Let the tortillas rest


by Pastor Audrey

It’s going to be a hot one this week in central California.  Besides drinking lots of water, one of the most important things to do in extreme heat is rest.  The importance of rest reminded me of a reflection I wrote after making tortillas recently: 


This morning I decided that I needed to make tortillas.  Why? Because we were out of tortillas and I was hungry.  They also happened to be flour tortillas because I didn’t have any masa to make corn ones.  

I can never roll them out in a round shape.  Pizza dough I can stretch out into a round.  Pie crust? No problem.  But for whatever reason, tortillas elude me.  Most often my flour tortillas come out vaguely resembling the shape of the continent of Africa.  (For corn tortillas, I just use a tortilla press.)

Now, the recipe I use doesn’t say to let the dough rest.  But I should know better.  I know from experience that the first half of the tortillas are usually harder to roll out than the second half.  And I know from science that the gluten in the flour needs time to develop to make a more elastic, soft dough.  At one point, I cleverly stop flouring my board and rolling pin.  The dough sticks to the board and makes it easier to roll… until the dough tears.  I’ve pushed it too hard, too fast.  

I thought I had found a “hack” to making tortillas more quickly, but it turns out there are no short cuts in life for time.  Time to rest. Time to relax.  Time to heal.  And then the task (of rolling the dough, of course) becomes easier.  I don’t have to fight it as much.  

So today, I let the miracle of dough – flour, salt, baking powder, oil, and water – teach me about the necessity of rest.