Source: Rochelle about 2005
A simple food with star quality – Hand-made flour tortillas
Hand-made flour tortillas have a deep history tied to the border towns between California and Mexico. Tortillas themselves are a long standing tradition. In the 16th century, while on a journey in search of gold, the Spaniards stumbled upon the Aztec peoples. Falling in love with their colorful and flavorful foods, the name, “tortilla” is what the Spaniard’s gave to these hand-made ‘unleavened’ breads.
The tortillas were a huge love of the Spaniards, and no wonder! However the Aztecs version of tortilla was based on corn and not flour. This was due to the fact that corn was the major staple in the Aztec diet. Today, corn tortilla’s are a product of the middle to southern regions of Mexico. You’ll only find the northern border towns (to California) where flour tortillas are the tradition.
I think you’ll agree, the tortilla and it’s purpose are endless. From the breakfast burrito with a scrambled egg and cheese and ham if you desire, to the vegetarian burrito. Quesadilla’s, wraps, chips…tortillas can be used in a variety of ways to make cuisine very satisfying. In other words, the tortilla opens up loads of possibilities to preparing a meal.
The hidden facts
The simplicity of the home-made tortilla are almost too good to be true. But remember, it is true, and it’s a food staple that’s been made with 4 ingredients since it’s inception by simple country people. Flour, water, olive oil, salt. Now, see what the ‘typical’ store-bought tortilla has in it.
Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Soybean, Cottonseed) with Mono- and Diglycerides, Glycerin, Corn Syrup Solids, Salt, Baking Powder (Baking Soda, Corn Starch, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Calcium Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Potassium Sorbate and Calcium Propionate (Preservatives), Monoglycerides, Fumaric Acid, L-Cystine Hydrochloride.
My question to you is, why wouldn’t you make your own? Most of those words I can’t pronounce, and have prefixes I don’t like. It’s quite scary, being that we feed this not only to ourselves, but to our kids! It’s time to break your dependency to convenience. I’ve preached this before, and I hope I can change at least one person’s mind here. Make your own tortilla’s. In conclusion, they are a cinch to make and taste delightful. It’s time to honor the Aztec’s with your own version of their ancient delights.
Hand-made flour tortilla’s
- 3 cups flour basic white, or mixed flour, or wheat flour work best
- 1 1/4 cups water be sure your water is warm, it really helps with the pliability of the dough
- 1 pinch himalayian salt gives nice subtle flavor
- 1 dash olive oil just for pliability
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand until you form a soft ball of dough. Dough should be soft due to the oil, but not be sticky. (like that of a bread dough)
- Form individual balls of dough, size depends on the size of tortilla you want.
- Roll dough in to a circular shape, be sure it’s well floured on both sides for cooking and easy handling
- Have a cast-iron pan to cook these up. No oil is necessary when you cook them on the stove-warm up the pan, put the tortilla on the pan and cook for about 2-3 min. on each side, or until it begins to bubble or brown. When cooked, wrap in clean kitchen towel.
- Fill the tortilla with whatever you desire. Re-fried beans, rice, meat.
- Or vegetarian (tortilla recipe is for approximately 10 tortillas)