Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tortilla Bread

I once had the pleasure of sitting next to Terry Thompson-Anderson at a group dinner and found her charmingly open to questions and input from those of us who are far less knowledgeable about cooking and baking.

That dinner led me to explore her own published recipes, the vast majority of which have been home-runs for me.

I was curious about this tortilla bread, which she described in the recipe as having the heft and texture of bread, but the flavor of a tortilla.

The flavor does complement any Southwestern-themed dinner, but I'm still working on the texture - it felt more like a quick bread than a proper yeasted bake with bread flour.

Next time I make these, I might consider turning them into yeasted rolls, either freestanding or in muffin tins.

Tortilla Bread
From Texas Food & Wine Gourmet, Terry Thompson-Anderson

1 1/3 c warm water
1 T sugar
1 T instand yeast
3/4 c Maseca masa flour
3 c bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 T canola oil
1 T jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/4 c cilantro, minced

Combine sugar, yeast and warm water. Stir quickly to mix and then let sit for 5 minutes, to let yeast proof.

In bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade, combine all remaining ingredients. Pulse on/off 3-4 times to blend. Add proofed yeast all at once and process until dough comes together, about 15 seconds.

Stop machine and check consistency of dough - it should be fairly dry and non-sticky. Correct as needed by adding water or bread flour. Process for 20 seconds to knead the dough, then turn out on a surface and knead by hand vigorously 5-6 times. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down and divided in half. Form each half into an oval loaf. Place loaves on parchment-lined baking sheets and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set aside until doubled again in bulk, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400. Remove plastic from loaves and bake for about 20 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom. Cool on wire racks before slicing.

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