Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waffle-grid Tortilla Recipe to Avoid

Instead, make use of some tortilla and biscuit recipes that I compiled links to for ideas. My previous blog article was a recipe for making tortillas by using a waffle cone iron. It was an experiment for omitting sugar in cones and saving loads of calories. The sugarless cones did not harden or keep their moldable shapes like the sugary ones, so I decided to call them waffle-grid tortillas and use them for wraps and foldovers.

I wanted to be able to present a recipe that made use of an online recipe for flour tortillas, using my cone waffle iron as a means to cook both sides of the tortilla. The panfry method requires frying one side of a tortilla and flipping it to cook the other side.

As I researched flour tortilla recipes, I noticed a commonality of ingredients, five items: all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, fat, and fluid. Somehow, I veered into looking up biscuit recipes, many of which had the same five ingredients. The major difference between flour tortillas and biscuits were as follows:

  • Biscuit dough—at least twice as much fat as tortilla dough
  • Tortilla dough—much more handling (kneading/rolling) than biscuit dough (minimal mixing)
  • Tortilla dough—one to two "rest" periods of about 10 to 20 minutes each, depending on recipe, but none for biscuit dough
  • Pre-cooking shapes—tortilla dough sheet, to dough balls, to flattened shapes; biscuit dough sheet, to shapes cut with a measuring cup or biscuit cutter

I followed a simple tortilla recipe for ingredients, up until flattening the dough balls. Instead of using a rolling pin or palote, I used thumbs and fingers. Instead of pan frying each tortilla, I baked it in my waffle cone appliance, pressing the clamshell down with a couple of hot pot holders. The results looked decent, although a bit thick. I even took pictures of the stages, so optimistic that waffle-grid tortillas (II) would turn out well!

What a surprise and disappointment to discover they are tough! Not one to throw out food, I've been eating some in small bites, spread with butter and lightly heated. I'm emphasizing that these tortillas were not good results! If you infer the process and try your own batch, don't be surprised that you come up with the same chewy results. If you do come up with more tender results, let me know!

Revisiting some of the recipes, biscuit recipes warned of toughness from overhandling, but the tortilla recipe instructions seemed to contradict, seeming to require dough-playing. Another thought that came to mind was compressing the dough while cooking might have contributed to the less-than-desired results, as the actual recipes indicate airy heat.

The following recipe links that I compiled call for the ingredients in common of all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, fat, and fluid:

Flour Tortillas

Biscuits

The recipes that called for shortening or lard instead of oil required cutting the fat into the dry ingredients before mixing in the fluid. The recipe I used called for oil, which I stirred into the fluid (milk). Most of the recipes called for water for the fluid, but some called for milk. Maybe some knowledgeable cook can enlighten about using milk vs. water, aside from nutritional benefits of using milk.

All my previous articles featuring recipes were successes. This time, I wrote about a failed recipe. In failure, however, lessons learned, with curiosity for a different approach in the future, is an experience gained.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Waffle-grid Tortillas

Just after Christmas while browsing for post-holiday sales in a department store, I spotted a clerk placing a sale sign for an appliance that I'd been lightly considering buying for the last couple of years. I'd seen waffle cone makers selling for $20, which I just wasn't willing to commit for. Woohoo! The sign said $7.99! What a deal! It took me a couple of months to try a recipe. A bit time consuming, and calorie-loaded because of a lot of sugar called for.

About a month later, I talked to an associate about waffle cones, how I was amazed that the baked disks were moldable for about only 10 seconds. He speculated that sugar in the batter crystallizes during the baking and hardens them when they cool. I decided to try making sugarless waffle cones. Well, I confirmed that the baked results did not retain a molded shape after cooling, whether cone or tube. So, this recipe is making waffle-grid tortillas, which are good for folding over or rolling up after microwaving fillings in them. (I've tried cheese and spinach, and cheese only.)

My tortilla recipe has significantly fewer calories than either the Simply Vanilla Wafer Cones or Orange Cinnamon Waffle Cones recipe at the Bella Waffle Cone Maker pdf manual, which I used for my basis. My tortilla batch makes about 11 5-inch disks. Interestingly, both waffle cone recipes claim 6-9 sweet cones for 2-3 T batter per waffle shape, although the volume of flour differs by about a third: 2/3 C flour all-purpose vs. 1 C cake flour.

My pixstrip's boundaries delineate the following sections:

  1. Equipment and utensils
  2. Ingredients
    1. Eggs and mixing
    2. Flour (replacement for cake flour)
    3. Oil and water, and mixing them into the flour and eggs
  3. Batter baking process
  4. Baked tortilla, microwaving with cheese (foldover, rollup)

Equipment and utensils

  • Waffle cone maker
  • Mixer (I used an electric hand mixer.)
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rubber spatula(s)
  • Plastic spatula
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cooling rack
  • Cone shaper (for reference only, in case you decide to make sweet waffle cones)

Ingredients

I created the following table that shows ingredients and amounts for two model waffle cone recipes, and the would-have-been unsweetened cone recipe.

Note: Recipe #1 sweet refers to Orange Cinnamon Waffle Cones. Recipe #2 sweetrefers to Simply Vanilla Wafer Cones.
Ingredient
#1 sweet
#2 sweet
Tortilla
1 whole egg + 1 egg white
2 eggs
1/4 t salt
1/2 C granulated sugar
2/3 C granulated sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
2/3 C sifted all-purpose flour
1 C cake flour (can sub with 1 C flour -2 T flour +2 T cornstarch)
2/3 C cake flour (subbed with 2/3 C all-purpose flour -4/3 t flour +4/3 t cornstarch)
2 T butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 T vegetable oil
1 t orange extract
1 t vanilla extract
1/3 C water (Add more if needed.)

Recommended: Spray oil application about every other tortilla or so.

Eggs and mixing

Beat the eggs. If you want to make cone waffles, this is the stage where you mix in sugar after beating the eggs, then also add extract(s).

Flour (replacement for cake flour)

Choose the flour type and amount. I used the 2/3 C cake flour replacement.

Oil and water, and mixing them into the flour and eggs

Blend the flour, cake flour, or cake flour substitutions into the beaten eggs.

Batter baking process

Prepare the iron as instructed with your appliance. Because I've used mine a few times, I've only wiped the cooking surfaces with a clean, warm, damp kitchen rag for cleaning preparation, sprayed the cooking surfaces, and plugged the cord. Heating time is a minute or so.

For each disk, pour about 2 T batter, close the lid, and heat for about 60 seconds.

Note: The lid tended to not stay locked, so I held down the lid, using an oven pad for each hand. (Warning: The lid gets hot.)

Move the cooked disk onto the cooling rack. Continue the batter dispensing and baking process until you use up the batter.

Baked tortilla, microwaving with cheese (foldover, rollup)

If desired, as depicted on pixstrip, place filling on disk, microwave (about a minute, depending on filling, microwave power, and your preference), and fold over or roll up. Repeat for as many tacos or wraps as you want.

In case you want to use store-bought tortillas for fast preparation, try my convenient spinach-cheese taco recipe.

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