Sunday, 18 March 2012

Flour tortillas

Being stuck in the house with the flu has its compensations. For one thing, you can waste hours away in front of the television and computer without feeling remotely guilty. More importantly, it is an ideal opportunity to potter about the kitchen.

It is always somewhat exciting for me to do a pantry and fridge raid, creating something delicious out of the few ingredients I have remaining. Today I decided to make some fresh tortillas.

I must confess, the tortillas in question are not in fact tortillas, but paratha bread. For arguments sake, let's just call it flat bread. It is essentially the same thing, only Tortillas are usually made by rubbing lard into the flour, whilst I used a much easier and healthier alternative: olive oil. Also, I used Atta flour, which is a type of wholemeal wheat. You could, of course, use regular white flour; I just like the taste and texture of the Atta flour. Plus, it is now available in Coles and woolworths.

Essentially, to make 3 large flatbread, as I did, or 6 small, add 120mls warm water,1 1/3 tablespoons Olive Oil (or other oil if you prefer) and a pinch of salt to 1 cup of Atta flour. Stir to combine, give a quick knead till it comes together into a smooth dough, cover with cling film and leave to rest for 10 minutes or so.

Then, divide the dough into 3-6 pieces, depending on the size you want. At this stage I like to dust only the top of the dough. I find that dusting the top means that it won't stick to the rolling pin, but it will stick somewhat to the bench, making it easier to roll out thinly.

Heat a skillet over a medium heat. There is no need to add any oil, as there is already some oil in the dough which should prevent it from sticking to your pan. Cook on each side for about a minute. Keep a careful eye on it- there should be nice pockets of air that appear on the upper surface that will indicate it is ready to flip. Just don't burn it! Have a clean towel at the ready to keep your flatbread warm and soft.

I turned mine into a Quesadilla for lunch. Add your filling to one side of the bread and then flip the other half over the filling to inclose. Then toast it gently in either a skillet or sandwich press to warm the ingredients and melt the cheese. I added avocado, cooked quail, 4 beans mix, chilli powder and tasty cheese to mine, topping it off with some salsa after toasting.

Do have a go at making some flat bread. It is by far the quickest bread you'll ever make and, if I do say so myself, they are flaky and delicious. Much better than shop bought.


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