Chapa Bread

After a weekend of feasting with new friends, yesterday I was treated to a visit from two old friends. They have been here before. So there was no need for nervous cleaning or shining. It was a very relaxed few hours.  And a perfect day to make chapa bread and an omelette for lunch.

Here is BooBoo on the outside chair where Hugo takes his smoko break. Boo is waiting for Hugo to come

The rain rained and the temperatures cooled off so I lit the fire and this added to the coziness of their visit. I treated myself to a good sit down on the couch as we caught up.

I was reading  Roger Stowell’s blog some time ago and he spoke of making thin omelettes and stacking them one on top of the other with a few bits of interesting things in between.  The idea stuck in my head, we gave it a shot and the result was wonderful. I used a swipe of pesto between one layer and chopped late summer tomato into another. The omelette tower was topped with grated parmesan, green onions and fresh coriander from the garden. A perfect light balanced lunch. And when cut into wedges it looked as good as it tasted.  (Sorry Roger but I cannot find the actual blog post so the link is to today).

I have eaten so much lately that I felt unable to tackle a full loaf of bread so I made Chapa Bread. From Seven Fires by Francis Mallmann. (The book of Argentinian food that Fede gave me).  I make this when I do not want a lot of bread hanging about the house tempting my hips. It is always eaten all up the day it is made. dough rising

One good chapa is a large plate of cast iron on 12 to 15 inch high legs (like a miniature steel table) that is set over an open fire. I am going to make one this winter.  It has been years since I welded but I am sure I will remember once I get set up.  cut up chapa breads

But in the meantime we are cooking over the stove in my kitchen.

Chapa bread.

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (don’t forget to store the package in the freezer after you have opened it)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • about 1 1/2 cups warm water.

Mix dry ingredients together. Add oil and warm water. Mix until it forms a satiny ball of dough then knead for about five minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise until doubled. (about an hour).

Then gently turn out onto your board and lightly roll into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch squares.

Leave on the floured board in a warm spot to rise and double in height again (about 30 minutes).

Cook in batches on your cast iron chapa (or griddle), I have heavy cast iron pans that do the job perfectly.  Of course these breads are even better when cooked over an open fire. Something to look forward to next summer.

They will take about 5 minutes for the first side then brown the other side and serve immediately, hot. Split open, butter and devour. chapa bread

I hope you have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farm,


77 Comments on “Chapa Bread

  1. Funny thing about the yeast; I read yesterday in the newspaper that it should be frozen after opening. I never knew that. Good morning, c.

  2. Good Morning, Celi! That Boo in the huge smoko chair seems so small. Calmly waiting. Cute. Thank you for the chapa recipe. They look great. BTW, bread freezes so well. Don’t you do it? And did you forget to show us a pic of one of the omelette wedges? 😉 It sounds so yummy. Must be a feast for the eye… Have a lovely day, Celi.

  3. That all sounds amazingly good. I am going to make that chapa bread. And that omelette tower. Why does it not surprise me that you know how to weld???

  4. It’s at times like this that I wish, wish, wish I could still eat bread with gluten in it… I can well remember the smell and feel of the dough under my hands, the fantastic aroma of the freshly cooked bread and the moment of sheer delight when fresh warm bread and slightly melted butter landed on my tongue. Nothing can replace it. And I love it that you still call those breaks we take mid morning and afternoon ‘smoko’, even after so long away from the antipodes… You can take the girl out of New Zealand, but you can’t take New Zealand out of the girl.

  5. Really? Freezer? That’s brilliant. I’m always having to throw opened yeast away. I’m going to start doing that from now on. Thanks for that Celi. 😀

      • I noticed in my local grocery store last month a magazine called “Sift”. I had never seen it before and was intrigued because it’s produced by King Arthur flour. Just for a lark, I bought it and there are some wonderful things in there I’ll be making in the fall and winter. stopped at the store today for something else entirely and there was the next issue – so I grabbed it too. Only got a very quick look at it, because I’m sending it home with my hubbie’s brother-in-law to Latvia. thought my sis-in-law might like some unusual recipes to share with her friends. So it’s back to the store tomorrow to get one for me. I don’t think we get KA flour here in Canada, our big brand is Robin Hood. When I was a kid visiting family in Saskatoon, my auntie lived within sight of the big lit-up sign on the RH flour mill property. I always “knew” when we were getting close to her house, although I’m sure that sign could be seen for miles. I’m going to try your chapa bread recipe this weekend. Hope your rain has stopped for a bit so you can have some sun tomorrow. Chris S in Canada

  6. I was just craving some bread making that wouldn’t leave me with a ton of bread in the house. Perfect timing.

      • But why is it that something that smells so wonderful while it’s cooking makes the house smell so nasty the next day? (Especially if you forget to set out s dish of vinegar.)

  7. ooooh this looks divine! I’ll be trying this recipe this week when we go over to feed a recovering surgery patient and her family!
    Thanks and have a lovely day!

    • no my cast iron is so seasoned now that just a wipe of oil across the surface for the first batch, after that nothing. remember to get your griddle HOT HOT before you add any fats or foods.. then things will not stick.

  8. I don’t have any cast iron but I have an electric Teflon frying pan. Would that work? And at what temperature? And ditto Minnesota Prairie– in olive oil?
    Love dear Boo!

  9. I was intrigued when I saw “Chapa” bread because in Spanish chapa is a sheet of metal – now it makes sense, it’s the way they are cooked on a griddle. Love it!

  10. Love the pic of Boo, of course! It’s lovely to have guests are who are really visitors who come for the pleasure of company, and a nice shared meal… and in Boo’s case it seems friends whose return is particularly desirable 🙂

  11. Oh same here, Mirrhi adores men, goes all gooey and flirty and coy when she sees her favourite ones…..I wonder if it’s the working dog thing? Although we do both *work* our dogs, men just have a different energy and way of interacting I think.

  12. I make my own chorizo if FD manages to harvest a wild hog or two. That layered omelette sounds dee lish and the chapa looks lovely! I do miss breads. Our Paleo lifestyle requires baking with nut flours and it’s just plain weird. I miss the texture of real bread. When I come to visit, I’m going to completely fall off the Paleo wagon!! 😀

  13. Nothing like coming into the house from a chilly day to baking bread, or cookies or sauted onions. Autumn was always baking time when I was a kid. I’d come home from school to fresh baked cookies or a cake just waiting for the frosting. Guess I’ll get busy and bake something tomorrow.

  14. Clever, busy lady.What an interesting life you are leading!!! By the way do you know how to make yoghurt from farm gate milk?

  15. Welding as one of your talents never even crossed my mind. There must be a very short list of things you haven’t done yet. Boo is keeping Hugo’s seat warm. What a sweet dog, and Hugo must be special to have acquired such a faithful friend. Your omelet sounds beautiful, even without the photo, and the bread is calling my name!

  16. The chapa bread looks delicious. Each time I visit your kitchen I smell delicious smells of baking.

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