Thursday, November 4, 2010

Homemade Flour Tortillas... Yum

Last week I was in the cooking mood and decided to try my hand at something I've always wanted to make: Homemade Flour Tortillas. I just remember my friend's grandma making them for us once with melted cheese and pepperonis for the most amazing quesadilla ever- sooooo good! And ever since then, I've had the desire to do the same. So, since I am on the "No buying cookbooks until I complete 3 recipes from the ones I already own," I mosied on over to the kick ass library we have in town. And there it was, "The Bread Bible" by Beth Hensperger.

I decided on a super yummy, time consuming, but easy dinner of homemade flour tortillas and carnitas. The Carnitas recipe I took out of a 5 ingredients Rachel Ray Recipe which I'll have to post about as well because it's so easy and can be divided into 2 meals (we had BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches the next day with the leftovers).

But anyways, if you like Mexican food, I highly suggest making your own homemade flour tortillas. It does take some time so I suggest doing it on a weekend, but there's also a lot of down time in between steps, and the ingredients are cheap and probably something you already have in your cupboard- so why not.

So here's how you make Homemade Flour Tortillas (My notes are in Red)



Ingredients: (Makes fifteen 8- 9 inch tortillas) (Since it was only the two of us, I divided the ingredients in half and it was still more than enough)


* 4 cups unbleached all- purpose flour

* 1.5 tspn baking powder

* 1.5 tspn salt

* .5 cup solid vegetable shortening, butter, bacon drippings, or lard

* 1.5 cups warm water


To mix the tortillas: In a medium mixing bowl using your hands or a wooden spoon or in a bowl of a heavy- duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on the lowest setting (what I did), combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening or other fat until crumbly (I used cold, unsalted butter), using a fork or pastry blender if making by hand.
Gradually add the warm water to the flour mixture, stirring just until the dough sticks together, clears the sides of the bowl, and forms a soft ball. Too much water makes a tough tortilla, so proceed slowly. (Yes, proceed very slowly! I accidentally added too much water at once and then had to do guess work at adding in more ingredients- which can be scary) Knead briefly in the bowl, no more than 10 times, until smooth, but not sticky, ball forms. Shape into a cylinder and wrap the dough in plastic wrap or clean dish towel to prevent drying out. Let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, until slightly puffy and shiny.

To shape the tortillas: Divide the dough into 15 equal portions. (I used a pizza cutter to do this- and the ones that were smaller than the others- I just added to) Shape each into a ball and place on a baking sheet or marble slab. Cover and let the balls rest for 20 to 30 minutes more. Drape each ball around your forefinger, making a depression on the underside. This makes a mushroom shape and creates an air bubble, which helps it roll out into an even round. On a very lightly floured work surface, flatten the ball with your palm. (The balls can rest on the greased baking sheet, covered tightly, for 30 minutes at this point if necessary.) Using a thin rolling pin, roll each ball out from the center to the edge but without pressing on the edge, lifting the dough and giving it a quarter turn several times, to form a thin round 8 to 9 inches in diameter (mine were about 6 inches), depending on the size of your griddle. Trim the ragged edges and using a dry pastry brush, dust off an extra flour, if necessary. Stack between layers of plastic wrap to prevent drying out while rolling out the remaining dough. (The rounds may be refrigerated for up to 6 hours before baking, but baking immediately is best.)To bake the tortillas: Heat an ungreased heavy cast- iron skillet, griddle, or comal over medium- high heat until drops of water sprinkled on the surface dance across it. Place the tortillas, one at a time, or as many as will fit without overlapping in the pan, and bake for 30 seconds.

Drape a tortilla over your hand and gently lower 1 edge, then roll it off your hand onto the hot griddle to avoid wrinkles and overlapping of the dough. Or slide the tortilla off a plate. The tortilla will form bubbles; press them down gently with a spatula or folded towel and slightly twist (either way works well). When you see the bubbles, turn over to the other side and bake for 30 seconds, or until the dough looks dry and brown spots are formed and the tortilla is soft, but not crisp. It is easy to overbake, so take care with the timing.

Remove each tortilla to a clean towel or stack between layers of plastic wrap (use the same ones you used before). If not serving right away, wrap in plastic or place in a thick plastic bag when cool. Refrigerate no longer than overnight. Rewarm as needed right before eating.

And then Enjoy!! They are sooooo good!

1 comment:

  1. sounds wonderful!! I've been meaning to make some for a long time, just haven't gotten to it yet

    ReplyDelete