If you’ve never enjoyed handcrafted tortillas, you may not know what you’re missing. But once you taste homemade, there’s no going back to packaged tortillas.
The dough takes little effort and there’s no special equipment involved, other than a rolling pin and hot grill or cast-iron pan.
Tortillas can be frozen and thawed and reheated before serving. (I often make a double batch and freeze half the dough.)
Like most flat breads, tortillas are best served fresh.
■ 1 cup all-purpose flour
■ 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
■ 1 tsp kosher salt
■ 1/4 tsp baking powder
■ 2 ounces (1/4 cup + 1 tsp) lard or vegetable shortening
■ 4 oz (1/2 cup) warm water (they’re difficult to manage with cool water)
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
Cut the lard or vegetable shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or fork, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir in the warm water with a fork until a shaggy dough forms. If the mixture is too dry, add additional water, one teaspoon at a time.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and soft, about 2 - 3 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and form into balls. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball on a floured surface and shape into a thin circle about 8” diameter.
Heat a flat grill or large non-stick pan over medium heat. Place a tortilla on the hot dry grill or skillet until it bubbles and puffs, about 30 seconds. Pierce with the tip of a knife any large bubbles that form. Flip the tortilla over with tongs, and cook for another half minute or so until brown spots appear on the bottom. Be careful not to overcook them, otherwise they’ll become stiff and difficult to fold.
Transfer to a plate and cover with a clean tea towel. Repeat with the remaining dough.
If freezing, separate the tortillas with parchment paper and store in freezer bags.
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