Homemade Flour Tortillas
I have been wanting to try to make my own tortillas for awhile now. While the packaged tortillas are convenient, sometimes I feel like I'm chewing on rubber bands. I guess this is why I'm a crunchy taco shell kind of girl. :)
It turns out that making your own tortillas isn't that difficult. It's not hard at all, really. It just takes time...Time for the dough to rest two times. While there is no yeast to rise in the dough, the gluten needs time to relax. Just like you and me! I used lard. I found a tub of it with the other oils in the supermarket. I honestly didn't think they had it here. I didn't realize, until I got home, that mine contained 10% butter. I was worried it might affect the taste, but it didn't. Vegetable shortening is also an option.
I hope the following pictures will be helpful for you in making your own tortillas. They really taste great...So fresh, and far less chewy. Don't worry about getting the perfect shape. My first tortilla looked like the Millenium Falcon...Or a tooth. A funky shape just means it's made with love! So, if you sitting around on a rainy day looking for something to do, give these a try. I believe they can be frozen, after they're cooked, but I haven't tried it to be sure. Have fun!
This recipe yields 16 tortillas that are a good size for tacos. Of course, you can make them bigger for burritos, but you will get less tortillas out of the dough. You can also make them slightly smaller to stretch your dough further...
This is how thin I rolled my first tortilla. It was a good thickness, but by the end, I think I was rolling them even thinner. Don't be afraid to put some muscle into your rolling pin. I suppose rolling them a bit thicker could yield a "gordita" like tortilla...I haven't tried it yet, though.
Make sure your skillet is dry, meaning no oil, butter etc. I turned my burner to 6 and let the skillet get hot while I rolled the first tortilla. It takes just seconds for bubbles to start forming. Whap bigger bubbles with your tongs to burst them. Use your tongs to lift up the tortilla to check the under side. You do not want the tortilla to get crisp before it's golden brown. Keep checking to make sure the tortilla is still pliable. This only takes about 30 seconds on each side, so don't walk away!
This is the first cooked side on heat 6 on my stove. Of course, every stove is different. Stack cooked tortillas on a plate and cover them with a towel. The steam will keep the tortillas soft. Allow your skillet to warm back up while you roll out the next tortilla.
I wasn't sure if 6 was giving me the correct color on my tortillas, so I bumped the heat up to 7 to see what would happen. These are on the left. While I think the color might be better, although a 6.5 would be perfect, we preferred the taste of the tortillas cooked on 6. The tortillas cooked on 7 didn't taste burned, but they just weren't as good. We still ate them, though!
When it's all said and done, fill up your tortillas with all your favorite taco fixin's! We had a few tortillas left over, so the following morning I scrambled some eggs with cheese for breakfast tacos. They did not disappoint!
Homemade Flour Tortillas
Makes 16 tortillas
- 2 1/2 cups (313 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons (12 g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (5 mL)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (127 g) lard or vegetable shortening
- 1 cup (240 mL) hot water
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add spoonfuls of lard/shortening, then use a pastry cutter, two forks, or your hands to combine the ingredients until it resembles course crumbs.
Slowly add the hot water, stirring to bring the mixture all together. Gently knead the dough, 30-40 times, on a slightly floured surface until it becomes a cohesive dough ball and is less sticky. Cover the dough with a clean towel and allow the dough to rest for at least one hour.
Break off ping pong sized balls (mine were about 40 g each), place them on a tray, and cover again with a towel. Allow the balls to rest for 20-30 minutes more.
Heat a dark or cast iron griddle to medium/medium-high heat. One by one, use a rolling pin to roll out the balls very, very thin (try for a circle, but it doesn't have to be perfect!). Place one tortilla in the hot pan and cook on each side for 20-30 seconds, removing the tortillas while they are still soft but golden brown in spots. Stack the cooked tortillas on a plate and keep them covered with a towel.
Serve the tortillas immediately or allow them to cool completely and store in a container. Tortillas can be warmed using the microwave (wrap in a damp paper towel) or a warm oven (wrap in foil).