Chaplas (Andean Bread)

Chapla is one of the most popular breads in the Peruvian Andes. Usually homemade, it is served as part of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Andeans often eat chaplas with artisanal cheese, and this bread goes amazingly well with Brie, Jarlsberg, and queso fresco, just to name a few.

Makes: 40Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hour 10 minutesDifficulty: Medium


Makes: 40

Ingredients

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup melted vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil

Directions

  • On a baking sheet, divide the flour into two parts. One part should be twice the size of the other. Make a well in the center of each one.
  • In the larger one, add the shortening, ½ cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Mix everything with your hands and knead lightly for 3 minutes.
  • In the small one, put the dry yeast and the remaining sugar, ½ cup water, and salt. Mix everything with your hands and knead for 3 minutes.
  • Gather both dough portions and knead together, pushing the dough against the table until it is elastic and shiny.
  • Grease a bowl with oil; place the dough in the bowl and cover with a cloth. Let rest, undisturbed, for 40 minutes. When done, take the dough from the bowl and punch it down to release the air.
  • Cut the dough into 40 pieces and shape them into flattened rounds, like pita bread. Cover with a cloth and let them rest for 40 minutes on the kitchen counter.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. With a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough on a floured surface until they are ¼-inch thick.
  • Put the chaplas on a baking sheet and bake for 4 minutes until lightly golden. They should be puffed like pita bread. Serve warm.