Friday, June 19, 2009

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Warning. Trust me on this one. These will ruin any former enjoyment you ever had of store-bought flour tortillas. There is simply no comparison. They are easy to make, and the more you make, the better you will get at it. I will admit, the art of making them perfectly round, well, I don't have that part down just yet. But then I've been making my own pie crusts a lot longer, and they don't turn out all neat like the ones on TV either. But they still taste good! And they ARE getting rounder each time!
Necessary equipment:
a rolling pin: note. I have a cut piece of a garden tool handle that I find is a lot better for rolling tortillas than my regular rolling pin
some sort of griddle than can be heated to a high temperature. Non-stick surface is NOT ok for this. A "lid" from an old cast iron stove, or a cast iron griddle. I use one of those cast iron griddles that fits over 2 burners.
If you have a scale, you need 500 grams of flour. 4 cups more or less.
a heaping 1/4 cup of lard. Don't go all wobbly on me here. Lard. Gotta be lard.
Do not be afraid!
Back to your scale, 17 grams of kosher salt. Doesn't HAVE to be kosher salt, but I love the taste of it so that's what I use. Around a Tablespoon. Regular granulated salt has a finer grain, and you might want to use less.
You can use a pastry blender, 2 knives, a fork, whatever. But you have to work the lard into the flour. I prefer just to use my hands.
Now add between 1 and 1-1/2 cups HOT water. Mix this up with your hands. Resist the urge to add too much water. Dough should form together, but not be sticky. Turn out and knead on counter just a few times, gently. Now leave it on the counter and cover it with the bowl. Let it set 30 minutes or so.
After the dough is relaxed, heat your griddle. Then divide into 10-12 balls and shape into a disk and set aside. When your done pre-shaping the last one, you can start rolling the first one. Keep the rest covered with a kitchen towell. Roll them out into as close to a circle as you can.
The griddle is ready when water dropped onto it immediatly evaporates.
Use no grease, and be very careful. Plop the first one down onto the hot griddle. Let it cook a few seconds and flip it with a spatula. Continue flipping until done on both sides. They will have dark brown spots across their surface.
I lay mine on a towell and flip half the towell over them to keep them covered.
Eat while still warm or seal up in a zip-bag and refridgerate.
Next time I make a batch, I will add some pictures.

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