The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Homemade Flour Tortillas

homemade-tortillas

Homemade Tortillas

The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Homemade Flour Tortillas

There are a few sacred grocery items that we all have to have on hand at all times. For me, there are several. Eggs. Yogurt. Extra-sharp cheddar and extra-virgin olive oil. Unsalted butter. Good coffee and creamer. Wine, of course. Certain paper products, like paper towels. And flour tortillas. But since we live in the sticks without a Trader Joe’s right around the corner, I have to make a weekly trek to Earth Fare to procure my organic ones.

Tortillas are so handy for so many purposes – breakfast burritos, lunch wraps, a quickie pizza base, enchiladas and chimichangas – it’s one convenient item that I happily pay for. But, a few months back with soft tacos on the menu, sure as the dickens that I had my prized stash way in the back of the produce crisper, I opened the drawer, dug around and found it empty. I was not a happy camper. Nothing can bum you out like an out-of-stocker that you were counting on for dinner that is rapidly approaching. I weighed a few options – taco salad instead? But I was craving soft tacos. Spicy beef tucked into a warm tortilla, brimming with crisp toppings and topped with a generous dollop of guac and sour cream.

I thought, “Seriously, how hard could it be to make a really good tortilla?” It’s a pretty simple dough, so, I measured some flour, added a little salt and baking powder, cut in some vegetable shortening and trickled in some hot water. Rolled out the tortillas and griddled them over a hot flame. And, after just one fabulous bite, I mentally crossed store-bought tortillas off my perpetual list of those Must-Have-on-Hand items because after tasting a hot, fresh, homemade one, I couldn’t possibly go back to the kind in the plastic bags ever again.

The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Homemade Flour Tortillas
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Recipe type: Breads, Sides
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, preferably non-hydrogenated
  • ¾ cup hot water

Instructions
  1. Have 8 squares (each about 10-inches) of parchment paper handy. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture has pea-sized lumps. Drizzle in the water, tossing the flour mixture with your hands as you pour. Add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until you have a slightly sticky dough. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Flour your work surface; evenly divide the dough into 8 balls. Use a floured rolling pin to roll out each tortilla into a circle, about 8 inches in diameter (roll from the center out, much like pie dough). Place it on a piece of parchment paper and place another piece of parchment paper on top of the tortilla. Continue rolling the remaining balls of dough, separating each with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Heat a dry nonstick griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Use the parchment paper to lift off one tortilla and place it in the skillet – parchment side up. Remove the parchment paper and cook the tortilla about 1 minute per side, until it puffs slightly and begins to brown. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Serve immediately or keep warm in aluminum foil or a slow oven until ready to serve.

Notes
…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:

Planning: Keep the cooked tortillas in an airtight container in the refrigerator; reheat in a dry skillet. You can also freeze them; place in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and gently reheat.
Product Purity: There are some organic options for non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, like Spectrum and Earth Balance, available at whole foods markets.
Presentation: Remember, homemade foods, like tortillas, are supposed to look homemade, which is, in my humble opinion, what makes them so appealing.

© 2013 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

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Homemade Taco Shells

 

Like the photo? Check out how it was made In the Studio.

Content and photography © 2013 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.

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5 Responses to The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Homemade Flour Tortillas

  1. Deb Hathaway says:

    I was wondering if you could use a food processor to combine everything… kind of like making a pie dough? I’m squeemish about ‘cutting in’ shortening.

    • Hi, Deb – Yes, you can use your food processor like you would for a pie dough. Just use the pulse button to cut in the shortening; add the water and pulse until the dough just comes together.

  2. Purabi Naha says:

    This is gorgeous and so healthy! I love tortillas and your filling looks delicious!

  3. akiasi says:

    I’ve been eyeing a tortilla press for some time now (on Amazon). It would be nice–not to mention impressive–to make tortillas for the family from now on. We spend a small fortune on corn tortillas, so this recipe is right on time.

  4. Yes, one of those items that is “must have” in my fridge too. I love your recipe, very simple and I am happy too see that it doesn’t required tortilla maker. Delicious picture!