The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Friday, August 5, 2011

From Scratch --Thoughts and Tortillas

~~ Once again, I promise there's a recipe at the end!!! ~~ 


I'm linking up with Lori's Friday Farm Girls @ Heart today.

From scratch.  In sports, "to begin again."  In cooking, "from basic or unprocessed ingredients."  Now, I know there is a lot of quibbling about true from-scratch cooking.  If I make a pie with X-Brand ice cream and Cool-Whip, with my own homemade crust, is it from scratch?  Is it homemade?

If we stick to the literal meaning of from scratch, almost no baked/cooked items would truly be from scratch.  I use store-bought mustard, ketchup, and vinegar, to name a few not-from-scratch ingredients.  But let's not stick with the literal meaning; it's too overwhelming to think about making vinegar (though I just saw a Mennonite family's homemade mustard at the farmers market yesterday, and now I'm wondering maybe...).  Plus, I have my own standards and time constraints--and you have yours.  We do what we can, how the Lord is leading, and leave the rest to Him.  :)

Sorry for the above tangent.  For me, typing = thinking, and sometimes my brain goes off on sidetracks of ideas and who knows where they'll take me!  Concentrate, Christine--tortillas.

There--I added a photo to help me concentrate on TORTILLAS

Sooo...I added up how much we spend per month on tortillas, and it was rather shocking.  Hey, we're a Mexican family; tortillas are an everyday part of our diet.  I also realized that we have wheat berries that can be ground into flour, and tortillas are made from flour--the flour tortillas, anyway, not the corn ones.  ;)  So, couldn't I just make my own tortillas?  I know there's rolling and dry-frying involved, both of which take time, but I'm also spending an hour or so here typing up this blog, which means I have some extra time.  I did lead a life devoid of computers about 10-12 years ago, and I did just fine filling my time with important activities.  I think this is another tangent...

My friend Becki gave me a recipe for whole-wheat flour tortillas, and I dug it out of my recipe binder.  Four ingredients--easy.  Long directions--whoa.  But.  I have a Bosch, which makes the kneading part a no-brainer:  I can wash dishes while it does the kneading.  Let dough rest--planning and time are involved.  But I know that planning and time are involved in all homemade cooking, so I already anticipate adjusting my schedule accordingly.

Oh, wait.  You're expecting a recipe.  Enough with the words already, Christine.  Here's the recipe!

Whole-Wheat Flour Tortillas (Flat Bread)

2 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil or melted fat (I use lard--the good stuff, or bacon fat)
1 cup tap water

Mixing with the Bosch (or bread machine/KitchenAid/etc.):  Measure all of the ingredients into the machine's bowl/bread pan.  Start the machine and allow it to mix and knead the dough for you.  Set your timer for 10 minutes, or watch the clock.  Keep an eye on the consistency of the dough.  If it is too wet-- add more flour, or too dry--add more water, both a little at a time.

At the end of ten minutes, I remove the dough from the bowl and hand-knead it a few times.  I have found that the dough is usually very soft (I probably didn't add enough flour), so I hand-knead just a little bit of flour in, then shape it into a large ball, fold a towel around it, and let it rest.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces (you can divide into 10 pieces for smaller tortillas, but I have found 8 pieces to work nicely).  Shape each piece of dough into a ball, then roll out into a flat, thin circle, maybe 8" in diameter.  I flour my countertop to do this, as my dough is usually a little sticky; the extra flour doesn't hurt at all.

Heat a dry cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  When it is hot, place one of the circles on it.  Cook until it's a little puffy and has brown spots, then flip it and cook the other side the same way.  I put the cooked tortillas inside a folded towel to serve them warm.

To make fry bread, simply slip a prepared circle of rolled-out dough into about a 1/2 inch of hot oil (375 degrees) in a skillet.  Submerge it in the oil until it bubbles up and puffs all over.  Flip it and brown the other side.  Drain on paper towels.

I'd like to try the hot-oil fry method, but also add cinnamon and sugar on the tortillas to make a sweet, crispy dessert, with too many calories, of course, but oh, so good!

Taco Night with homemade tortillas

¡Que pase un buen día en Jesucristo nuestro Señor!

(May you have a good day in Jesus Christ our Lord!)

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website