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Mexican Tortillas

The traditional flat, round bread of Mexico is known as a tortilla.  It may be made with variable quantities of wheat flour, conrflour or white or yellow maize meal.  If used as a ‘plate’ on which to pile various toppings, it becomes a tostada.  Filled and rolled, it turns into an enchilada, when fried in oil a crispy taco is created. In Mexico tortillas are freshly made at the start of the day and served for breakfast.  Later in the day they will often be served as tostadas or enchiladas and when evening comes, fried and served as filled tacos.

210g/375 ml cake flour
50 ml maize meal
60g/125 ml corn flour
2,5 ml salt
5 ml baking powder
50g / 50 ml butter
± 150 ml water

  1. Place the dry ingredients and butter or margarine in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients and butter or margarine in a bowl and rub together.
  3. Add sufficient water to form a  soft, but no longer sticky dough and knead 5 – 6 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface or 3 – 4 minutes with the dough hook of an electric mixer until quite smooth.  Cover and allow to stand 30 minutes to become soft and pliable for easy rolling.
  4. Divide the dough into 6 – 8 even portions for large or 10 – 12 portions for small tortillas and form into neat balls.
  5. Roll out each ball very thinly on a floured surface into neat circles.  Sprinkle with flour and cover with a cloth or stack between floured waxed paper and cover with a cloth.
  6. Heat a large, heavy, ungreased pan or electric frying pan until moderately hot.
  7. Cook one tortilla at a time, pressing down lightly with an egg lifter until the dough starts to blister.  Cook only until very lightly browned.  Adjust the temperature as necessary – if the tortilla browns too quickly, lower the temperature slightly or if the tortilla sticks to the pan, turn up the heat.
  8. Turn over the tortilla and cook on the other side.
  9. Cover with a cloth, after cooking to keep the tortillas soft or store airtight until required.

6 – 12 tortillas, depending on size

Notes
Cover airtight and freeze.  Reheat lightly in a hot pan to soften.

Variations
Smaller or larger tortillas may be made depending on the way that they will be served.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking page 454.