Kulcha is suppose be a popular Punjabi bread. I usually have it in an Indian restaurant here and quite like it. It is usually made out of plain flour (maida) and often has potato mixed with the dough or stuffed in. They are usually incredibly soft and that is the reason I wanted to try them. With very limited time to research a lot of options, I decided to try the simple plain kulcha. I did not want to use flour alone and added some wheat flour as well just so that there is some wholemeal and not just refined carbohydrate. The key challenge to me (this may sound very silly to many), was to get the yeast to froth. There have been a few times when the yeast never frothed and hence nothing would rise. This time and thereafter I now know the right temperature to put the yeast in. My tip would be that allow boiled water to cool until it reaches a point when you can touch it by hand and tolerate the heat. I have made this recipe a few times and it has always come out nice. Some may argue it is not exactly kulcha, but that is the closest name I could give it. It is a great bread anyway! Here is how I do it…
2 cups flour (equal parts of plain and whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt as required
Dissolve the yeast in about half cup water (temperature as described earlier) mixed with sugar. Allow this to rest for about 10 minutes so the yeast froths.
Take the flour in a mixing bowl and add some salt. Add the yeast water and required amount of warm milk to make a soft dough like one for chapatti. Put some oil on your hand and knead well. Knead for about 5 minutes.
Rest the dough covered with a wet cloth or cling film so the top does not dry up. Leave it in a warm place for about an hour so the dough doubles in volume. Knead again for five minutes
Make lemon sized balls and roll out like chapattis and do not make them too thin.
Put the rolled kulcha on hot tava (do not cook on low flame as it will not be soft), once white spots appear, turn and cook until bubbles appear. Flip again and gently press on the kulcha and it will rise beautifully.
Brush some oil or butter and serve with a nice gravy.