Last night was Taco Night at our house and that meant homemade flour tortillas. Now, if you’re like me you’ve always felt that making your own tortillas was just out of reach. I mean, lets be honest. Where do you ever get “real” flour tortillas but at some fancy Mexican food restaurant or the home of a relative/neighbor with Hispanic heritage? And even that doesn’t happen often.
I was lucky enough in college to have had a roommate who’s mom made flour tortillas for us whenever we grilled carne asada and took advantage of their pool in the back yard. I am not ashamed to say we spent a lot of time at my roommates parent’s house my freshmen year! However, ever since then I have wanted to make my own tortillas but was always told it was too much work or a family secret. Well, this last year I made it one of my goals to make great flour tortillas. I am happy to say that I have come up with a simple and fabulous recipe. I hope you enjoy.
- 3 cups flour, unbleached
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp lard (can be substituted Crisco… but lard taste better)
- 1 1/4 cup water, lukewarm
Mix your flour, salt, and baking powder together then combine with lard. This can be done by using a pastry cutter, a fork, or a food processor. My choice is the food processor but you can do it however you want. If the thought if using lard does something unpleasant ou to you then you can substitute it with shorting or use 50/50. Your local grocery store should sell it for about $2.50 in a 1lb block. Just ask someone. You can keep the extra in your cupboard as you would shorting.
Once the flour mixture and lard has been well integrated together mix in your warm water until dough is soft and sticky. Turn it out onto a floured counter and kneed for about 3-5 minutes. Take and separate dough into 10-12 golf ball size balls. Let them rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
To roll out your tortillas, place a ball with a light dusting of flour on the counter and it into the best circle you can. It’s not that easy when you first start but I promise you will get better. Use as much flour as you need to prevent sticking but not too much as you don’t want to work too much extra flour into the tortilla. You can make your them as think or thick as you like. Just remember they will rise a little as you cook them.
As you finish rolling each one out you will want to place it on a flat griddle. (I use my electric griddle) If you do not have a griddle you can use a non-stick pan or the back of a cast iron pan. Really, the bottom of the pan works quite well but I would only do this with cast iron and I am not sure how it would work with electric heat. Heat your pan/griddle to about °350 or until its as hot as you want to cook with. Cook each side for about 1-2 minute. Repeat until all your tortillas are cooked. I hope you enjoy. Happy Cooking!