Monday, September 13, 2010

Authentic Homemade Flour Tortillas

Authentic Homemade Flour Tortillas

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup lard
1 cup hot water

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the lard with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the hot water a little at a time, about 1/4 cup each time, and mix, until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth, soft and supple. It may be sticky at first but after kneading continuously it will not be sticky.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, about the size of a golf ball, roll each piece into a ball and then into a shape of a sausage patty. Cover and let dough balls rest for about 10 minutes. See image below. 

Tip: keep a bit of flour on your surface and lightly flour your rolling pin and keep your surface very lightly floured. Also keep your hands lightly floured.

Preheat a comal or heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot comal or skillet, and cook until bubbly and cooked through. Flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side. Place the cooked tortilla in a tortilla warmer; or place in a kitchen towel. Continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough. Tip: Do NOT worry if the tortillas don't come out perfectly round, practice makes perfect. In time your tortillas will come out round and perfect. My first tortillas looked like the map of Italy!

Tip: A comal is a griddle that has been traditionally used in Mexican cooking. The term comal is believed to come from the Aztec word comalli, which was also used to describe the cooking tool. It is a very versatile cooking tool that can be used to prepare a number of dishes. It can be used to sear meat, cook tortillas, and even cure spices. It can also be used to toast raw coffee and cacao beans so that they are ready for culinary use. It is a great tool in the kitchen!


Shaharzade said...

Yay! Thank you for posting this. I've been using different flour tortilla recipes but they've never been like they were when I was a kid. I know lard makes everything better (Mom told me Abuelita Maria put it in her cakes which were divine) but as blasphemous as it is to ask what else would you substitute instead of lard in these recipes. Also I have little tortilla press, but I heard your really suppose to roll it out to build up the elasticity. Is this true. if so, what the heck is the tortilla press for?

My Cocina said...

Shaharzade: Glad you are going to try the tortilla recipe! You can substitute the lard with Crisco shortening, if you prefer. I prefer the lard like Grandma used in her tortillas. Just scale back on how many you eat and you'll enjoy the quality so much more. As for that little tortilla press you own, it's for making corn tortillas not flour. I'll get a recipe for them in the future... They are GREAT too! Just like grandma's! Enjoy your tortillas! Put some butter on them, when they come right off the grill! That's how we would eat them sometimes!