more. Maybe after I win the lottery. – Jimmy (September 19th, 2013)

Amanda's Son Canning Plum Sauce 9-2013We let all our pears ripen on the counter just like you suggested they did turn yellow and smell delicious when ripe! Last night we made so much pearsauce! So far we’ve just been enjoying the plums whole but am getting ready to can up the rest. I’ve attached a picture of my son helping me can the pearsauce last night! – Amanda (September 19th, 2013)

I guess I would have to say that we like them best fresh because more than half our box is gone and we’ve not done anything but wash and eat them. If we do have any leftover, I will freeze them to make the Plum Crumble featured on your website. My family loves it! – Kathy (September 18th, 2013)

We ordered peaches, plums and pears this month. Glad I shared my plums with my sister – it was a LOT of plums…. I wonder if they could be sold in smaller quantities so not quite SO overwhelming (tho I understand the purpose of BULK is to buy things in BULK – this is a big commitment for a fruit that it’s terribly popular … so might be more inviting for people to try if commitment wasn’t SO big?!)!! They are tasty – not bitter or sour at all. We made the plum crumble from Erin and it was a huge hit. We can’t eat all the plums in a reasonable amount of time … will pit and freeze for winter crumbles! – Christi (September 18th, 2013)

We got a bushel each of pears and plums. I just finished canning the pears. Coming soon I am making plum jam and canning halved plums. The kids have been eating the plums non stop!! Usually they are so expensive in the grocery store, so we only get a few and the kids are limited as to how many they can have. This time they were pleased to eat as many as they wanted! The first day we probably at 10 each! They are wonderful. They hold their shape and texture well; which is important since we are busy and canning is something we shove into our schedule! – Rebecca (September 18th, 2013)

I LOVE Stanley Plums, maybe because we had a tree of them in our front yard as a child. They were one of my favorite snacks, right off the tree. When I taste them, I am sent back to my childhood. My children love them too and I can share childhood stories with them while we eat. :) Yum !
– Angela (September 18th, 2013)

The Stanley plums were beautiful and 99 percent were perfect! I canned most in a light syrup in pint jars. The rest were sweet and juicy fresh eating. One recipe I like is called poke cake. You take 1box of yellow or white cake mix and bake as normal. When it is warm right out of the oven, poke holes every inch or so and then pour some of my canned plums with the juice over the entire cake. The juice will run into the holes. Pop it back into the oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Just enough to warm the plums. So yummy good! – Cheryl (September 17th, 2013)

Jessica's Plum Cobbler 9-2013We have loved our plums! We have eaten them for snacks, in muffins, and made a delicious cobbler.!! – Jessica (September 17th, 2013)

We have thoroughly enjoyed our box of plums! Thank you so much! Not only have we eaten them fresh – and they are delicious – but I have used the recipes in my Ball Blue Book to can them whole as well as make a beautiful and tasty jam. The canned plums, using a medium syrup, are absolutely wonderful. I’ve used the same process – washing the plums, pricking them with a needle, and boiling them in medium syrup – to serve as a dessert. Instead of canning them, we just refrigerated the cooked plums – very popular with my family! Thanks again!  – Kathy (September 17th, 2013)

We are just enjoying eating ours. I ordered them for the students at a school I work for, and the students love them. It is a gamble to see if you get a sweet one or a tart plum. – Judi (September 17th, 2013)

Peaches and Apples – Order Now!

Peaches and Apples – Order Now!

Good news! You have a chance to get some juicy ripe peaches before the summer is over AND some of the very first apples of the season! Both the peaches and the apples are sprayed minimally, and both will be picked right before loading onto our trucks so they’ll be sweet and fresh for delivery!

Deadline To Order:  Monday, August 26th at 9:00 AM (central)
Pick Up Date:  Thursday and Friday, August 29th and 30th, depending on the location you select
Order Here:


We have two different kinds of peaches available this month: white and yellow. Time to stock the freezer with some more smoothie materials…!

But which is better, white or yellow?

Really, it depends on your preference. Do you love the intense, sweet-tart peachy flavor of the classic yellow peach? Or might you prefer a sweeter, more mellow flavor – the qualities of the white peaches? While white peaches are less acidic and more sweet, they are also more delicate and easily bruised. If you do venture out to try the less common white peaches, be sure to give us your opinion of them!


Our apple selection is limited right now. We’ll have many more varieties as we move into fall. For now, here’s a quick intro to the late summer apples you’ll find on our order form right now.

Golden Supreme apples have a mild, sweet flavor and usually quite a bit of juice. They are moderately crispy and sometimes have a pretty pink blush on their greeny-gold skin.

Best Uses:  Excellent for fresh eating, drying, baking, applesauce, and homemade apple juice or cider.

Beautiful red Gala apples are a favorite among our members. They’re crisp, juicy and sweet with a hint of tartness. Eat them while they’re fresh, use them for applesauce, but don’t try to store your Gala apples. They just weren’t made to be stored. Galas are a cross between Golden Delicious and Kidd’s Orange Red apples.

Best Uses:  Fresh eating, applesauce, and cider.

Golden green Ginger Gold apples are sweet and crisp with a little bit of snappy tartness. They are slow to turn brown, so they tend to behave nicely in salads or anywhere else you may need sliced apples to stay white. Ginger Gold apples are crisp and juicy.

Best Uses:  Salads, applesauce, sliced apples, juicing, and eating fresh.

Dry Goods

We have a fairly good selection of dry goods on this order form. Look for chia seeds, quinoa, glass gallon jars, wheat and other grains, apple cider vinegar, raisins, and Green Pasture cod liver oil, just to name a few. Dry Goods quantities are limited this month, so order soon if you’re after this sort of thing.

Tim & Erin

Last Call For Dry Goods And Carrots

Last Call For Dry Goods And Carrots

In case you hadn’t heard, we extended the deadline to order Dry Goods until Monday evening at 8:00 p.m. Time is running out! If you haven’t already placed your order for local carrots and pantry items like popcorn, raisins, dates, apple cider vinegar, wheat, coconut, and glass gallon jars, IT’S TIME! Place your order now.

Pick Up Date: August 15th or 16th, depending on location
Deadline To Order: Monday, August 5th at 8:00 p.m. (central time)
Place Your Order Here:

Speaking of glass gallon jars…

Glass Gallon Jars

Aren’t these cool? With a little help from Martha Stewart’s chalkboard labels, our practical glass gallon jars become the perfect storing-place for all kinds of dry goods. I love that I can wash the jar and change what’s inside it without ruining the label! You’ll find these jars aplenty on our current dry goods order form in the non-food category.

Tim & Erin Otto (and all the kids too!)

The Ottos July 2013

From Our Comments Box…

I ordered apples for myself and two other people. The one person can’t tell me enough times how delicious the apples are (she got half box of Cameo). The other person is also happy. She ordered a box of Mutsu and really enjoys the flavor and texture of them. I am thoroughly enjoying the Cameos myself and the Mountaineers. THANK YOU. -Karen

I bought the carrots this week and they are delicious and very sweet! -Sherry

The carrots and peaches were delicious. I wish I had ordered more! -Kay

I cannot wait to order more! -Sarah

Our wheat was great and our mill works well. I am really excited to have that mill! The honey is good. It is sweeter than i’m used to getting around here, but the kids love that. Thanks again. -Myra

The Cameo apples are wonderful! I am so thankful to know about your Co-op! Just keep me on your mailing list! Thanks again. -Janet

Great service and product. I love you guys! -Nancy

Superfood Energy

No More Headaches Or Fatigue
by Erin Otto

Have you ever been looking forward to a fun or important event, but you felt so tired that all you wanted to do was head off to bed? Or maybe you got a headache and just couldn’t focus on something that mattered to you?

This happened to me on the Fourth Of July last summer. We had just enjoyed a fun-filled day, and we were getting ready to leave for the fireworks. I was supposed to be making some fun snacks and packing up a picnic to take along, but instead, I was sitting in a comfy chair feeling like I just  c o u l d   n o t   m o v e.  All I wanted to do was go take a nice long nap. I had a headache too, and just imagining the loud BOOM, crackle, BANG at the fireworks was making it worse.

But the kids were looking forward to the fireworks, and so was I.

I had gotten relief from headaches before by taking Superfood, so I forced my sleepy self to get up and take a spoonful in a glass of orange juice. It tastes kind of grassy, but the pick-me-up I experienced that day taught me how NOT to get caught in an energy slump. In only 20 minutes, not only was my headache entirely gone, but I also had plenty of energy! I was so happy! No need to disappoint the kids. No need for a nap. I was ready to go!


I had so much fun at the fireworks that night, knowing I should have been at home taking a nap, but instead, I was out enjoying a great evening out with the six most important people in my life – my husband and my five kids.

I don’t know if Superfood will work for everyone like it did for me, but I’m telling you, I felt great that evening! I shared some with my mom when she was worn out from a day of playing hard with our kids, and she was ready to play some more in about 20 minutes too. She’s been taking it ever since then. Here’s her story:


I have been using Superfood for several months. One of the most immediate things I noticed was the amount of energy I gained on the very first day. This is a natural product so I didn’t expect to notice something right away, so I was very pleased when it made such a strong difference. I have always been someone who is concerned about healthy eating so I maintain my weight and eat organic foods and many fruits, vegetables and wild caught fish when ever possible. However, I found that I lost energy in the mid afternoon regularly. I put about a tablespoon of Superfood into my fruit shake in the morning and my energy level is maintained through the day. It is really quite amazing!

In addition to the energy I’ve also had relief from headaches too. I had headaches that sometimes turned into migraines and Erin mentioned I should take some as soon as I felt one coming on. I was very pleased to find my headache just disappeared when I took it. I use it for a pick me up when the heat and humidity take a toll on me, or if I have an unusually active day and it helps me immensely. One more added bonus is that my finger nails seem stronger because they are not splitting like they used to. This green powder is strong tasting because it has so many different organic greens so I recommend you mix it into a fruit shake or a fruit juice.
Ginger in Brookfield , WI 

If you’ve been using our Superfood, maybe you have a story to share. We’d love to hear from you! Just post your comment below and tell us your story.


How To Order Superfood

To order Superfood through our local co-op, click here to see our current order forms. You’ll find it in the Odds & Ends category. If you’d like us to notify you when we take orders for Superfood, sign up for our emails.

Or we can ship either of the pre-mixed sizes to you directly. Just order through our store here.


Suggestions For Getting Over The Taste Of Superfood

Superfood has a green/grassy flavor that many people really don’t like. But it’s not at all bad mixed into juice and even better in a fruit smoothie if you don’t mind it being green. Here’s Julie Wall’s recipe for the Superfood smoothie her children love. Or add it to your favorite smoothie combination.


Helpful Tips For Placing A Co-op Order For Local Pick Up

How To Confirm Your Order Or View Details For Your Pick Up Location

How To Add Or Remove Items From Your Order

How To Place An Order For Local Pick Up

How To Change Your Pick Up Location

Powdered Rapadura

To order rapadura for local pick up, click here. If you’d like us to notify you when we take orders for rapadura, sign up for our emails.

We can also ship rapadura directly to you. Place your order here to have your rapadura order shipped.


Why Our Family LOVES Rapadura 

1. It works great for baking. 

With the exception of sugar cookies and other desserts that are supposed to be white, rapadura is amazing in any recipe that calls for granulated sugar or brown sugar. Just substitute it cup for cup. We especially like it in chocolaty or cinnamon-y baked goods because its brown color blends right in.

Rapadura imparts a caramel flavor that is delicious in apple pies, muffins, cakes, hot chocolate, banana bread, and the list goes on forever because rapadura is just that versatile and good.

Powdered Rapadura

To use rapadura in icings, homemade chocolate, or anything else where a fine powder would work better, it’s easy to powder rapadura in your VitaMix. (You can use another appliance like a blender or food processor, but the VitaMix does the job far better.) Just put about 2 cups of rapadura in the VitaMix container and turn it on medium high for 30 seconds, and voila! Powdered rapadura!

Powdered Rapadura

2. Rapadura is a whole food; rich in minerals and vitamins…

…and most other sugars are VERY refined, and void of nutrients.

When your body digests sugar, it uses quite a few minerals in the process: calcium, phosphorous, chromium, magnesium, cobalt, copper, iron, zinc and manganese. If these minerals are not present in the sugar itself or in another food that you eat at the same time, you body actually has to pull these minerals out of your bones and teeth. Yeah, that’s horrible!

But rapadura is made using an age old traditional method of extracting, heating, and cooling the sugar cane juice, preserving all of the naturally present vitamins and minerals. Nothing is added to rapadura sugar, and more importantly, nothing is removed, and the minerals required for your body to digest it are right there in the rapadura itself. This is not true of any other so called natural sugar, except some types of sucanat and natural maple sugar.

Rapadura process

3. Recipes

As I mentioned above, we use rapadura in place of sugar in just about any recipe so I won’t give you a big long list here. But we have surprised ourselves with a couple recipes we didn’t think would work with rapadura; caramel popcorn and frosting. So here are those two recipes. Enjoy!

Rapadura Caramel Popcorn
Buttercream Icing

Kamut Morning Rolls

Truckload of “Ancient Wheat”
KAMUT® Khorasan Wheat

Order Now!!!

Deadline to Order:  June 25th, 8:00AM

Delivery Dates:  July 11th & 12th  (depending where you pick up)

We are excited to be getting a truckload of ancient khorasan wheat grain , whole wheat flour and white flour!  This wheat will come straight from the mill in Fort Benton, Montana. It is grown in that area of the Northwest and is certified organic. (This is also a primary grain used in the Livestock Feed we have on this order!)

Early Morning Rolls: This morning I made some rolls with the KAMUT Khorasan Wheat. After freshly grinding the long grains, and stirring in the ingredients, I found the dough to be stickier than I’m used to. But, by the time I hand kneaded it, the dough was firming up with good elasticity.
I let it rise 20 mins, then baked it at 375 for 20 mins.

The Result:  Well,  I had expected it to be a bit dense and strong in bran flavor, but boy was I happily surprised.  It was full of rich bready flavor and a lot lighter and fluffier that I had imagined.  (The amazing aroma that filled the house awoke my 8 and 4 yr old.  Lots of smiles this morning!)  Although I wished it had risen a little better, I was really pleased at how well it turned out.

Tomorrow:  I hope to do another batch, this time kneading it by machine to see if it will rise a little more.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  I am also excited to try this on our family pizza nights.  I have my suspicions it will make a great, nutritious pizza dough! – Jason

Click Here to read about the interesting history of this ancient wheat:

Read this article from KAMUT International about the amazing grain they grow-

Flavor and Natural Goodness

This ancient grain is often described as having a “buttery rich, nutty flavor” and has a wide variety of uses. It’s great in baked goods, breakfast cereals and pasta. We sell KAMUT® as a whole grain, whole grain flour and white flour. Just use KAMUT® flour in place of, or mixed with, wheat flour in your favorite recipe to add flavor, color and nutrients. Sprouters tell us the flavor of juice from KAMUT® wheat grass is much sweeter than ordinary wheat. KAMUT® wheat is higher in protein than ordinary wheat and has more essential lipids and amino acids.

Only Organically Grown

Every kernel of KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat is certified organic.  We contract with family farmers to grow organically certified KAMUT® wheat mostly in Montana because this environment most nearly duplicates its ancestral environment in Egypt. Because KAMUT® wheat has never been hybridized with any modern wheat varieties it is ideally suited for organic production. Test plots show it responds best to natural fertilizer like “green manure” (legumes that take nitrogen from the air and put them into the soil) rather than commercial – natural gas manufactured – nitrogen fertilizer.


Of course, KAMUT® wheat has never had its genetic makeup altered artificially so it is always free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs also called genetically engineered, GE). We’ve never even tried to improve the grain through “natural” plant breeding techniques. KAMUT® wheat comes naturally to you as nature intended it.


KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat is higher in protein and many minerals, especially selenium, zinc, and magnesium compared to modern wheat. Due to the unusually high content of selenium, which is a mineral known for its high antioxidant capacity, KAMUT® khorasan wheat can be called a good source of selenium.

Because of its higher percentage of lipids, which produce more energy in the body than carbohydrates, KAMUT® khorasan wheat can be described as “high energy wheat.” Athletes, people with busy lives or just anyone looking for high energy food will find products made with KAMUT® khorasan wheat a valuable addition to their diet.

Since the introduction of the first pasta made with KAMUT brand khorasan wheat in 1988, many consumers with wheat sensitivities have reported that they are able to eat KAMUT khorasan wheat. As a result of these initial reports research was sponsored to study allergenic responses of KAMUT khorasan wheat versus modern wheat by the International Food Allergy Association located in Illinois, in the USA. Their research concluded that “For most people who are sensitive to wheat, products made with KAMUT khorasan wheat can be an excellent substitute for common wheat.” Since KAMUT khorasan wheat contains gluten, it’s not recommended for people suffering from celiac disease.

Summer Smoothies

Summer Smoothies
By Tim & Erin Otto


Tim here-

The kids and I recently hiked ¼ mile down our woodsy logging road and collected a 5 gallon bucket of beautiful blooming branches along the way. What started off as a stroll became an adventurous hunt for flowering bushes and trees (and actually a few ticks). I totally love this spring weather, and I’m soaking in as much as possible before the summer heat shows up.

And when summer gets here we’re going to be ready with some fun and fruity smoothie recipes that we can try out. Smoothies are something that fit our lifestyle for several reasons. For starters we’re in the natural foods business and we sell bunches of fruit (so go figure). But besides that, smoothies can be super nutritious and super fast and easy. With 5 kids getting ready in the morning it’s really handy to be able to reach into the chest freezer, whip out several frozen bananas and a creative blend of other nutritious stuff, throw it all into a high powered blender, and ka-boom! – Breakfast is served!  Also, the cleanup is naturally simple and easy.

Now, about that “creative blend of nutritious stuff…” we are looking for your ideas.  What kind of smoothies do you make? What do you put in them?  Fill out the form below and your smoothie comment will post immediately.

Erin here-

Our “creative blend of nutritious stuff” almost always starts out with a base of frozen bananas and kefir, milk, or yogurt. This peanut butter banana smoothie has been a favorite for breakfast and snacks, but I usually add foods that pack in a bigger nutritional kick; like frozen berries and invisible power foods like chia and flax seeds.

One ingredient that invariably makes it into my smoothie glass is our superfood. Never mind that it’s ugly. It stops my headaches and keeps my energy up, and it doesn’t taste half bad in a smoothie.


My daughter in law suffers from severe migraines. What is this super food your mentioning ? Is it the kefir? Also she battles lyme disease. Any suggestions? Thanks Mary
I use coconut milk, a handful of spinach, chia seeds, blueberries, cherries, a little stevia, hemp protein powder and cinnamon. Great way to start the day! Janet
I have recently started fermenting my own kefir grains and kombucha, which are very high in probiotics. I’ve mixed both of these with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and when I have it, cantelope. It is so delicious and gives me lots of energy to get through my fun and crazy day! Leah
My smoothie has 1cup water, 2 large handfuls of spinach, 1 frozen banana, 6 oz of frozen strawberries and 1 cup or so of frozen peaches. Next I add an avocado. I usually add fresh ground chia or flax individually. Or dried coconut on top. Angela
Frozen strawberries, orange juice, banana, kefir or yogurt, coconut oil, raw honey, and sometimes a fresh egg yolk. Jan
I’m so glad you guys have organic mangoes this month! They’re my husband’s favorite fruit, but it’s hard to find organic ones. I make him a mango smoothie with orange juice, ice, and fresh mangoes. Sometimes a squeeze of lime juice if I have some on hand. Liz







Rapadura Caramel Popcorn

Upgraded Easy Rapadura Caramel Popcorn
By Erin Otto

Easy & Natural Homemade Caramel Popcorn

I never would have attempted to make this recipe. Not because it’s difficult – because it is really quite easy. But because the recipe my daughter “adapted” it from called for two ingredients I never use, and I would never have expected caramel to turn out without them. But it did.

The two ingredients I don’t ever use: corn syrup and white sugar. And instead, my daughter substituted rapadura sugar and honey. To my complete surprise, not only did the caramel turn out, but this is the absolute best caramel popcorn we’ve ever had.

I love that’s made with ingredients you usually have on hand, and it’s rather impressive too. The work is all done in a matter of 5 or 10 minutes, and then all you have to do is wait for it to bake.




8 cups popped popcorn

3/4 cup rapadura, sucanat, or sugar

6 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon vanilla



Butter 2 9×13 baking pans and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Place the popcorn in a large mixing bowl.

In a heavy saucepan mix the butter, honey and rapadura. Cook and stir over medium heat until it boils. Then turn the heat down a little and continue boiling, without stirring, for 5 more minutes.

Remove the pan from heat. Stir in the baking soda and vanilla, and pour the whole mixture over the popcorn, stirring to coat.

Pour the popcorn into the prepared 9×13 pans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan onto buttered foil to cool. Makes 8 cups.

Vanilla Maple Ice Cream

Ice Cream

Vanilla Maple Ice Cream
By Emma Otto

One of our neighbors makes ice cream sweetened with honey to keep it healthy. It works well for them, so that gave my mom the idea of making maple syrup-sweetened ice cream. Ever since she got this Cuisinart ice cream maker for her birthday a few months ago, we have been making ice cream non-stop.

It tastes great! And she loves the fact that we kids are eating lots of raw local milk and cream and that we’re eating healthy maple syrup instead of the corn syrup that’s so prevalent in store-bought ice cream. This is her recipe.


3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup maple syrup (We prefer to use a light grade of maple syrup, like “fancy” because it’s the lightest in color and has the most delicate flavor. But any kind is great.)


Mix together all the ingredients. Pour them into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.

vanilla collage

Note: I usually transfer the ice cream from my ice cream maker to a container to freeze for a few hours before I serve it.

IMG_5436 (1024x765)


Pressing in air bubbles (1024x765)Chapathis are an Indian flat-bread, made by rolling out rounds of a yeast-free bread dough and frying them on a griddle or skillet. During the frying process, the dough is pressed with a clean dish towel so that it puffs up. Serve as a light meal, or a side.

3 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups warm water

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Slowly add the water, working it into the flour until the dough comes together. It should not be wet, but it should be soft. You can make it slightly stiff at first, then add water as required while you work the dough. Knead until very soft and silky, about 20 minutes by hand, or 8-10 minutes by machine. If possible, let the dough rest at room temperature for 4-8 hours. (If you’re in a hurry, you can make chapathis right away.)

Pinch the dough into about 12 balls, golf-ball size. Keep them covered with a  damp cloth while you first round each one smooth, and then, one at a time, flatten them with a rolling pin on a floured board, making them approximately 7 inches across. Don’t roll the pin off the edge of the round or the chapathi’s rim will get too thin. Shape them all, and stack with a little flour and waxed paper between. When you have only a couple to go, heat the griddle. It should be about pancake hot, a medium-high heat. If it is too hot, the chapathis will burn, but if too low, they won’t puff up. Best of all is to work together with a friend (or one of your kids), one rolling and the other baking.

Rolled out breads stacked (1024x765)

Keep an inverted bowl over the uncooked breads while you bake them one by one so that they don’t dry out.

If your griddle is not well-seasoned, put a thin film of oil on it to keep each chapathi from sticking. The chapathis leaf flour on the griddle that will burn, so wipe it off as you go along. Now take a clean dish towel and form it into a smooth wad that is easy to hold. You will use this to press on the chapathi and encourage it to puff up.

Place the first chapathi on the hot griddle and let it sit there for a second, then turn it over. Use the cloth to apply a gentle but firm pressure to the top of the cooking chapathi. Concentrate most of your pressing on the area just inside, but not on, the edge. Press down hard, but don’t let the cloth stick to the dough. The object is to help the chapathi form steam pockets; ideally it puffs up like a balloon, filled with its own steam. At first the bread may blister in just a few places. By pressing, you can enlarge these small bubbles. Turn the chapathi over as soon as the bottom browns lightly. It won’t brown evenly, especially if it has made the steam pockets, but will be a pretty pattern of brown and beige It is done when it is brown nicely on both sides, with no wet-pinkish areas.

Pressing in air bubbles (1024x765)

finished flat bread (800x598)

Chapathis are best when served immediately, but you can keep them warm in the oven until time to eat; don’t let them dry out, though.

Our family likes to eat chapathis with butter, and sometimes we put honey and cinnamon on them too. As I was making this recipe to take these pictures, I figured I’d be a little adventurous and try making a chapathi sandwich. I cut a chapathi in half and covered each half with ranch dressing (you could use mayonnaise, but I like dressing on my sandwiches). Then I added some turkey, cheese, lettuce, slices of tomato, and made it into a delicious sandwich.

Chapathi sandwich! (1280x956)