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Old 01-24-2010, 02:45 AM   #21
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I follow the receipe. If it says kneed 4 minutes and rest 30 that is exactly what I do. Don't blame yourself ... More times that not, a cooking failure is the fault of the recipe author and the palate of those who judge it - rather than the cook.

American Grocers say our white flour is bleached wheat and the unbleached flour is natural wheat flour. I would not add wheat powders to any recipe using these flours. Personally I like Gold Medal and Pillsbury branded flours best.

Corn flour is clearly marked on the package with a picture of corn.

Masa Harina is targeted for the Hispanic cook. Be careful to know the difference between masa para tamales and masa preparada para tamales - as the later is prepared mix for tamale that contains lard and seasonings. The corn grind for Masa para tamale is more coarse, whereas the Masa Harina para tortilla is a grind that is not so coarse.

I have not cooked Mexican food in 40 years. I only added lard, salt, leavening agent and water beause I never saw a recipe for any Mexican tamale, tortills, floutas or sopapilla that used oil and milk.

My grandmothers who were born in the 1880s and not educated rarely used a recipe - but they had cooking rules they always used. Baking Powder only use this liquid. but Baking Soda only use this liquid - because they were for different foods and produced different results.

My best recollection is the Soda with yeast and water for rolls, and the Powder with milk for cake and biscuit. There are exceptions. I have a cookie receipe that calls for Ammonia Bicarbonate, and a cake recipe that uses Soda and sour milk, but not the baking powder. It makes my head spin.

As far as kneeding. Not so much flour on the bread board or counter. No flour on top on top of dough. Instead flour on hands. Kneed quickly. turning once or twice. Less is better. If the dough is not sticky let it rest according to direction. If it is sticky flour hands and kneed quickly.

I always gpt into trouble because I added too much flour on board and on top of dough - which meant I had to kneed the dough too much. The result was a dry, chewy mess that tasted good.

You can reduce most recipes to 1/2 far a test. You will eventually find a recipe that is perfect for you. The only time I would add gluten or wheat powder is if the flour product clearly states "Gluten Free".

Kneeding is an art in itself. Not to worry, it takes time and practice and patience to learn. The only thing critical about kneeding is the eye and fingers. I was taught when the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl it is ready to kneed, and, it is impossible to un-do too much flour or too much kneeding.

I am at an age where I don't want the extra work of making tortillas when I can buy a stack of 12 ready to grill at the grocery store.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:50 AM   #22
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When I first moved here I could not buy corn tortillas, so did try to make my own. I think the answer is something that is hard for some to do, and that is lard rather than corn oil. You're making wheat rather than corn, but there is something about lard rather than the vegetable oil. Even when I make tamale pie, I use bacon fat rather than vegetable oil, and it makes it fluffier, more tender. Don't ask me why, but it does help.

You also may be stirring for too long. Most quick breads (that is, non-yeast breads) can be tough if stirred for too long.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
I follow the receipe. If it says kneed 4 minutes and rest 30 that is exactly what I do. Don't blame yourself ... More times that not, a cooking failure is the fault of the recipe author and the palate of those who judge it - rather than the cook.

American Grocers say our white flour is bleached wheat and the unbleached flour is natural wheat flour. I would not add wheat powders to any recipe using these flours. Personally I like Gold Medal and Pillsbury branded flours best.

Corn flour is clearly marked on the package with a picture of corn.

Masa Harina is targeted for the Hispanic cook. Be careful to know the difference between masa para tamales and masa preparada para tamales - as the later is prepared mix for tamale that contains lard and seasonings. The corn grind for Masa para tamale is more coarse, whereas the Masa Harina para tortilla is a grind that is not so coarse.

I have not cooked Mexican food in 40 years. I only added lard, salt, leavening agent and water beause I never saw a recipe for any Mexican tamale, tortills, floutas or sopapilla that used oil and milk.

My grandmothers who were born in the 1880s and not educated rarely used a recipe - but they had cooking rules they always used. Baking Powder only use this liquid. but Baking Soda only use this liquid - because they were for different foods and produced different results.

My best recollection is the Soda with yeast and water for rolls, and the Powder with milk for cake and biscuit. There are exceptions. I have a cookie receipe that calls for Ammonia Bicarbonate, and a cake recipe that uses Soda and sour milk, but not the baking powder. It makes my head spin.

As far as kneeding. Not so much flour on the bread board or counter. No flour on top on top of dough. Instead flour on hands. Kneed quickly. turning once or twice. Less is better. If the dough is not sticky let it rest according to direction. If it is sticky flour hands and kneed quickly.

I always gpt into trouble because I added too much flour on board and on top of dough - which meant I had to kneed the dough too much. The result was a dry, chewy mess that tasted good.

You can reduce most recipes to 1/2 far a test. You will eventually find a recipe that is perfect for you. The only time I would add gluten or wheat powder is if the flour product clearly states "Gluten Free".

Kneeding is an art in itself. Not to worry, it takes time and practice and patience to learn. The only thing critical about kneeding is the eye and fingers. I was taught when the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl it is ready to kneed, and, it is impossible to un-do too much flour or too much kneeding.

I am at an age where I don't want the extra work of making tortillas when I can buy a stack of 12 ready to grill at the grocery store.
WOW, that is very a specific description about your experience of cooking. Well, I think I need more practice as you suggested.

You know if I add lard in the flour, I need to heat the solid lard into liquid lard then I add it into flour?
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:47 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Claire View Post
When I first moved here I could not buy corn tortillas, so did try to make my own. I think the answer is something that is hard for some to do, and that is lard rather than corn oil. You're making wheat rather than corn, but there is something about lard rather than the vegetable oil. Even when I make tamale pie, I use bacon fat rather than vegetable oil, and it makes it fluffier, more tender. Don't ask me why, but it does help.

You also may be stirring for too long. Most quick breads (that is, non-yeast breads) can be tough if stirred for too long.
Yes, I think I stirred it for too long as well. I will try to reduce the time. When you add the lard, you add the solid one or the liquid one?
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:12 PM   #25
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When it comes to things made with corn, rice, wheat and buckwheat flours, I always turn to Anson Mills. They've got the BEST products, a terrific website, great recipes and provide comprehensive instructions.

You'll see what I mean here:


Flour Tortillas

What you need to know about wheat flatbread and flour tortillas


Check out these, too:

Spring Water Masa Tortillas


Try their products. If you do, you won't use anything else.

No, they're not cheap; but they're worth every damn nickel.



John
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:27 AM   #26
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No, no, no

Quote:
Originally Posted by espanolpez View Post
WOW, that is very a specific description about your experience of cooking. Well, I think I need more practice as you suggested.

You know if I add lard in the flour, I need to heat the solid lard into liquid lard then I add it into flour?
Buy a pastry cutter. It looks like this:
Amazon.com: Oxo Good Grips Dough Blender: Kitchen & Dining

Use Any big bowl with sloped sides. Cut your room temperature - but not too warm lard - into butter patty size pieces. The lard must be solid enough to cut with a table knife. Put it in your mixing bowl - I don't use a metal bowl for this because my grandmother never did. Add all the dry ingredients on top of the lard. Now take the pastry cutter and play. I don't know that my tecnique is correct. I push my cutter to the bottom of the bowl and rock it back and forth. repeat again and again. Keep a knife nearby to clean the cutter; the dough will clump on the blades. When you are all finished the dough should be light and crumbly that kind of look like dry rice.or blue cheese crumbles - wee tiny pieces of dough.

Now follow the rest of recipe.

If you want to practice you can cut off a chunk of butter add flower and little brown sugar. Use the cutter. When you are done you'll have topping for Apple Brown Betty or Streusel.

Cooking is fun when you get to play. There isn't much better way to play than with a pastry cutter. Do not be too serious as you quickly learn how to use it.

As for flour.... Gold Medal and Pillsbury are easy to find in the midwest. If you live farther west you can blue and ever black corn flour or if you want custom flour you can buy it here. They will grind it fresh and ship it to you. If you don't mind getting lost in mountains, it is a fabulous place to visit.
Buy Fresh Organic Flour, Cornmeal, Gourmet Baking Mixes, Gluten Free Flours, Easy Baking Recipes -- all from War Eagle Mill, in Rogers Arkansas

One other thing, you can buy the pastry cutter any where household goods are sold such Target, Sears, Hardware store, yard and garage sales, etc.. You should not need to pay $8 to buy from Amazon.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:30 AM   #27
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If you need a pastry cutter in order to make tortillas, then you are definitely doing something wrong!
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:43 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
If you need a pastry cutter in order to make tortillas, then you are definitely doing something wrong!
When you add the lard. you just add the solid lard and blend together with the flour?
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:49 AM   #29
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When I made corn tortillas, (which I've only made once), yes, just with my hands. It's not like making biscuits or pie crust. You're not making flaky tortillas, so there's no need to keep the lard from melting by the heat of your hands.

And as I said earier, I use oil for flour tortillas (which I've made lots of times).
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:21 AM   #30
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Again. . .

Just ignore 90% of these posts and follow the links I posted to the Anson Mills site.

You'll find the definitive recipe for flour tortillas and the absolute best flour with which to make them.






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