Hey everybody, it’s Jane, covering this week’s CT Cooks for Adina Goldstein. Welcome to a two part series about that good hot stuff we call bread!
Bread is really old.
Like, 30,000 years old.
Like, “there’s an entire Wikipedia article about the history of bread” old.
Entire human societies were built on the stuff. Revolutions have been fought over its scarcity. I’m pretty sure there was this guy who went to prison for 19 years after he stole bread and they ended up writing a musical about him.
I get it — you’re probably already complaining. “Hey, Jane, we get it. You’re in self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic and you’re baking bread like everyone else, get over yourself.”
To that, I say: You’re absolutely right! Everyone is baking bread right now, so much that there’s an entire yeast shortage going on in most parts of the country.
But you know why everyone is making bread? It’s simple:
- Bread tastes really good. Humans have been eating it for thousands of years. It’s not a fad.
- Bread is really easy to make. Give it a little time and love and presto! Hot bread!
- Bread is culturally significant in societies around the world. Amid isolation, there’s something unifying about making bread and seeing others do the same all over.
The recipe I have today is not only one of the easiest breads to make, but it also takes into consideration that not everyone has access to yeast at the moment. That’s right, we’re making flour tortillas!
They are an extremely versatile food item, come together in no time and taste way better than the tacky gummy ones that you buy at the store. (Good tortillas shouldn’t last that long on the shelf. It’s not natural).
Here we go!
2 cups (250 g) of all purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 g) of oil (You can use whatever fat you have on hand: vegetable oil, olive oil, butter, vegetable shortening, or lard. I personally use olive oil but I have seen some people even use a little bacon fat for extra flavoring.)
1 tsp (6 g) of salt
3/4 cup (177 g) of warm water
1/2 tsp (2 g) of baking powder (If you do not have any on hand, you can omit this. It will make your tortillas a little less puffy, but they will still be delicious.)
- Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a medium sized bowl. Work the oil into the dry mixture until it resembles a coarse meal.
- Add the water in and stir until it forms a rough dough. If the dough is too sticky and you need to flour your workspace with a little extra flour, go for it. Just make sure it’s clean beforehand and you have enough space. Drop your dough onto your workspace and knead the dough for about four minutes, or until it is smooth and slightly elastic.
- Divide your dough into eight equal pieces and roll them into balls. Cover the spheres with plastic wrap, put them in a bag — or in a bowl with a damp towel over it. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll out your dough balls to about 7 inches wide and keep them under plastic wrap or a towel until you are ready to cook them.
- Preheat a skillet over medium heat. One at a time, cook each of the rounds on one side for about a minute until they are light brown in spots. If it puffs up, gently deflate it with a fork and flip, cooking for an additional minute or so. Keep cooked tortillas on a plate under foil to keep them warm.
Bravo! You can use your tortillas for tacos or in any way that you would use regular bread. For a dessert, you can try them with a little butter and cinnamon sugar or even nutella and strawberries. I like to make tacos with vegan refried beans or homemade chana masala.
Stay tuned for the next installment in bread making — things are about to get yeasty!