Chapla is a kind of bread that originated in the city of Ayacucho, in the Peruvian Andes. It's homemade, artisan bread, very similar to pita bread but with a different texture and sabor, that is cooked in clay ovens still used in this region of Peru. Of course, it's the bread of preference for both local residents and tourists alike that come to this beautiful city. I have seen both round and oval chaplitas, as they are affectionately called. Most chaplitas are small, some 2-4 inches in diameter, but I have also purchased larger ones. To make them you can stick with using just bread flour, or combine bread flour with whole-grain flour as I have done with this recipe. Ideally, the dough should be left to rest for a good amount of time so that the yeast can do its work. Once the bread is in the oven, it will puff up, leaving a hollow hole in the center. Later, you can fill the chaplita with cheeses, ham or any other filling. In Ayacucho they eat the bread with cheese and sauco (elderberry) jam, since elderberries are abundant in this region of the Andes. This homemade bread is made with aniseed, giving chaplita its characteristic sabor; however, I've replaced aniseed with flaxseed to give the bread a crispy and deliciosa texture, and sesame seeds to give the bread a rico and delicate sabor. Once baked, the chaplas can be stored at room temperature for a few days. The longer they are left out the more elastic the bread becomes, which I don't particularly care for. This happens because the bread doesn't contain preservatives or artificial ingredients. I suggest eating it while it's fresh, and in the event that you have too many leftovers, freeze the chaplitas and later reheat them in the oven when you're ready for another helping.
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