Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Say what?

The other night we were enjoying our chicken tortillas from the crockpot when my husband asked me if I knew how to make tortillas.

Tortillas? I'm from South Carolina. The closest I've been to a homemade tortilla would be South of the Border (and I'm pretty sure they don't make their own from scratch).

It was ironic, actually, as just this week I was reading a blog where the author was giving instructions on how to make torillas from scratch. She was doing it to be frugal. I would be doing it to make sure we had enough tortillas on hand for leftovers (those packs of 8 Aztec flour tortillas don't last a family of 4 very long).

Had the stars aligned? What this a sign that torilla making was in my future?

I checked out the blog again of the torilla making, penny scraping gal and decided her recipe resembled too much like hard paste (flour and water, rolled out), so I relied on my trusty friend Google to lead me to this recipe. It even has step by step photos (I consider this de riguer when trying a new recipe).

I am copying it below for you all. I am going to try it and post back. Meantime, have you ever made your own tortillas? Please save me from disaster if you know this recipe is a lost cause!

Flour tortilla recipe (makes 8)

•2 cups flour (all-purpose or bread flour, cake flour should be avoided)
•1/2 cup vegetable shortening
•3/4 cup warm water
•11/2 tsps salt


1.Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, then turn the dough out onto the counter and knead the dough for about a minute. This isn't like making bread and a minute of kneading is plenty.

2.Divide the dough into eight rounded balls.

3.Heat up a heavy frying pan over medium heat. The heavier the pan the easier they are. If you have a cast iron fry pan it is ideal for making tortillas.

4.Sprinkle some flour onto the counter and roll out each ball of dough into a flat circle about 6 inches in diameter. If the dough is sticking to the table, just add more flour. Rotating the circle around as you're rolling it out can help you get that nice circular shape, but it really just takes practice; and they'll taste great even if they're not perfectly circular

5.Take a clean cloth and dust off any flour that's adhered to the tortilla, and place it onto the frying pan. You don't need to add any oil to the pan, they won't stick.

6.When you see bubbles popping up all over the top of the tortilla, it's done.

7.Take it off the heat and wrap in a clean dishtowel as you repeat the process.

You don't need to cook the tortillas on both sides as they're so thin they'll cook through from the bottom. Cooking on only one side will make a better tortilla.

Don't get discouraged if you're tortillas look funny, by the second or third batch you do you'll be a seasoned pro; and the whole process won't take more than about 20 minutes.

Be warned though, once your family or friends get used to your hot fresh tortillas, there's no going back to store bought ever again!


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