Flour Tortillas

March 10, 2011 § 3 Comments

J:  We’ve got a simple but very versatile little recipe for you today.  Tortillas are a really useful thing to be able to just throw together — they can be used as a base for so many dishes, and when you know how to make them yourself, why on earth would you go buy ones from the store, especially when they’re likely to have all sorts of different preservatives in them?  No, these little tortillas are easy and worth the hour or so it takes to put them together.  You can definitely make them (as we did) on the side while you’re making another main dish to go on top of them.  And don’t you fret, we’ll give you the delicious main dish in not too long!

EDIT: Note that you can take a shortcut and make these in about 20 to 25 minutes. At that pace, you could pretty much make them whenever you need tortillas.

On to the recipe…

cooking away, looking quite tasty already

Flour Tortillas
(original recipe found here)
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vegetable oil (feel free to use canola oil instead)
3/4 c milk, lukewarm

Start off by combining your flour and baking powder in a medium-large bowl.  Separately, add the vegetable oil to the milk, and dissolve the salt in that mixture; then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir thoroughly.

wet + dry = tortillas!

Your dough should be pretty sticky.  Ours was kind of dry at this point, so we added just a little more milk until it was stickier.  If you think your dough is TOO sticky, of course you should add a bit more flour until it calms down to a reasonable degree of stickiness.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead it for a few minutes.  It doesn’t need too much kneading, but just keep going until it’s not sticky any more, adding flour to your hands and the surface as needed.  When it’s smooth, return it to the bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  It won’t rise, but it needs to rest for about 15 minutes.

EDIT: It doesn’t really need this rise. This works perfectly well if you just work it together for a minute or two, form it into balls and let those sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling them out.

After it’s rested, divide the dough into 8 equal balls.  These will become your tortillas!  Again, cover them with a damp cloth and let them rest for about 2o minutes (yeah, this dough is kind of high-maintenance).

resting, round 2

At this point, you’re going to start cooking them.  Roll out each one into a circle (don’t obsess over getting the dough into exact circle shapes… we certainly didn’t, they still tasted great!) of about 7 or 8 inches across.

more oblong than circular, really

Heat up a shallow nonstick skillet, and place one of the pieces of dough in it — yes, your skillet should be totally dry.

The dough will start to blister.  The original recipe recommended cooking for about 30 seconds on each side, but we found that to be much too long, actually.  After about 15 seconds ours were ready to flip, and then another 15 seconds or so would just about finish them off.  Keep an eye on yours, and keep in mind that you may need to do a bit of experimenting to figure out how hot your skillet needs to be and how long each tortilla should cook on each side for optimal results.

this is about ready to be flipped

Transfer the tortillas to a plate while you roll out and cook the rest of them.  You might want to cover the plate with a paper towel or cloth to absorb the condensation that will otherwise happen.

When you’ve finished cooking all of them, top with your favorite tortilla filling and enjoy!

soft, chewy, and delicious!

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