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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tortilla Tutorial

I put off making homemade tortillas for a long time. The whole process just sounded too labor-intensive. Once I did finally get around to trying it, I wasn't very happy with the results. I tried a few more times and then gave up on the notion completely for about a year.

Then one day, I really had a craving for Mexican food and had all the ingredients on-hand except for tortillas. I decided I would try again. That batch turned out pretty good. I still wasn't 100% convinced, but I was willing to give it another shot. The more I practiced, the better they turned out. It also became a much quicker and easier process.

I haven't been able to pick out the one step that really makes or breaks a batch of tortillas. I wish I could tell you the trick to perfect tortillas, but I really believe it's just a process you have to be willing to play around with until you develop your own method and find what works for you.

Homemade Flour Tortillas
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 T. butter or margarine
  • 1/2 c. or less hot water
This makes about 6-8 tortillas, depending on how thin and how big you make them. The nice thing with these proportions is that they are easy to remember and easily doubled or tripled.

1. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter or margarine with a pastry cutter or two knives (a potato masher works great in a pinch too). Slowly stir in the hot water, a little at a time, until the dough starts to come together. Start working the dough with your hands. If it is too dry, add a little more water. If it's too sticky, sprinkle in some more flour. (Try to avoid this though.) Knead dough until it becomes very elastic and roll into a ball.
2. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least one hour. Divide the dough and roll into golf-ball size pieces. Roll out each ball as thin as possible, trying to maintain a circular shape. If the dough is still a little sticky, you may need to flour the surface a bit. However, if the dough is elastic and smooth enough, this shouldn't be necessary.3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a tortilla to the pan. Cook until the top appears dry, as seen below, about 1 minute. Flip and cook about 45 seconds more.
4. Serve the tortillas immediately, or refrigerate and reheat for a few seconds in the microwave, covered with a slightly damp towel.
Extra tortillas will stay good for about 3 days in the fridge. They freeze perfectly for longer storage. I like to roll mine jelly-roll style and wrap individually in a little aluminum foil before putting in a freezer bag. This way, I just pull out a few at a time and the quality once reheated is as good as freshly-made tortillas.

Stop by Grocery Cart Challenge for more recipes and pick up some of Friday's Frugal Ideas at A Cowboy's Wife.

9 comments:

Jennifer said...

Thanks so much for this! We use a lot of tortillas and I have been meaning to try to make some. I want whole wheat tortillas, but they are quite expensive. Maybe I will try to make some one of these days.

Rachel said...

I was just thinking - YESTERDAY - as I froze the store bought tortillas, I should figure out how to make these.

I wanted to ask you... I'm fairly new to this blogging thing and I don't really know all the "rules". Can I mention you and your ideas on my site, as long as I link to you?

Rachel
mrsketchum@gmail.com
mustsharereadifyoudare.blogspot.com

my little corner said...

Thank you so much for this recipe.
WW tortillas are expensive and its a great meal that the kids can put together without my help.

marlyndubay@gmail.com

Melissa said...

These sound very good! Our family loves Mexican food, so I'm going to have to make these:)

Lucrecia said...

I love flour tortillas! Homemade are best, thanks for the instructions!

staceykingman said...

I made them and my family loves them! Thanks for the detailed instructions!

Jen said...

Thank you for the recipe and instructions - I made these tonight when I needed to go to a quick "plan B" dinner of burritos, but discovered we only had 1 tortilla left. The homemade ones tasted SO MUCH BETTER! If I'd known how easy they were to make, I'd have stopped buying them a long time ago!

Tamara said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial! I have been wanting to make these for so long and have not been able to work up the nerve. I made these today and they were fabulous. They were not particularly round but besides that I had no troubles at all! I am so glad that I tried it.

shopannies said...

thanks for this great recipe I am raising men who love bread and so we run out with this I can whip tortillas up quickly thanks