Recipe: Tortillas

By Dave Elkan

A simple recipe for a quick dinner.

Tortilas are a very basic type of bread. They are made by poor people in poor countries by the tonne every day. However in the first world, Tortillas are bloody expensive. At industrial scales these things should cost 10c each, but you’ll pay a damn-sight more than that if you go to the super market to buy them. Maybe it’s the plastic packaging and/or the transport, but in 2009 a packet of 6 can cost as much as $4!

Ingredients (10-12 Tortillas):

  • 1 Cup water
  • 3 Cups flour (Substitute 1 cup for corn meal if you have some)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda.

I usually whack the ingredients in the bread machine on the knead cycle and go for a swim, but if you don’t have a beach or bread machine handy, feel free to knead it by hand until it gains a shiny consistency.

Once kneaded let the dough rest for 10 minutes before cutting into 10-12 equal segments. On a lightly floured bench, roll each out into your desired size. I tend to put extra effort in to make them as thin as possible. These Tortillas are very strong and stretchy, so there’s no need to make them thicker for the sake of strength. Use a rolling pin to roll on the bench and carefully flip and turn 90 degrees before repeating. I find letting the dough stick to the bench a little(by not adding too much flour) makes the job easier.

Once they’re all rolled, heat up your (preferably non-stick) frying pan and pop a tortilla on, pressing down with a spatula. I usually wait till I’ve flipped them once before pressing down. This prevents the spatula from sticking. Once both sides are hot, the tortilla will start expanding. It’s your job to play whack-a-mole to prevent this from getting out of hand.

Once the tortila is golden, place it inside a plastic bag lined with a tea towel to steam as you cook the others. Take the bag straight to the table and enjoy stuffing them full of your fav ingredients. You can really get into the stuffing bit as as I said before, they’re damn strong!


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