The Roti King’s roti canai
- A challenge
- January 2024
- Makes 12
- Hands-on time 40 min (depending on how skilled you are!), plus resting
This flaky, enriched flatbread might take a few attempts to get right, but when you finally crack the flip-and-slap method to get the dough wafer-thin, you’ll be on a roll.
Make sure you read our in-depth tips, and don’t be disheartened if your first attempts go awry – keep at it and you’ll be following in Roti King Sugen Gopal’s footsteps soon enough.
Have you tried our nasi goreng?
- 3.7g (1g saturated)
- 40g (3.3g sugars)
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp sugar
- 40g condensed milk
- 600g plain flour
- 10g butter, softened
- Vegetable oil to coat and fry
- Put the salt, sugar, condensed milk and 160ml warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer, then mix with a spoon or fork until thoroughly combined. Tip in the flour, then fit a dough hook to the mixer and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Add the butter in little pinches with the motor still running, then continue to mix until the dough turns smooth. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions, then roll them into a smooth ball. Use your hands to coat each ball in vegetable oil, then put on a tray, cover and leave to rest for at least 6 hours (or ideally overnight).
- Once the dough has rested and you’re ready to cook, grease your work surface and hands with a little more oil. Take a ball of dough, put it on the work surface and press it flat with the palm of your hand. Continue to flatten out the dough by using the palm of your hand to push and stretch it against the work surface, until it’s as wide and flat as you can get it.
- Hold the edge of the dough near you between the thumb and index finger of one hand, with the rest of your fingers resting on top of the dough. In a smooth, confident motion, pick up the edge of the dough with your other hand a bit further away from your first hand, then quickly lift up the dough with both hands and slap it down on the work surface, the same way up (a bit like throwing a tablecloth over a table), moving the second hand nearer to you and the leading hand further away so the dough has rotated. Repeat this motion at least six times to get the dough as wide and thin as you can, stretching it in all directions. It will take practice your first few times. Don’t worry too much if the dough tears around the edges a little.
- When the dough is as thin as you can get it, fold all four sides into the centre, trying to trap air in a pocket as you fold over each one. Put the stretched, folded dough back on the tray, then repeat with the remaining balls. Leave to rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Put a wide frying pan over a medium heat and drizzle with a little oil. On the oiled work surface, take a roti and use your fingers to push and stretch it back out into a 15-20cm circle. Add to the pan and fry for a minute or two on each side – it’s ready when crisp and covered in brown spots.
- When each roti is cooked, smash the roti 3-4 times by clapping your hands together either side of the roti, rotating it a few times. Serve immediately with dal or your favourite curry.
Scale it up This dough recipe can be easily scaled up or can be halved to make 6.
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