Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
Another roti recipe from Southern Thailand
- 1 lb unbleached white flour (3 1/4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 3⁄4-1 cup water
- 1⁄2 cup peanut oil
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the salt and sugar and mix thoroughly. Make a well in the center and add the egg and milk. Fold them into the flour. Add water slowly while working the flour with your hand to form a sticky dough. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
- On a smooth, non-stick working surface (preferably stainless steel) form the dough into a log, then twist and break the dough off into small chunks, each about the size of a large lime (you should end up with 15 to 16 portions). Knead each chunk a few times and roll into a ball. Set aside. After all the dough pieces have been kneaded, dip a few of your fingertips in peanut oil and thoroughly oil the surface of each ball. Place the greased balls back in the bowl (it's okay to stack them), or on a tray, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for at least another 30 minutes.
- Lightly grease the smooth working surface with a little oil. Place a dough ball on the greased working surface and press with the palm of your hand into a flat round. Dip a few of your fingertips in a little peanut oil and grease both sides of the round. Then pick up the dough round on the edge closest to you, such that your left hand is holding it with the thumb beneath the dough while the other fingers are on top, and your right hand is holding it with the thumb on top and the side of the index finger beneath. Flip the dough in a forward, circular, clockwise motion, slapping the far end onto the working surface and stretching the dough. Continue to flip with the same motion and finger positions several times, stretching the dough with each flip until it becomes almost see-through thin. After the dough is stretched as thinly as possible, lift it at one point with two fingers in such a way that it drapes down like a piece of cloth. Using a circular motion, spin the piece loosely into a snail-like round and set aside on a greased surface. Do likewise with all the pieces of dough.
- Heat a griddle pan over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add about 1/4 inch of oil to the pan. Take a dough snail and press it with the palm of your hand into a flat round 4 to 6 inches across. Gently lift it from the working surface and drop it into the griddle. Brush a light coating of butter on the top side. Fry over low to medium heat until the bottom side is golden brown and crispy, then turn over and fry the second side, brushing a little butter on top. While frying the second side, press the bread down with the spatula from time to time so that its bumpy surface gets as evenly seared on the hot griddle's surface as possible.
- Remove the crisped bread from the griddle onto a flat surface, lined with paper towels to absorb the excess grease. When it's cool enough to handle, fluff it by slapping it between your hands – i.e., with the bread lying flat on the surface, position the palms of your hands on opposite sides of it and move them towards each other as if you are clapping. Slap the bread this way 2 to 3 times, until it becomes flaky.
- Do likewise with the rest of the dough pieces, making sure to add extra oil to the griddle so that the bread gets fried evenly. Also make sure the oil is hot enough to sizzle the dough when you first drop it into the griddle, but not too hot that it browns too quickly. Serve while still warm with a rich curry sauce or massaman curry.
- The bread may also be served as a sweet snack or dessert. After fluffing, sprinkle with granulated sugar and dribble with sweetened condensed milk. Roll the roti up into a roll and roll it in a piece of paper, which helps absorb some of the grease.
- For an egg roti, after the roti is crisped on both sides in the oil, beat an egg and pour over the roti. Turn over and fry until the egg is set.
- For a banana roti, mash part of a ripe banana (or cut in thin slices) and spoon it onto the bottom half of a very thinly stretched roti round, then wrap as you would an egg roll – i.e. fold the bottom edge up over the bananas, roll over enough to enclose, fold the two shorter sides up, then roll to the end. Because the banana adds moisture, the roti will not fry up as crispy.