I'm going to start this post light of heart, as I am really enjoying my bread-making journey, and can feel my confidence growing more and more with every successful bake. So much so in fact, that I even went 'off-piste' from my self set syllabus this weekend and made pizza dough from scratch. I was particularly looking forward to this week's episode of 'Bread' featuring Paul Hollywood, as the theme was 'flat-breads', something that we consume a lot of in our house, but it had never occurred to me that they could be made at home... yes, I am a little slow on the uptake sometimes!
Paul took us around the world in this episode, giving us Cyprian Pitta breads, a Middle-Eastern Maneesh bread, and Mexican Corn Tortillas. As with the first episode, he evolved each of these bakes into a full on meal, each one oozing spices and flavours enough to have you slathering at the TV screen. As with the first episode, Paul demonstrated his bakes with a simple manner and a fistful of passion, that makes the show both easy watching, and yet very informative. I am enjoying this side of the 'silver fox', I find him much more sincere when he is baking alone, than when he is bantering and jesting with Mary Berry, and for me, because I am trying to learn here, I'm finding it a lot more accessible.
Gary and I watched the episode together, and at the end I asked him which of the breads from this week I should attempt as the next stage in my 'bread-ucation' (oh yes, I'm trade-marking that phrase right now!). We agreed upon the Corn Tortillas, from Gary's point, because he wanted to eat the Tortilla Stack that Paul made with the finished product, from my point, because it looked like the easiest of the three bakes to try first!
Here is where I hit my first stumbling block. The recipe calls for Masa Harina, a Mexican maize flour. I had no real expectation that I would find this in my local supermarket, however Paul's notes in the book said that you can substitute this for wheat flour. Now I'm not an expert in anything bread-related, and I'm not ashamed to admit I searched the supermarket shelves for 'wheat flour', and when nothing had such a title written on it, I went home, dejected.
I re-consulted the book, and decided to make flour wraps instead, and convert the stack idea into more conventional Fajitas. I have since realised, through research, and having a slightly calmer frame of mind, that all flour is made of wheat - duh, and that I should have been able to use a white or wholemeal flour to make the Corn Tortilla recipe.
When I went back to my dough an hour and a half later as instructed in the recipe, I was alarmed to see that it had barely moved. The recipe did say that it didn't need to rise very much, but not at all!?!? Despite my panic, I soldiered on, mostly because we had nothing else for tea, but also because I needed to see how things turned out. I divided my dough, and rolled out the first circle. I quite quickly got into a motion of placing one wrap in the pan, rolling out the next, flipping the first and so on. They take literally moments to brown, and then it's onto the next.
I served our wraps with some lightly spiced chicken, and a selection of salsa, sour cream, guacamole and cheese. OH MY GOODNESS! These wraps were incredible! Still warm, soft and floury, they had a taste like nothing I'd ever experienced in shop-bought vacuum-packed wraps. I am NEVER buying them ever again!
I'm not going to post the recipe, as it's from Paul's new book, however the link for the recipe from the episode for Corn Tortillas is here. Roll on next week, and the next stage in my 'Bread-ucation'!!!!