Sunday, September 4, 2011

Make Your Own Flour Tortillas

There's a lot of things that you can cook from scratch, and some are worth it, while others not so much. Then there's the things that you make from scratch and are so delicious that you wonder why you ever bothered to buy them in the first place!

Tortillas are like that for me. Sure, I do buy them when I don't have the time to make them, but when I have a weekend free and feel like playing with some dough, nothing beats home made tortillas. These are really easy-and the kids could even help so it's a win-win situation! I love this recipe because the resulting tortillas are soft and delicious, ready to be filled with whatever you want or even rip up and dip into guacamole, hummus, etc. I think they would be a perfect afternoon activity with the kids, and the best part is they get a snack too!

This recipe makes about ten 8 inch tortillas. Personally, I find that a teeny bit small and prefer to double the recipe, then pinch off about 2 oz of dough instead of the usual 1 1/2 oz. You can make them whatever size you wish.

Adapted from Rebar

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp vegetable shortening
3/4 cup hot water

Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture is like coarse crumbs. Then gradually add the hot water, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go, until the mixture comes together.

Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it just a bit, gently, to bring it together. Shape it into a ball, put it in a clean bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for a good hour.

Now, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, sprinkle it with flour, and set aside. Pinch golf ball sized bits off your dough and roll them in your hands to make a ball, then set on the cookie sheet. If you make the balls golf ball sized, you will end up with about ten 8 inch tortillas. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them rest for another hour.

tortillas 1

Resting the dough

When the hour is up, lightly flour your counter and one by one, roll out your little balls of dough. Don't worry about getting them perfect, mine never are. That's part of the charm. Stack them with some waxed paper or parchment between them, and keep the rolled dough covered with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. Try to get the tortillas quite thin-this takes some practice, but you'll get the hang of it the more you make them, trust me!


Rolling it out. I can never get them perfectly round.

Once your tortillas are rolled out, get either a cast iron skillet or a non stick skillet on the medium high heat. Brush it with a little oil. Gently lay your first tortilla in the pan-this is a bit tricky, it took me some practice to get it in the pan without folding it accidentally!

Now, don't leave the stove. Stand right there and watch as your tortilla will cook fairly quickly. Watch until you see bubbles forming underneath, then flip the tortilla over and cook the other side until it's light golden. Slide out of the skillet onto a rack and let cool, then continue with the next one.

in pan

Watch for bubbles!

Your tortillas will last a few days, or you can wrap them well and freeze them for about a week. They never last that long in our house, though.


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