The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mexico

  • Pin It
claudiarana's picture

Is posible to get unbleached flour un Mexico?

January 29, 2013 - 1:26pm -- claudiarana
Forums: 

Hello everybody,

Im from Mexico, and I just tried King Arthur flour WW and its amazing!

Now I can see what´s the deal about unbleached flour , problem is, that i can´t find any unbleached flour here yet.

Does anyone knows a brand of unbleached flour here? Its really expensive to import good flour from USA

sweetbird's picture
sweetbird

I haven't been baking lately because I'm on a health regimen (for three weeks!) under which I have to jettison all joy-inducing things like wine, bread and cheese, to name just a few. All self-imposed, I'm not ill, just trying to be healthy. So I haven't been as active on the site, but I've been cheering you all on from the sidelines. It's funny, I've done this regimen quite a few times before and don't miss eating bread as much as I miss the process of making it!

Anyway, I'm working on a project of cataloging and repairing some photographs my mother took way before she was my mother, while she was living in Mexico City in the mid 1930s. Her name (later, after marriage) was Eleanor Ingalls Christensen. She had just graduated from Wheaton and would go on to do graduate work in fine art at Radcliffe, and in between took a job tutoring the children of an American couple living in Mexico. She took many wonderful photographs while living there, and now that she's gone I love looking through them. I'm trying to get an album of them ready to honor her memory on Mother's Day (will also try to even out the variation in overall tone; they have aged differently from one another). I thought you 'TFLoafers' might like to see some of the ones related to baking, so I'm posting them here. The one at the top I have framed and hanging in the entrance to my kitchen. It's my favorite.

Below: "The tamale maker."

Below: This appears to be a wood-fired oven.

And this one just because I like it:

Happy baking to you all!

Janie

sortachef's picture
sortachef

A good sandwich deserves a good roll.  Enter the Cemita, a slightly sweet bun that gives its name to a whole style of street food in Puebla, Mexico. Crackly thin crust on the outside, with a lightly firm but airy center, and fresh! - made every morning in just one bakery, following a closely guarded recipe.


So what would a Philly boy find so enticing about a Cemita? A beaten pork and avocado sandwich, piled with sweet marinated peppers and topped with strands of panela cheese, is certainly different from the cheesesteaks of my youth. And yet, there's something similar enough there, in the way it has grown with the city into a culinary icon best eaten locally. And as with the cheesesteak, a Cemita really is one great handful of a sandwich!


For a variety of reasons, I've taken liberties with the sandwich filling. Some real ingredients are impossible to find while others (like the quarter pound of cheese) I can do without. I have, however, made the recipe for the rolls very much like the real one. If you follow it closely and bake on a pizza stone or quarry tiles, your sandwiches will be the envy of the neighborhood. Enjoy!


Pork and avocado Cemitas (Seattle style)


Visit Sortachef at www.woodfiredkitchen.com to see the original post



Cemitas: Great Sandwiches from Puebla, Mexico


Recipe yields enough dough for 8 sandwich rolls 



 


For the rolls:


12 ounces water at 100°


1½ teaspoons dry yeast


1½ teaspoons salt


2 teaspoons sugar


2 Tablespoons Spectrum shortening or lard


11 ounces (rounded 2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour


1 egg


6 ounces flour (1¼ cup) flour for mixing


¾ cups flour for bench work


Water and sesame seeds to finish


 


For the filling (quantities per sandwich):


¼ ripe avocado


1 boneless pork chop, marinated in 1 teaspoon each vinegar and sugar, smashed with a hammer and coated with some masa harina or breadcrumbs


Oil for frying


Salt and pepper


A few sprigs of basil


2 marinated sweet cherry peppers


¼ cup shredded lettuce


White onion


Mozzarella cheese


 


Make the dough: Put 12 ounces warm water, the yeast, sugar, shortening, salt and 11 ounces of flour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Break in the egg. Whisk with a wire attachment for 5 minutes on medium speed until the dough is very smooth and has the consistency of a cake batter. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as necessary.


Switch to the dough hook and add 6 more ounces of flour. Mix on low for a further 5 minutes or so to make a soft dough.


Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes or more. Put the dough into a big bread bowl and cover the bowl with plastic or a damp cloth.


 


First rise: 4½ hours at 65°. Punch down the dough, turn using a dough scraper, and let rise again.


 


Second rise: 3½ hours at 65°. I prefer at this point to put the dough in its bowl on ice packs overnight. Take away from the ice and punch the dough down early in the morning.


 


Shape the rolls: Shape the dough into a snake, and cut into 8 equal pieces, about 4.5 ounces each. Form into round doughballs, stretching the skin over the tops. Let rest for ½ hour, covered with a floured cloth.


Lightly butter a jelly roll pan or large cookie sheet. Flatten the dough pieces somewhat (to about 1" thick) and space them evenly on the tray. Let rest for a further ½ hour.


 


Preheat the oven: Turn oven to 450°. Use quarry tiles for best results. Set rack at the halfway point in the oven.


 


Finish and bake: Brush the top skin of the rolls with water, wait 2 minutes and then brush them again. Lightly sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Put the sheet pan directly on the hot quarry tiles and bake for 18 minutes, or until the skin on the rolls turns golden brown. Let rolls cool on a rack for an hour before filling.


 


To make the sandwiches: In a large frying pan fry the smashed pork chops one or two at a time in a Tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Turned once, the chops will be cooked through in about 5 minutes or when browned on both sides. Salt and pepper to taste and leave chops to drain on paper towels.


Meanwhile, shred the lettuce and mix with some sliced onion and mozzarella cheese. Slice the avocado and sweet peppers.


Build sandwiches with (from the bottom up):



  • Sliced avocado

  • Smashed, breaded and fried pork chop

  • Sprigs of basil

  • Sliced sweet peppers

  • Shredded lettuce, onion and mozzarella cheese

  • Hot sauce, if desired


 


Final Note: At Cemitas Las Poblanitas, the cemitas café that takes up the whole northeast corner of the Mercado del Carmen in Puebla, more than 1000 cemitas are created every day. To sample an authentic cemita - in their case topped with about ¼ pound of cheese and finished with a slice of ham - do give them a shout if you're in the area. You'll be glad you did.


And if you happen to see my friends Alonzo and Lizbet sitting at one of the tables there, raise a beer to them. And tell them Sortachef says 'hi'!


Cemita Rolls in basket


Copyright 2010 by Don Hogeland. See original post at www.woodfiredkitchen.com

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Well, if I had had my druthers, I would have been in San Diego for the meet.  After all, I was in Ensenada, which is pretty close.  Compared to Kansas City, that is.  But, no, I couldn’t get away from work for a fun Saturday with other TFL-ers.

 

Being in Mexico so much in the past few months has had an upside, though.  That would be tortillas.  Not the stiff, cold, nearly tasteless disks of flour or corn from your supermarket shelves or coolers.  Uh-uh.  No, we’re talking about steaming, burn-your-fingertips-hot, still puffy, straight-off-the-comal fresh tortillas here.  The real deal.

 

I’ve had freshly made tortillas before.  We lived in Houston for five years and there are a bunch of restaurants in that town where you can find fresh tortillas, although they are usually the flour variety.  I’ve even made my own, although I haven’t really mastered these deceptively simple little flat breads. 

 

What I’m finding here in the Baja is something almost magical.  Whether rolled up to eat as a bread, or torn off in chunks to pick up food, or wrapped around meat and other fillings, tortillas make a simple meal complete in very much the same way a crusty bread makes a bowl of soup a dining experience.

 

Growing up in northern Michigan really didn’t give me any useful insights into tortillas.  The only thing that I knew about tortillas was that they came in boxes (think Lawrys or Old El Paso), were hard, brittle, made of a coarse corn meal and used to make tacos. And that they disintegrated at the first bite.  And I wondered: why would anybody get excited about something that lets you take just one bite before it collapses into your lap?  Later on I learned about flour tortillas and things like burritos and enchiladas; then tortillas began to make a bit more sense.

 

But here, as I am sure is the case in other parts of Mexico, tortillas aren’t just an ingredient that you use in one dish of your meal.  Instead, they are an integral part of nearly every meal.  And that is a very good thing.  Especially the maiz (corn) tortillas.  They are just as soft and flexible as their flour brethren and come in a variety of sizes. The flour tortillas don’t hold a candle to the maiz tortillas when it comes to taste, though.

 

For instance, there is a tiny little eatery called Paola’s in the village of La Mision, about half a mile east of Highway 1D along the Baja coast.  There are maybe 4 or 5 tables, each seating a handful of diners.  You walk up to the counter and you can see the stove, which usually has 5 or 6 large kettles and pans on it.  There’s usually beef in one pot, pork in another, chicken in a third and, sometimes, a fourth with lamb, or goat, or tongue or whatever else Paola found at the market that morning.  There will also be a pan of beans, usually, though not always, refried; and another of rice.  You tell the ladies which meat you want (which is usually braised or stewed with chilies, onions and/or other vegetables) and they will ask “Maiz o harina?”  (Corn or flour?)  You reply with your choice of tortilla, then tell them what you want to drink and go sit at your table.  In a few minutes, your plate will arrive, along with a basket of tortillas that are simply too hot to pick up. 

 

Once the tortillas cool just enough that you can snatch one out of the basket without burning yourself, you have an important decision to make.  Should you skip the silverware and use the tortillas to scoop up your food?  Should you start stuffing the meat into your tortilla for an impromptu taco?  Or just alternate bites of the meat and tortilla so that you get to experience the melding of flavors?  In the end, it really doesn’t matter, so long as you savor the flavors that are completed and balanced by the inclusion of the tortillas. 

 

Another favorite dish in these parts is the fish taco.  Ensenada is home to a fishing fleet, so you can get fresh fish every day, ranging from sea bass to tuna to squid to lobsters to shrimp.  Fish tacos are usually made with white-fleshed fish, like locally caught flounder or halibut.  The flesh is cut into strips that are battered and deep fried.  A few pieces go into a soft tortilla, preferably a maiz tortilla.  They are then topped with shredded lettuce or cabbage.  If cabbage, it’s more like a slaw with a faintly sweet-tart creamy dressing.  Other than maybe squeezing a lime over it for some extra zing, all you have to do is roll the taco closed and enjoy every bite.  All of which would be impossible if not for the tortilla.

 

While sitting in a restaurant waiting for my check one evening, I saw a woman walk into a work area and haul out a very large stainless steel bowl.  She proceeded to scoop several pounds of flour into the bowl from a large bin, then added a largish blob of either shortening or lard, some salt and part of a pitcher of water.  She then began to mix it all together with her hands (I wonder if there is a Spanish equivalent for frissage?) until she had a large mass of dough, adding water to get the consistency just right.  After rubbing off the excess dough clinging to her hands, she set about rolling the dough into balls that were sized somewhere between a large egg and a tennis ball.  About that time, my server brought my check, so I didn’t get to see her finish the process.  I’m assuming that, since these were flour tortillas and she was making a large number of them, she probably used a press to flatten the balls into disks which were then put on a griddle to cook.  However, I was walking out the door before she got to that stage.  Still, it was interesting to see that the tortillas I had enjoyed with my meal were freshly made on site.

 

Tortillas are sometimes used to thicken soups, or as garnishes.  And, yes, they can even be bent and fried into a crispy shell for tacos or salads, although I haven’t seen that in this part of Mexico.  For my tastes, though, the tortilla is at its absolute best in its simplest and freshest form.  Then it can work its magic in any way the diner desires.

Subscribe to RSS - Mexico