Gluten Free, Vegan Dosti Roti (Trini Style)
The instructions are lengthy and may seem intimidating. In real time, it is much easier, many of the steps are simply repetitive. Of course as with everything the more you do it the less challenging it becomes.
For the roti
2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix*
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp instant yeast
½ tsp sugar (optional but helps with the taste)
¼ cup vegetable oil (I use coconut)
¾ – 1 cup warm water (or more)
tapioca flour for dusting (any other finely ground GF flour or starch will work)
*Thus far this particular blend of flour yields the best result for making gluten free roti
For shaping the dough
¼ cup butter softened**
¼ cup vegetable oil (I use coconut)
¼ cup + 1 tbsp flour
oil for your hands to help with shaping the dough
**I use vegan butter or margarine, you can use regular butter if you wish
Combine the bread mix and the baking powder. Sift into a bowl. Add the sugar and yeast to the sifted flour blend, mix to combine
Add the oil and ¾ cup of the warm water. Either by hand or with a mixer knead the dough until it holds together and is fairly smooth. The dough should be sticky but not stiff, nothing like regular roti dough which is drier and very smooth. Add more water, a little at a time to achieve the right consistency, you may need more water than is specified in the recipe. The more water you can add before the dough becomes impossible to handle the better. Working with wet or oiled hands will help. Leave the dough to rest for about 15 minutes Lightly flour your work surface. I use a silpat mat but parchment paper is an option. With wet hands pinch off pieces of dough to form 6 balls. It may be best to work with smaller pieces until you get accustomed to working with gluten free dough.
Knead and roll the dough lightly around on the floured surface to form a smooth ball. Use a light touch and as little flour as possible. Add a little oil to the palm of your hands and rub over the ball of dough. Set aside on a greased surface or bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of dough. Cover the rounds with oiled plastic wrap and a warm tea cloth. Leave to rest for at least ½ hour
Once the dough has rested, heat a tawa to moderate. Just before cooking the first roti, you can “season” the tawa by spreading a thin coating of oil, wipe away excess with a paper towel. This should be the only time you need to do. Your roti will not cook properly if the tawa is not pre-heated.
Combine the softened butter and the oil, stir to mix well. Divide the mixture in 2. To one half add the ¼ cup + 1 tbsp flour and mix to form a thick paste. Set both mixtures aside
Keeping the remaining pieces covered, on a lightly floured surface gently roll out one of the dough balls to about ½ inch thick. Turn the dough occasionally and add a little flour at a time to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface or tearing. I work with a diameter of no less than 8” per roti. I also try to roll out the roti as thin as possible, this gets easier with practice. Ensure that the roti is easy to pick up before continuing. Leave the roti where it is and repeat these steps with another piece of dough. Try to roll out the 2nd piece to around the same size as the 1st, I work on 2 silpat mats for this and I use the mat to flip the roti unto the palm of my hands instead of picking it up (try parchment paper). On one piece of the rolled out roti, use the back of a spoon (less tearing) to spread enough of the butter/oil/flour paste to cover the surface completely. Place the other roti on top, lightly sealing the edges.
Place the dosti roti on the tawa to cook. At this stage, I am usually able to increase the size of the roti a bit by stretching the edges outward. Use the back of a spoon to lightly spread some of the butter and oil mix on top of the roti. The roti will begin to swell on the top and between the 2 layers. Once the edges are set and the roti has pulled away from the tawa, flip and cook the other side. Brush this side with a bit of the oil and butter mixture
Once the roti has finished cooking stack on a plate, place a piece of parchment paper between each roti to prevent them from sticking together. Cover the roti as you stack with a warm tea towel or two.
The roti is best served warm. To store wrap and freeze immediately as it's cooled. Reheat and serve at once.