by Eric Wharton
My Recipe Book, constantly being added to
Tita knew through her own flesh how fire transforms the elements, how a lump of corm flour is changed into a tortilla, how a soul that hasn’t been warmed by love is lifeless, like a useless ball of corn flour.
— Laura Esquivel, “Like Water for Chocolate”
The tortilla goes back to the Aztec civilization of Mexico and were made from a ground corn dough called masa. Spanish conquerers who arrived in the region in the 1500s named it torta, which means “round cake.” From the days of the Aztecs to today, tortillas have gone from an ethnic food to mainstream in the United States. Tortillas sales have now become second only to sliced bread as the number 2 packaged bread product sold, passing bagels and muffins.
They are now made from flour as well as corn, and as simple as the ingredients are, the tortilla will not come out right without the proper amount of water. Since I like soft tacos better, I make my tortillas from flour.
4 cups flour
3 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp lard
2-3 cups water
Mix all ingredients together and slowly add water until it forms a a firm soft dough. Pan fry until dough is cooked through.
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