Wednesday, 21 August 2019

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How to Make Mexican Whole Wheat Tortilla?


Makes 8 - 10 tortillas

Ingredients:

1. 2 cups (225 g) white whole wheat flour
2. 3/4 cup warm water
3. 1/2 tsp salt
4. 2 TBS olive oil
5. 1 tsp baking powder
6. 1/2 cup flour for rolling and dusting

Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl, add flour, olive oil and salt. If you are using a mixer, add all the ingredients and turn on to low setting to mix the flour for a few seconds.

2. Slowly add in warm water and mix to form a dough. Adjust with more water if needed.

3. Knead until the dough is firm, but soft and doesn't stick to your hands. If you use a mixer, let it run for 2-3 minutes.

4. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes to 1 hour. The longer it rests, the softer your tortilla will be.

5. Divide and form dough into 8 - 10 equal balls.

6. Dust each ball with flour and roll each ball into a circle shape tortilla (it should be quite thin) using a rolling pin.

7. Heat pan. Test with a bit of flour. If the flour turns brown immediately, the pan is ready.

8. Place the tortilla into the pan and let it cook until bubbles are form, approx. 1 minute.

9. Flip over and cook for another minute or until the tortilla is golden. If required, press down with the spatula.

10. Serve :-)

Storage:

You can store in a zip-lock bag and freeze for future use.

Video Demonstration:



Additional Information:

The Mexican flour tortilla and the Indian chapati are very similar. They are prepared and cooked the same way - making soft dough and fry on a pan without any oil i.e. cook it directly on a pan.

The only difference it seems is in the oil used. While in chapati, vegetable oil or no oil is used, traditionally the Mexican tortilla uses lard or shortening, and in a greater amount than the oil used in chapati. Also, most tortilla recipes include adding baking powder.

According to Wikipedia, "Shortening is any fat that is a solid at room temperature and used to make crumbly pastry and other food products. Although butter is solid at room temperature and is frequently used in making pastry, the term "shortening" seldom refers to butter, but is more closely related to margarine."

After making the Indian chapati yesterday, I decided to make the Mexican tortilla today. I still use olive oil in my dough. The only difference is that I added more olive oil today - 2 tablespoons. After making the tortilla and tasting it, my two kids could not taste any noticeable difference. Little FECS said that maybe today's tortilla was just tiny bit more smooth than those chapatis yesterday, but he actually preferred those chapatis (I added more salt yesterday - 1 teaspoon instead of 1/2 teaspoon today).

I also added 1 teaspoon of baking powder into the flour for every 2 cups of flour used called for by the recipe, but I found no advantage actually. The tortillas turned out pretty much the same as the chapati i made yesterday. Thus, I won't be adding any baking powder into my dough in the future.

Also tortilla recipes asked for warm water to be added, while just normal room-temperature water is good enough for chapati. I find no difference in the end result of both flat breads. Thus I may omit using warm water to make tortilla in the future.

As such, I won't be making much tortilla from now on, as chapati is a healthier option, all things being equal, and since my family couldn't taste much of the difference between the two.

Some recipes for tortilla suggested adding a little cooking oil to the pan to fry the tortilla. I tried making a piece of tortilla using this method too, but find that it doesn't make the tortilla any more tasty. In fact, it makes it look oily and a little yucky. Thus, I won't be adding additional oil on my pan while frying the tortilla.

References:

https://www.superhealthykids.com/recipes/homemade-whole-wheat-tortillas-with-holiday-breakfast-burrito/
https://www.isabeleats.com/authentic-mexican-flour-tortillas-white-whole-wheat-versions/
https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/whole-wheat-tortillas/
https://gimmedelicious.com/2015/03/15/homemade-whole-wheat-tortillas/
https://mexicanfoodjournal.com/whole-wheat-tortillas/
https://www.theleangreenbean.com/homemade-whole-wheat-tortillas/
https://www.isabeleats.com/authentic-mexican-flour-tortillas-white-whole-wheat-versions/
https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/recipe-whole-wheat-tortillas/
https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-Mexican-Flour-Tortilla-and-Indian-Chapathi
https://whyunlike.com/difference-between-tortilla-and-roti/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortening

 In your stand mixer, add 2 cups of whole wheat flour

Add 1/2 teaspoons of salt

Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil

Turn on the stand mixer on low to mix the flour for a couple of seconds

Add water slowly while the stand mixer is running

Mixing

Mixing and coming together as a dough

Notice that the dough doesn't stick to the mixing bowl anymore :-)

The dough is done :-) Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to a flat surface

Dust and roll out a few balls from the dough. 

Press it flat down.

Roll into a flat circle shaped tortilla using a rolling pin, dusting the surface with flour to prevent sticking as you go along.

Once it starts to bubble, flip over to the other side.

Now it's done :-)

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

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How to Make Indian Whole Wheat Chapati?


Makes 8-10 chapatis

Ingredients

1. 2 cups (225 g) white whole wheat flour
2. 3/4 cup (180 ml) water
3. 1 tsp salt (optional)
4. 1 tsp olive oil (optional)
5. 1/2 cup flour for rolling and dusting

Directions:

1. In a large mixing bowl, add two cups of flour, salt and olive oil. Add in the water slowly, mixing it with the flour as you go along.

2. Knead into a dough. Make sure that the dough is not too hard or wet. You can use a little oil on your hand to help you to knead the dough. It should be firm, but soft and does not stick to your hand. Adjust with water or flour to get the right consistency. You can also use a mixer.

3. Form it into a big dough, cover with a damp clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature. You can place the dough in the fridge, thaw to room temperature before using it.

4. Dust and roll out a few balls from the dough. Roll each ball into a flat circle using a rolling pin, dusting the surface with flour to prevent sticking.

5. Heat up a pan. Test the heat by sprinkling a little flour on it. If the flour turns brown immediately, the pan is ready.

6. Remove excess flour from the chapati by flapping it and place the chapati on the pan. Reduce to heat to medium (no. 6 on my stove)

7. Once it starts to bubble, flip over to the other side.

8. Once the other side begin to bubble, flip it over again. Remember the heat should be medium as too much heat might burn the chapati.

9. Check for the little brown spots. Once they start appearing, the chapati should start to puff, indicating that it's completely cooked.

10. Once done, place on a plate and cover with a kitchen towel to keep them soft and warm.

Storage:

1. The dough can be kept in the fridge for 3 days.

2. The cooked Chapatis freeze well too.

Additional Information:

Chapati is an Indian flatbread. It is also called roti. It is similar to the Mexican tortilla. Chapati is very healthy. Traditionally, it is made with whole wheat flour and water only by the Indians without any salt and oil. It is fried on a pan without any oil in the frying process. Thus, it is basically just cooking it on a pan. Traditionally, it is eaten with curry. You tear a piece and dip it in curry, thus explained why the Indians make them without any salt or oil. The flavoring comes from the curry. It is a bit more crumbly, thus, not as easy to use as a wrap like the Mexican tortilla.

Although traditionally eaten with curry, our family likes to eat it by spreading honey on it or adding a slice of cheese on it and melt it in the microwave for 15 seconds. It is very simple, but so tasty.

I made them today with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. It tasted fantastic. Baby FECS and Little FECS loved it. Daddy FECS liked it too. Next time, I am going to try making them like the Indians do - without any salt and oil - and see if my family will still like it :-)

Make sure you buy white whole wheat bread to make the chapatis. It is more nutritious - contains all the vitamins and minerals, yet have a more similar texture as white flour.

References:
https://elephantatta.com/recipes/classic-chapatti/
https://elephantatta.com/recipes/light-fluffy-chakki-gold-chapattis/
https://recipes.timesofindia.com/recipes/chapati/rs61203720.cms
https://indiangoodfood.com/2775-phulka-chapati-or-roti.html
http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/recipes/indian-whole-wheat-griddle-breads-chapatis.html?utm_source=foodnetwork.com&utm_medium=domestic
https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/is-spelt-more-nutritious-than-wheat
https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Chapati
https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-a-roti-naan-paratha-and-chapati

Add 2 cups of white whole wheat flour

Add 1 teaspoon of salt

Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil helps to achieve a soft dough.


Turn on the stand mixer on low and run for 3 - 5 minutes

Notice that the dough doesn't stick to the mixing bowl anymore :-)

Now it's done and does not stick to the mixer anymore :-)

The dough is done :-) Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a flat surface

Dust and roll out a few balls from the dough. 

Roll each ball into a flat circle using a rolling pin, dusting the surface with flour to prevent sticking. 

Heat up a pan and reduce on medium heat (no. 6 on my stove) and place a chapati on it.

Once it starts to bubble, flip over to the other side.

Once it starts to bubble, flip it over again.

once brown spots appear, you know that it is done.

Now it's done :-)

20 August 2019 (10Y5M15D): J helping mommy with the bread


Saturday, 17 August 2019

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Don't Throw Away Your Sweet Wrappers



Don't throw away the store-bought fruit leather wrapper. Re-use it as a fanciful packaging for your homemade sweets and fruit leather.

It's essentially the same recipe as the edible playdough from my other post reproduced below for convenience:

Ingredients:

1. 10 (1/2 cup) dried dates pitted
2. 2 1/2 cup nuts and seeds (almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.)
3. 3 TBS cacao powder (optional)

Directions:

Using a blender, add in all the ingredients, blend on high until it is sticky enough to be formed/knead into a dough by hand (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). The dough shouldn't stick onto your hands. If necessary, repeat another cycle of blending after letting the blender rest for a minute.

I use the Magimix high-powered-blender, but any blender will do. So don't let the lack of a powerful blender discourage you from making your own healthy and nutritious fruit leather for your kids. You can also use a food processor. It will work equally well.

Storage:

1. Keeps in fridge for 2 weeks.

2. Also freeze well for future use :-)

Additional Information:

I am not sure how the culture is like in Singapore's kindergartens, but fruit leather is very popular snack with Danish kids' of Baby FECS' age in the Danish kindergartens. 

Somehow things taste better and more fun in fanciful wrapper. Homemade fruit leather can be disguised in commercial wrapper, without the artificial coloring, favoring and preservatives, so that Baby FECS can still fit in with the other kids in the kindergarten, when she takes it out from her lunch box :-)

I also use it as a Montessori activity with my kids. While I roll it into shapes for the fruit leather for their lunch boxes, they play with a separate sample portion of the dough, trying to make their own shapes and creations. Their dough is discarded or eaten the same day, while the ones I made go into the freezer.

Here are the dried dates I use. I buy them from the Netto Supermarket and it costs 25 DKK per packet of 600 g. I think it is cheaper in Denmark than in Singapore, as the cost of living in Singapore seems to have increased a lot over the years.








Now it's ready to blend :-)

Blend on high for 30 seconds to one minute until it is sticky enough to be knead into a dough by hand. If need be, repeat another cycle of 30 seconds to one minute of blending.

Now it is sticky and of the right texture to form into a dough.







  









 18 August 2019 (3Y3M2D). Baby FECS was very happy with her homemade fruit leather wrapped in store-bought fruit leather wrapper.

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