My Little Chequered Kitchen

Fresh Flour Tortillas …

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As you may know, I’m an absolute fan of making things from scratch.  That doesn’t mean that I always cook from scratch, as unfortunately time doesn’t always permit it.  But if I can, then I will.  

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Now you may think why on earth would I make home-made tortillas when I can just as easily buy then pre-made from the supermarket.  But now where is the fun in that?  There is something about working with flour that I really enjoy.  Perhaps it’s the simplicity of it.  And then there’s the satisfaction of eating something that you’ve gone to the trouble of making.  It’s almost therapeutic, but yes only if you have the time.

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Tortillas are a sort of flat bread and are perhaps one of the easiest “breads” that you could make, mainly because they don’t contain yeast.  The only time consuming part is cooking them in a frying pan, but if you have a BBQ with a big hot plate, then you can cook a few at the same time.  Easy.  Traditionally, they are made with maize starch, but as that can be difficult to source, I prefer to make them with wheat flour.  

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One of my favourite occasions to make tortillas is the day after cooking a roast dinner.  There is nothing like wrapping a tortilla around some leftover roast meat together with some fresh vegetables and a tangy sauce.  

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But if there’s no leftovers hanging around, then try poaching some chicken in a tasty stock, whiz up a batch of roasted red pepper humus, chop up some fresh vegetables into matchsticks (like carrots and cucumbers), add some low fat creme fraiche and grated cheese and voila!  A delicious and healthy weekend lunch!  

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 And don’t forget that you can always freeze any left over tortillas, which is a good reason to make as many as you can in one hit so that you have a constant supply out of your freezer.  Just separate them with baking paper and pop them into a resealable platic bag.  You can re-heat them in the microwave too if you want to eat them warm.  Although room temperature is also fine.  

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Keep an eye out over the next few days for my red pepper humus recipe, poached chicken, and then how to put it all together to make the delicious wrap described above.   

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”People are too busy … We work too much.  And the kinds of cooking that people can do in a modern life when both partners have jobs is not necessarily baking or grilling a whole hog in your front yard. But we do seem to find time for the things we value.

”My intention is to show people how interesting and worthwhile this work is. It’s an argument for pleasure. How is it that we’ve come to think of it as drudgery? I blame food marketers for some of that. I think they’ve deliberately made it look too hard and not worth our time.”

Michael Pollan
Stop, Cook & Listen
http://www.goodfood.com.au

Fresh Flour Tortillas
Yields 16
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
150g flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sunflower oil (or other neutral flavoured oil)
1 cup hot water
Instructions
Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, starting with the dry ingredients first.
Mix to combine before kneading for three minutes (this could be done by hand or using the dough hook in your Stand Mixer).
Once kneaded, cover with a teatowel and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 16 pieces - easiest way is to divide the dough in half, then in half again and so on until you have 16 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball and then using a rolling pin and a lightly floured surface, flatten each ball out into a circle before rolling the dough until it's flat. Keep turning the dough to ensure an even circle is rolled out.
Cook the tortillas in a frying pan one by one or multiple tortillas on a BBQ hot plate over low heat (no oil) . When they start to bubble and puff up, you know it's nearing time to flip them over. You can gently slap the bubbles to break them before turning. The tortilla is ready when they have a few golden brown spots on them.
If not using straightaway, you can keep the tortillas in the fridge for a few days and reheat them briefly in the microwave between paper towels or wrapped in tin foil and heated in the oven.
Adapted from Annabel Langbein "Simple Pleasures"
My Little Chequered Kitchen http://mylittlechequeredkitchen.com/

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