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A Tex-Mex flatbread prototype

September 30, 2012

A couple of posts back I wrote about a flatbread that might go well with Tex-Mex food.  I was inspired by all the different types of flatbread available around the world and wondered why Mexico did not develop a version.  Tortillas are great, but why not also something with more chew and sopping power.  I imagined a basic flatbread that was simple and relatively quick to make and that had a “Tex-Mex”  taste, feel, and look to it.  There is none that I know of.  Bolillos are the “daily bread” Mexicans use to make tortas. They are considered an adaptation of  French bread introduced to Mexico.   I think they are not as popular as a homemade item because they are much more labor intensive to make than tortillas.   An alternative bread would require less work than making bolillos .  It would have to be a direct dough method with simple shaping.   I tried a version  with all bread flour and one with cornmeal and masa harina substituting for some of the flour.   I liked the all bread flour version better though there is some potential with the cornmeal and masa harina.  I also made pita bread using some masa harina and thought there was also some potential there.   The total time required  to make the basic flatbread was about 3 1/2 to 4  hours with labor time being about 30-40 minutes.  Other versions with  longer fermentation times or other ingrediants can be developed in due time.  I used ingrediants that are easily available in grocery stores.

 

3 cups bread flour

1 1/2  teaspoons instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons softened butter (or olive oil)

about 1 1/4 cups room temperature water

 

Stir together the flour,  yeast , and salt in the mixing bowl.  Add the butter in pieces to mix in well.  Next add water and mix with a spoon or use the paddle attachment of your mixer until the mass comes together.  Knead with your mixer about 5-6 minutes.  The dough should be smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky.  It still sticks somewhat to the sides. I left the dough a little wet so that the flatbread would “airy”.  If you want a little denser bread,  I would adjust with more flour until it only sticks to the bottom of the bowl. Take the dough out of the bowl, form it into a ball, and place it in an oiled bowl to rise.  Oil the top of the dough to prevent it from forming a crust. Cover with plastic and let rise to double.  In an 80 degree kitchen, it took about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

After it has risen sufficiently,  take out of the bowl and lightly degass it by pressing it down to somewhat flatten.   With a rolling pin, roll out to a round shape 1/2 inch thick and 10 inches diameter.  Place it on a greased baking sheet. An alternate way is to put it on parchment paper  so that it can be transferred with a peel to a baking stone that has been heating. If you don’t have a baking stone, try using two heavy duty baking sheet pans.  I think it helps to get that extra burst of heat for a nice oven spring.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour until it almost doubles in size.  While it is proofing, preheat your oven to 475 degrees.

When it is ready for baking, you may give it an egg wash glaze for visual appeal.  You may then lightly sprinkle with a spice blend of your making.  Place it in the oven,  lower the temperature to 400 degrees, and bake for about 30 minutes. Internal temperature of the flatbread when ready should be 200 degrees.

This prototype recipe works well on it’s own but is also meant to be a springboard for development.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Roberto permalink
    October 2, 2012 7:14 pm

    YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You are a “pan” master!!!! Fantastic innovation and very inspiring!!!! I am inspired on so many levels, gracias!

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