I taught my son to knead

It's wonderful that my 5 year old wants to learn to cook, wants to be involved in the kitchen, except the cleaning up part. Sure, it means something that might take me 5 minutes to do will now take 15 minutes, but if the time is there, and he's willing, I try to get him involved.

We had a batch cooking session together, making a bunch of different things. And little hands became very floury, trying to learn how to knead.

Ingredient wise, this recipe for homemade flour tortillas is not that different from homemade play dough. Flour, salt, oil and water. The proportions are vastly different, so I wouldn't recommend using this for play dough.

This dough is soft and easy to knead. It's not like bread dough at all and does not push back at you.

(One thing to note - our finished product was likely a bit chewier than it should be, from over developed gluten, but that's what happens when you let a 5 year old knead.)

It also rolls very nicely. Good to know when you don't own a tortilla press.

Another item I can cross off my mental "to make" list. I should probably write that list down somewhere, so I can keep better track of it.

I was as fascinated watching the tortillas puff up in the pan as he was.

Sorry, you will have to wait a few days to learn what we put in these tortillas!

Flour Tortillas
from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp fat (lard, butter, or canola oil, or other neutral oil - we used canola oil)
about 1/2 cup warm water, possibly more

Combine the flour, salt and fat in a food processor, pulsing to mix. Slowly add the water in through the feed tube, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together and begins to form a ball in the processor bowl. (You may not use all the water, we didn't)

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for several hours. But only if you have the time - if you don't, then don't worry, but they are better if you do wait.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, press a piece of dough into a disk and then roll as thin as possible. Or if you happen to own a tortilla press, use it. I don't, so I rolled.

While rolling, head a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. One at a time, place a tortilla in the skillet and leave it alone until it begins to puff slightly and brown spots begin to show up. Flip to cook the other side - the tortilla may continue to blow up like a little balloon and that's okay! Each tortilla will take 4-5 minutes or so.

Serve warm if you can, otherwise allow to cool and wrap in plastic.

These tortillas will be a bit chewier than the store bought kind, but are fresher and have much more flavor.


Megan said...

How sweet - and what a fun thing to do. I'll bet my kids would like to learn to do that as well.

Peabody said...

So good of you to do that though. My mom always scurried me out of the kitchen because I was too messy(still does ;P).

Jayne said...

Good for you! I was so lucky that my mother taught me to knead dough and cut out cookies and make little mini pies with her trimmings. Messes can be cleaned up, after all. I'm teaching my kids how to cook and bake, too. They're 6 and 4, and have been helping me since they were each 2. The lessons and the memories will last forever. So, again - good for you!!