Gluten-free Jowar Roti or Sorghum Flatbread Tortilla Recipe

March 8th, 2010 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Indian, Indian Flatbread, JM friendly, Karina Friendly, Nut Free, Rice Free, Sorghum, Soy Free, TED Elimination Diet, Vegan, tapioca starch free 29 Comments »

The first time I heard of Jowar Roti was when I was on a trip to India and staying in Bangalore. I read in a blog that the “Jolad rotti oota” in Kamat Minerva (at Minerva circle) in Bagalore was absolutely amazing. The Jowar Roti there might even be gluten-free- but I didn’t have time to go and investigate. Once I returned to the States i didn’t think much about it, but I’d filed away the thought of single flour, gluten-free roti. Once I had to go on a rotation diet for baby Yum, I remembered those breads and set to work perfecting them at home. First, I came up with a yummy millet flatbread recipe. The sorghum one was considerably harder. When it has worked, the results have been spectacular, but it has been hit or miss, with quite a few impromptu “pizzas” made with the failed dough. However, recently I finally stumbled upon a winning technique that seems to work every time. It requires a roux whisk- but you should have one of those anyway! It is by far my favorite whisk, perfect for making gluten-free vegan gravy. If you don’t have one, I have a backup technique, but it doesn’t work half as well and you may end up eating pizza. Surprise.

While I love the mild flavor of the millet roti, the sorghum roti is amazingly flexible and can be easily wrapped around fillings without cracking. They taste the best hot off the griddle. For a dry, crackly bread, just leave them on the griddle until dark spots appear. For a soft, pliable tortilla, make them a little thicker and/or only keep them on the griddle until a few light brown spots appear. I love this roti with vegetable fajita filling or an Indian curry. It has more whole grain personality than millet, which I personally like, and is definitely more versatile. Best of all, it naturally does not need eggs, dairy, baking powder, xanthan gum or any other ingredient that may be problematic for the gluten-free, allergic baker. Let’s hear it for naturally simple gluten-free baked products! Let me know what you think when you try it. It has become a favorite menu staple at our house. *Also, if you have any great gluten-free vegetarian curry recipes that would go well with this roti, share in the comments and I’ll add links to the post!

Jowar Roti Sorghum Flatbread Tortilla Recipe
2 cups sorghum flour (for pretty, cream colored roti like those pictured, use Authentic Foods Sorghum flour. For a more rustic greyish roti use Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups water

salt to taste

Put your flour container near the stove and measure out one cup of sorghum flour to have ready next to the burner. You will either need a heavy roux whisk OR a food processor and lots of patience. You will also need a sturdy wooden spoon and strong arm muscles for this recipe (or the ability to fake it, like me).

Bring your water barely to a boil in a saucepan. Add your 1 cup of flour gradually but steadily, using the roux whisk to whisk the stream of flour into the water continuously. Reduce heat to low. Moving quickly, measure out the second cup of flour and grab your wooden spoon. Stir in your second cup of flour into the dough in the pan. This is the part that requires arm muscles. Ouch. Let’s just say this was a workout for me. A skin of dough should have formed on the bottom of the pan, leaving you with a ball of dough that becomes increasingly rubbery the longer you have it on the stove. I keep it on the stove, mixing and moving the ball of dough around, for around two minutes, or until the dough attains a really nice rubbery texture. (Trust me, it is a good thing.) Remove dough to a heat resistant bowl and leave for five-ten minutes or until cool enough to handle. Form into small balls and place in a bowl.

Take a quart size freezer safe ziploc bag and cut out the sides.

For wimpy, no rolling method, put the bag into a tortilla press. Place a ball of dough in the press between layers of plastic. Press.

For rolling method, simply roll out dough inside your ziploc bag, with rolling pin on the top outside of the bag.

Either way, peel your tortilla from plastic and place on a plate. These tortillas handle well, so no worries.

Heat cast iron skillet to medium and toast your flatbread until its texture changes, and if you like, until it gets light brown spots. Turn it and toast the other side. Sometimes they will puff up with internal air pockets, which I think signifies a lovely, tasty flatbread. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Try to refrain from immediately slathering your flatbread with soy-free, dairy-free margarine immediately off the skillet. Or not. Its up to you. :) I usually gobble a few before dinner gets anywhere near the table.

*IF you don’t have a roux whisk and still want to make this recipe, you can try whisking your first cup of flour with a regular whisk or large serving fork. If it seizes up and gives you unpleasant flour pockets, try those arm muscles and stir the heck out of it- follow the above directions as best you can but after heating for a few minutes on low, throw the dough into your food processor and blend that dough into smooth submission. I had mediocre success with this method. Read *Warning* in the notes, along with suggested usage of failed dough.

A blogger who tried my millet roti recipe commented that she preferred the flavor/ texture of flatbread rolled out by hand. Personally I think if you work the dough enough AND press it in the tortilla press multiple times to get a really nice thin flatbread, it shouldn’t matter. If the tortilla puffs up nicely and creates a pretty air pocket, that is good enough for me. But then, I’m just too darned lazy to roll out my flatbread. And I hate my rolling pin, which weighs more than Baby Yum and is harder to handle.

*WARNING: IF you don’t have a roux whisk… get one! You can however try making this without one if you have a food processor. The recipe CAN fail using the food processor method, though. If you wind up with sticky dough, you can always make a yeast-free pizza flatbread by throwing the darned stuff onto a sheet of parchment paper, drizzling with oil or a little water and pressing out into a pizza shape. Bake in the oven until crunchy. It will taste “gluten-free” but is edible and at least the flour won’t go to waste.

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Gluten-Free Indian Wholegrain Naan Flatbread Recipe

July 7th, 2008 yum Posted in Indian, Indian Flatbread, North India, Teff 17 Comments »

I’ve always been more than a little envious of gluten-based flatbreads. Naan is one of the DH’s favorite things, and I definitely wish I could have tried the flatbread made in the home of the Bangalorean family that I saw on our last visit to India. But, I’ve learned over the years that the best consolation is coming up with my own gluten-free version of a dish at home later. That’s exactly what I did one evening when I found myself drowning in our favorite spinach chickpea curry recipe and out of rice. I had tried a recipe using all white flours from the gluten-free mall’s recipe index, and I liked it, but I wanted something a little more sophisticated and healthier for me, too. So, I played around with flours until I came up with a satisfying brown and white rice flour naan that had just enough teff to give it a lovely “wholegrain” flavor but not too much to overpower the bread. The resulting bread was lovely, and a huge improvement on the original. So, the next time you have curry- why not try a northern starch rather than a southern, and try my recipe for wholegrain Naan flatbread. Even if you don’t have curry, butter or margarine with dill or any traditional sandwich filling is great in this flatbread. The best part? Despite its fluffy, yeasty interior the crispy exterior is strong enough to keep it together when you slice it open, and sturdy enough to handle a heavy filling… even lots of whole chickpeas slow simmered in an Indian curry.

I am very pleased to enter this flatbread recipe in Bread Baking Day, with its theme of “small breads.” Enjoy more of the Book of Yum’s Indian Food Recipes and Reviews

Looking for more gluten-free flatbread recipes?

Try Ginger Lemon Girl’s Millet Flatbread

Kate’s GF Mock lavash Bread


Naomi’s Sweet Potato Pita

Gluten-Free Naan / Roti – Indian Flat Bread (Gluten-Free)
1 cup tepid milk (i used soy milk, but any kind of milk is fine)
1/2 cup brown rice flour (superfine)
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
3 tbsp. teff flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried active yeast
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup or more plain/natural yogurt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
In a bowl mix tepid milk with 1 teaspoon sugar and the yeast, then
sit bowl in warm place for 4-5 minutes.

Sift the flours, Xanthan gum, salt, baking powder into a bowl or
food mixer. Add remaining sugar, oil, yogurt, egg and mix until smooth.

Preheat oven to the highest setting. Make dough into 6 equal sized
balls. Roll out balls into round shapes that are about 1/4 in. thick .[my note: I rolled the dough out on parchment paper- you can then peel off parchment paper after transferring or bake directly on paper. I also put my hand inside a small plastic ziploc to pat out the dough rather than using a rolling pin, using liberal amounts of extra teff flour to decrease stickiness.]

Preheat a heavy baking tray in oven to 550 or so. Remove tray and put the naan on it [on or off of parchment paper]. Return to the oven for 3 mins, or until the naan puffs up and turns light brown. Place tray under the broiler 30 seconds to 1 minute for extra browning.

(my oven only heats to 550 and the first time it took me more like
5 minutes or six to get it brown. But then the second time i almost
burned it, so watch it carefully. My hubby liked it better the
browner it got.)

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