In the three plus years I have been doing this blog I have not once even thought about making a Native American recipe, but recently the Native population of North America have been on my mind a lot. Maybe this is because I come from a country where the natives (where it is widely recognized that they came by boat only a few centuries earlier) are respected for their traditions. I’m grateful to be from a country where the natives have had a share in shaping my country.
We are one of the very few countries, if not the only on earth, where our native people have the same rights as anyone else. Where their traditions, language and culture are seen as important to the development of it’s locals, no matter what background. Across the Tasman and Pacific ocean though, it still isn’t the same. Apologies may have come and gone or not even been uttered formally, but the native people have to fight for their value and their traditions to be respected by the same people whose ancestors came and harmed their own ancestors only a few centuries ago.
Having been to America a handful of times over the last eight years, I’m beginning to yearn to spend time with the Native people, connect with them and their ways. And then bring some of their food to you. It’s vital that we recognise how successful they were in their way of life before the Europeans came ashore and treated them as less than human.
For now, this Tortilla Bread I happened upon will have to do. Incredibly easy to make and with masa harina rather easy to come by now with Mexican cuisine exploding (rightly so) in all corners, this bread will help you enjoy a piece of Native America.
Native American Tortilla Bread
Makes 2 loaves
2 3/4 cups flour
1 packet dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups masa flour
Combine the flour and yeast in a bowl and stir through.
In a separate bowl combine the water, sugar and salt and add to the flour.
Combine until the mixture is smooth, then add in the masa flour and mix until well combined and the dough is smooth.
Knead on a floured surface for 3 minutes than place in a lightly greased bowl in a warm space for 1 hour.
Remove and halve, kneading each into a loaf.
Place on a round baking tray and allow to rest for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190ºC/375F.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Slice and serve.