Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tortillas tonight, quesedillas tomorrow.

It was tortilla makin' day at Ten Things Farm. I like making my own, even if it is a bit labor-intensive compared to tossing a bag of them in the cart at the grocery store. Do the grocery store ones have olive oil in them? Fresh milled flour? Chickpea flour? No, no, and no. Mine do, and they're yummy. If you want to make some, you will need:

2c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. chickpea flour
(Okay, right here, I'll say that chickpea flour was just an idea that went well. If you don't have any, you can just use flour...either kind. But, over time, I'm hoping to increase the chickpea flour and decrease, hopefully eliminate, the all purpose flour. And yeah, I did mill the whole wheat and the chickpeas myself. Woot! Now, back to the recipe.)
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder (this is not 'authentic', but it seems to make good tortillas. Who am I to argue?)
1/3 c. olive oil
1 to 1 1/4 c. hot (from the tap) water

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You will also need: A rolling pin, a couple of damp towels, flour for rolling out the tortillas, a skillet or comal or something like that to cook them on, and a decent chunk of time, especially the first couple times you make them. If you have a tortilla press, get that out too. It's not necessary, but it really helps with the initial shaping.

First, combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir them together. Then dump in the oil and water, stir it all together, and knead it some. It doesn't really end up looking like yeast breads - but it should hold together as one piece that's not too sticky.

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Once you get it into a ball, put it on the counter, cover it with the bowl and let it rest while you get out the rolling pin, skillet, tortilla press, towels, all that stuff.

When you have all your stuff gathered, divide the dough into fairly even balls. I shape it into a log and then cut it into pieces. This time, I got 18 of them.

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If you have a tortilla press, this is where it comes in really handy. Put a piece of parchment paper down, then a dough ball, then another piece of parchment. Press. Do this with all the balls. (Use the same pieces of parchment over and over...and save them for next time too.) Keep them under a lightly damp cloth so they don't dry out. See how much of the work is already done by the press?

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Now, lightly flour your surface and roll each tortilla to the thickness your family likes. It will take a little experimenting to get them just how you want them. Also, it will take a little time to get round tortillas. I'm still working on that. I've left the 'amoeba' stage, but mine are still a bit free-form. It's okay, they still taste really good.

Once you have 2 or 3 rolled out, heat your pan. When it's pretty hot, put a tortilla on (dry pan, no oil needed). Watch this first one - see how long it takes it to start bubbling up. Flip it over when the first side has some light to medium brown bubbles on it.

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When both sides have been cooked, put it on a plate and cover it with a damp cloth. If you leave it open to the air, they will be dry, brittle, and not so yummy. Keep rolling out tortillas, cooking tortillas, and stacking tortillas, until you run out. You should end up with something like this!

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I keep the damp towel on them until they cool down some. You'll notice that tortillas that were kinda stiff before are now more pliable - the moisture from the towel really seems to help. Once they are 'just warm' I put them in a plastic bag. OK, all but one of them. I eat one right then and there, because a fresh tortilla, warm from the skillet, mmmmmm.

Now that you have 18, er, 17 tortillas, you can make tacos, enchiladas, wraps, even thin-crust pizza. The kidlet and I had thin crust pizzas tonight, made with the top two tortillas on that stack, and they were yummy! They were also free of preservatives, and lots healthier than white flour only tortillas will ever be! They can be left on the counter (in the bag) if you're going to use them in the next couple days, otherwise refrigerate or freeze them for longer storage. I hope you like them!

2 comments:

Toni Toni Toni said...

That's it, I'm coming to live with you!

purple goddess said...

hell yar... me too~!

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