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Posts by Colin

Good grief.  Notice how kpow goes from making huge generalizations about "Indian food," to correctly pointing out that India is a continent with immense internal variation, and then right back to making huge generalizations.     And please, kpow, if you're still reading, abandon stereotypes like "indian bit spicy which does'nt get along with western people." (I've been visiting India for 25 years, and one of my enduring frustrations is people believe I will drop dead if...
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/yourfirstloaf   This is another good starting point.  There's also lots of videos online, which can be good for getting a sense of how doughs should look at various stages.  You might see if any of the videos at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/keyword/video are interesting.  Some may be a bit esoteric, but you can learn lots just by watching bakers work even if you don't plan on making exactly what they're making.
Couple notes: "roti" is a generic term in India for skillet-made flatbreads and includes a wide variety of different breads, so it's hard to generalize too much.  Puris and parathas are fried...   Chapatis, which is what some folks above are discussing, are made with atta, which is a nice soft tasty low-gluten whole-wheat flour.  Indian stores sell it, and as with any whole wheat flour try to buy it from a place with high sales volume, because it has a little fat content...
I have one of the Apex sharpening kits which makes the process pretty easy.  There are videos.  It's still not as easy as an electric sharpener, but on the other hand it's not taking up any counter space.
That's interesting.  In my experience short rises will work for flattish things like lavash crackers, and maybe little rolls, but don't give you the kind of dough development (putting aside flavor) that you want for a more serious loaf.
Ditto!  I've also had success with the recipe in Reinhart's _Bread Baker's Apprentice_ which works along the same lines: a relatively wet dough developed slowly, which gives you a fluffy result.  I don't know what the hydration is in the recipe posted @3, but the method sounds like it will produce a tough bread.  Baking at a higher temperature also helps you end up soft plus crisp, rather than chewy.
How long are you allowing for the rise, and what sort of recipe are you using?   Because phatch above is right.  Yeast is not like baking powder.  Given time, it will make more of itself.  If you're patient you can start with tiny amounts like 1/4 of a teaspoon.   There's also a reference above to a "standard 90-120 minute rise."  I'm not sure where that comes from.  There are some straight doughs for which that's enough time, but generally that's on the short side.
All you need for bread is flour, water, salt, and yeast.  There's no need for any sugar, and certainly not for the huge amount of sugar you are using.  I would get a basic dough working before adding a "improvers."     You do need good yeast - have you proofed it?  Put a little in some warm water, wait ten minutes, and see if it bubbles up.   Dough will rise at low temperatures, just more slowly.  That's not your problem.
... I assume chefedb means something else, because a "real restaurant range" is a fire hazard for residential use, and code won't allow it.   For pro-style home ranges, Bluestar is much loved; Capital (which I have) has fans too.     Re changing how you cook, the main thing a more muscular range will give you is more BTU when you want it.  This is nice to have, but I can't say I'm really cooking differently as a result, just saving a few seconds here and...
Do you have a budget in mind?  Something like ten brands sell lines with a "commercial" appearance.     www.ajmadison.com is a good place to start an appliance search.  They have pictures.
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