Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flour Tortillas - with a secret ingredient

I love fresh flour tortillas, whether they're home made or purchased from one of the local tortilla shops. But tortillas on day two are never as good. Either they get brittle or they get rubbery. But they never stay nicely flexible.

Sure, you can reheat them on a hot griddle to soften them a bit for your taco dinner, but it would be nice to grab a day-old tortilla and make a quick cold wrap without having it crack.

I decided to soften some flour tortillas by adding one of my favorite fluffy-bread ingredients - instant mashed potato flakes. The tortillas weren't weirdly soft or fluffy when I made them, but they did stay more pliable than usual after the first and second day.

Unlike most breads I make, these don't have any yeast or other leavening, but don't worry about that.

Since there's no rise time, these cook very quickly.

Flour and Potato Tortillas

2 cups (9 ounces) all purpose flour
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes

Combine al ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and knead with the dough hook until the dough is mixture is smooth and elastic.

Flour your work surface and divide the dough into 8 even pieces. Form each piece into a ball. cover the dough balls with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for about 10 minutes. This isn't about rising - it's just to let the gluten relax to making rolling easier.

You can start rolling the tortillas right away, but in the end, it will take you about the same amount of total time.

Heat a cast iron frying pan, comal, or griddle on medium-high heat.

One at at time, roll the dough balls to between 6-8 inches in diameter, adding flour to the work surface as needed to keep the dough from sticking.

Brush the flour off the dough as much as possible and lay the tortilla on the heated pan. Cook until there are browned spots on the bottom of the dough about a minute or two, then flip it and cook on the second side for another 30 seconds or so, until you have lightly browned spots.

Remove the finished tortilla from the pan, lay it on a clean kitchen towel, and cover the tortilla with the ends of the cloth.

If you have a large enough pan or a large griddle, you can cook several tortillas at once, which will speed up the process.

Continue the process until all the tortillas have been cooked.

Serve warm.