Since my move to the South, I have not been able to find a decent tortilla. It’s quite possible they exist here and maybe I just don’t know where to look, but since tortillas are the bread of my family, I really needed to do something about this crisis. And before you offer up some “brand name” tortillas for me to try, know this, we lived within 1 mile radius of a dozen of tortillarias and we could buy uncooked tortillas at Costco and whip them up at home, so there is NO precooked, prepackaged brand out there that is going to taste as good as what we were used to in San Diego.
So we move on, we cope and we learn how to do things ourselves. I went hunting all over the internet for tortilla recipes and asked the Mad Fans on Facebook for help.
This is the recipe I tried:
- 4 Cups flour (for the tortillas pictured, I used 2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour and 2 cups whole wheat flour)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 Cup lard or oil
- 1 Cup very hot water
Yields 18, 8 inch tortillas
And I have a Kitchen Aid mixer so I was able to whip this together very quickly. Flour, salt and baking powder in the machine, mix it, slowly add you fat (I used veg oil, it’s what I had on hand), until it resembles corn meal, then slowly add the hot water until it seizes into a ball. Let the ball rest for 10-15 minutes, pull off ping pong ball sized pieces and roll out with a pin. I was able to roll these easily and quickly directly on my solid surface counter top and they lifted right up without tearing or sticking.
Get a pan hot (I’d say med-hi worked best for me, too hot and the pan was smoking and the tortillas easily burned, but ALL the recipes said “Very Hot Pan,” and I would disagree on that point) , lay the tortilla in the pan, within 30-45 seconds you will see bubbles forming, when there are quite a few bubbles, flip to the tortilla and cook for another 30 seconds on the other side. Done! We ate them with Mad Gringa Pintos and then again with butter, cinnamon and sugar for desert.
These were very good, I know my tastes and I know I would rather use the lard next time. The substitution of whole wheat makes these tortillas taste a lot like the “wraps” that are so popular for sandwiches and rolling them out into larger pieces would allow you to make them for this purpose as well.
- Add a 2 Tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon to make “dessert” tortillas
- Add spices like chili powder and cumin, or even minced jalepeño or garlic
- and don’t forget that tortillas are great with all sorts of fillings, jelly, butter, cinnamon, sugar and one of my favs, NUTELLA