Tortillas

Homemade tortillas rock, and are as far removed from the things you buy in the supermarket, as Montgomery’s is from processed cheddar.

Now, be warned, my tortillas aren’t authentic, and probably closer to roti/chapati. And they’re never round, either.

For ten tortillas, you’ll need 300g strong white flour, 200mL warm water, a pinch of salt and, optionally, a glug of oil.

Mix the salt and flour, plus a splash of oil. Gradually add enough of the water, stirring all the while, to form a dough. You’ll probably need about 175mL.

Lightly oil a clean work surface and knead the dough ’til it’s no longer sticky, so maybe ten minutes. Form the dough into a ball and leave somewhere to rest for about half an hour, covered in oiled cling wrap. The kneading and resting allow the gluten to form long strands so you can roll it out.

Get a large heavy frypan moderately hot. Place a large teatowel somewhere tranquil.

Flour the work surface. Break off a lump of dough about the size of a squash ball.

Roll it out. You’ll notice from the photo above that casually using a wine bottle isn’t an option and a proper rolling pin is required.

Shake off an excess flour and pop the tortilla into the pan, no oil, and leave for a slow count of 30. The upper surface will wrinkle and puff very slightly. Use the tongs to turn it over, and you’ll see some reassuring brown spots. If the spots are black then the temperature is too high, no spots or puffing/wrinkling and it’s too low. Once flipped, give it another count of 30, and then pop it onto one side of the teatowel, and fold over. This stops it drying out.

Repeat, building up a stack of tortillas inside the teatowel. With a bit of practise, you’ll be able to roll out tortilla N+1 whilst tortilla N is cooking. A glamorous assistant comes in useful at moments like this.

Pass the chilli.

Variations

You’ll notice from the photos that I accidentally left some cumin seeds and dried oregano on the bench when I rolled out the tortilla. Oops.

If you have leftover tortillas, pop them in the fridge. They will be horrid the next morning, but wrap them round some barely scrambled eggs, cheese and leftover salsa, and pop under a relentlessly hot grill. The result will lift your spirits if you had too much Corona with the chilli.

Note to Self: Must experiment with how much/little kneading is required, and whether autolysis might be the answer.

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