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Some questions about Roti an preservatives

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi every one:peace:
First time in the forum, have lot of hopes.:p
I want to make Roti in some quantity and then preserve it uncooked for a month or so. This way all I have to do is to take out a few uncooked Roti from the freezer when I need, and cook it on the pan without the hustle of needing the flour, shaping it with rolling pin etc. each time. Before posting I searched this forum for Roti and have noted very helpful posts by Chefelle.
I would be very grateful if someone can answer a few of my questions about the art of Roti making.
Which preservative are commonly used to keep Roti or other bakery products useable for month or longer? I have searched on internet and found Calcium propionate, Sodium propionate and sodium benzoate are commonly used. Which of these is better?
Can I use leavening agent such as baking powder along with preservative? (Or no preservatives are needed, only leavening agent is enough to keep it fresh for long time).
After needing, how long it should be left before making balls and rolling it and why? How about leaving it over night before rolling?
post #2 of 8
Hi, Zeni, and welcome. :D

If you're making the roti at home and freezing it, there's no need to add preservatives! Those things are added to commercial products, especially ones that stay out on the shelf, to extend their life. But they do not improve the quality one little bit.

Just wrap the roti well before freezing to protect them from drying out. And if you wrap them individually, then you can just pull out as many as you need at a time.

Leavening agents and preservatives are two different animals, um, I mean chemicals. :lol: The baking powder will help the roti puff, but I'm not sure it does anything to help it keep longer. In fact, since some baking powders start working as soon as they're mixed with liquid, some of the leavening effect might actually be lost, but adding preservatives won't help that. What you might want to do, that will make it even more convenient later, is to cook off the roti before freezing them, to get the full effect of the baking powder. Maybe undercook them a little. Then wrap well and freeze, and when you reheat them, they'll finish cooking and be almost as good as fresh.

As for your question about timing: you can divide the dough into balls right after you knead it. But then you do want to wait at least an hour before you try to roll them out. Overnight is fine, just make sure the dough balls are well wrapped so they don't dry out. The reason to wait is that when you mix flour and water, you produce a stretchy protein (gluten), that needs to relax before you can roll the dough. If you try to roll out the dough right away, the elastic stuff will snap back and make it harder to roll.

Hope this helps!

BTW: are these plain roti, or do you stuff them with peas?
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Dear Suzzane

Thanks a lot for your reply, lot of very helpful tips for a complete novice like me and very sorry I didn’t respond earlier. Now I am thinking how to begin. In my part of the world roti is staple food and it is cooked in every home three times a day. But each time they knead it, and roll it fresh, then cook it in a pan. I see it as totally unnecessary hardship for women and waste of time:mad:. I want to change it (revolution!!:thumb::thumb:). My idea is that rolled roti should be available in the market in packets. Women just unpack it and cook it when they need. This will save them lot of effort and time (and may result in more happiness to the whole family). Thus I want to make rolled roti available commercially. (Incidentally I have never cooked a roti myself and never done any business before!). It is not that such uncooked rolled rotis are not available commercially, but those available are made of very fine white flour (maida), are quite expensive and not fit for everyday use. I want to make it affordable to everyone and make it of plain flour which is most commonly used in everyday life. That is why I want to ask question about preservative. Any other suggestion including any suggestion about simple machinery for this venture would be very helpful. Anybody who has done such adventure here may give some helpful tips?
Thanks again
post #4 of 8
I will go to the indian stores and see what they do as they sell premade rotis and prathas from a company here in florida.

this is an interesting thread.

definitely experiment with different ideas until you find what works....

do you own a tawa? (silly question)
post #5 of 8
Ah. I'm sure you are right about there being a market for good-quality homemade-style roti. An Indian friend who lives near Washington, DC has written a delightful essay about buying paratha in her book, Modern Spice.

If people are used to making roti fresh several times a day, maybe I'm wrong but I have a feeling that it will be hard to get them to buy a version that can sit on the shelf for days and days. So I still think it would not be good to add preservatives. Which means that the roti would have to be sold refrigerated or frozen and have a limited life.

But if you want to be the one to bring it to market, you really should try making it yourself first, don't you think? And while you are perfecting the recipe you want to use, there is a great deal of research you need to do about health and licensing regulations that would apply, financing and running a business, and so much more. If there is a business college near you, maybe they can offer advice. Also, if there is a bank or organization that does microfinancing, it would be good to talk to them.

Starting a food business can be very difficult, and it takes a lot of time, money, and effort to do it right. I don't want to discourage you, but it takes much more than just a good idea that fills a need.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #6 of 8
i used to want an international roti or just bread shop.

we would feature rotis both pratha ifluenced, chapati, dosai, bhatoora, influenced and luchi/puri and whatever else.

mainly it would feature what i have experienced outside of india, and i doubt it would even cater much to continental indian cookingf except for some classics like bhatooras with channa which are redone in trinidad as doubles anyway.... except the indian channa can be more complex than the simplified but tasty trini standard...

we would have the thailand banana and/or coconut cream filled rotis, rotis from kenya,uganda, ghana, and tanzania along with representative sauces, curries, etc... , prathas from nepal and tibet, peppr rotis, sada roti with fry aloo, aloo puri, dal puri, doubles (bara with channa), and other trin breads along with trini curries, chutneys and afro/hindi preperations,.... like spiced pumpkin, goat, stew beef, chicken curry, curry mango and callaloo.

also want to have a ncie african goat preperation and a jamaiocan goat preperation and an indian one, just for fun....

lots of raitas, chutneys, tamarind sauces, pickles and hot pepper condiments to go with it

and a nice pot of dal always ready!

finally we would have aloo pies and phulouries and saheena also from trinidad, and plenty of interesting trinidad, indian or english sweets to top everything off

a bake and shark sandwich

and to showcase a european and jewish flat bread i would want the potato pancake lefse, and maybe latkas too since these potato pancakes are TREMENDOUSLY different!

then soem good old austrian dumplings of different varieties, sweet and savory lones to acompany a good stew, or roast preperation....

silly, whimsical and complicated, but i always liked doughs!!!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Suzzane you are quite right that I should try myself making Roti till I perfect the recipe. I have also called for my wife help and she has promised to help me when she is free. It is not easy to start a business specially when you have never done it before, but I would start at small scale and see what happens.
Chalkdust your wish list is very mouth watering. I hope you would be able to start it soon. Yes I have tawa, but personally I think that there could be some better alternative to tawa, something which would also have cover and roti is heated from the upper side as well just as in oven. By the way I am curious why you always liked doughs, are you single?:lol: Just joking.
I would keep you folks informed of the progress.
post #8 of 8

plz any one tell me what preservative i can used to increased the shelf life of chapati 8 to 9 days / any procedure 

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