Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How to Make Flour Tortillas

Yesterday I made homemade tortillas, and they came out good (In the past when I've made them they've been dry and cracker-like). I guess this must be a good recipe, so I'm posting it.

Interesting article about flour tortillas

Flour Tortillas--make 12-18
3 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4-6 Tbsp. vegetable shortening or lard
about 1 1/4 cups warm water

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add vegetable shortening or lard. Or use a combination of half lard, half shortening.
Use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut in the shortening or just do it the old fashioned
way and use your hands.

Next add warm water a little at a time until your dough is soft and not sticky. You do
not need very hot water.

Knead the dough for a few minutes.

Now you will pull off pieces of dough to form about 12 small dough balls. Let them rest for at least 10 minutes, longer if you like. Cover with plastic wrap while they rest so they don't dry out.

This is a good time to heat up the skillet. Cast iron skillets and griddles work best. You will want to set it at medium to high heat. If it is too hot the tortillas will cook too fast.

Now you can roll out the dough with your tortilla rolling pin. It is a good idea to shape each ball into a disk shape and then dust each ball with a little flour just before you roll them out. Lay the rolling pin in the center of the dough ball and roll up, center and roll down. It is good to lift the dough and turn it. Again, rolling pin in the center and roll. Roll them out fairly thin.

Lay your tortilla on the hot skillet. It takes just a few seconds to cook. Flip to the other
side. When they are done it should have lots of nice brown speckles. Place them in a
towel. They are ready to be served!


Ruth said...

Jessica, Where did you get your recipe? Before I knew you'd posted this, and before I called to ask you about baking powder, I had printed off the recipe from and it is exactly the same recipe as yours.

Thanks for inspiring me to try making tortillas once again.
Love you,

Jessica said...

Yes, it's the same recipe...I added some notes and changed the wording for clarity...

Terah K. B. said...

I LOVE to make flour tortillas!!! We bought a tortilla press a few years back. It makes the work so much easier. Our stove was made in Mexico, and the griddle between the burners is especially for cooking tortillas. I usually use a couple of cast iron skillets at the same time as well as the griddle so that I can cook 4 tortillas at a time - otherwise I'd be cooking them all day! = ) The other night, I made 30 tortillas to go with beans for dinner. Our family still wanted more after they were gone! We just love them! I can't think when we started making them - years ago. Also, our recipe is just flour, salt, oil, and, water. We've never tried a recipe with baking powder. Hmmm...
Anyways, I really liked reading your two posts on tortilla making, Ruth and Jessica! I would encourage anyone making a lot of tortillas or making them on a regular basis to invest in a tortilla press. It really saves time! = )
Sorry for such a long comment! = )


Jessica said...

Hi Terah!

I read somewhere that baking powder is a southern addition to tortillas, not a true hispanic ingredient. I guess it's added to make them fluffier.

Is there any difference at all between the tortillas made with the press then the one done on a griddle?

I'd love to try your it in the comments, and I'll try it!

Terah K. B. said...

Hi, Jessica!

The tortilla press simply presses the ball of dough into a circle, saving on rolling time. You don't need to make any changes to the dough; it still gets cooked on a griddle (or cast iron skillet). I hope that answers your question.

The recipe we use is as follows:
1 1/4 c. flour
pinch of salt
3 Tbs. lard or vegetable shortening (We usually substitute w/ oil - the same amount)
1/3 c. lukewarm water
Follow the same instructions as the flour tortilla recipe you posted. I find that a fork works well for mixing the ingredients; then I knead it at the end before shaping. And only shape into about 6-8 balls. Of course, I usually quadruple this recipe for our family. :-)

I hope this recipe works well for you. You'll have to let me know what you think of it compared to the recipe you posted.