Astonishingly easy homemade tortillas
Jessica Webster | AnnArbor.com
I distinctly remember when salsa overtook ketchup, becoming the best-selling condiment in America. But I was surprised to read that over a decade ago, tortillas began outselling bread and bagels and pita bread combined.
Americans are crazy for tortillas, and who can blame them? Wrap them around a taco or a burrito, or fry them up with some cheese for a quesadilla. When they're fresh and good, they're unbeatable. And yet, when was the last time you had a store-bought tortilla that you wanted to eat plain, right out of the bag?
I remember the first time I went to a Mexican restaurant where the flour tortillas were made fresh to order. It was mind-blowing. I didn't realize how delicious they could be. Rather than the flavorless tough consistency of the packaged supermarket tortillas, these were warm, melt-in-your-mouth and more than a little addictive.
It turns out that these delicious tortillas aren't difficult to make at home, and you probably have all the ingredients you need to do it tonight. If you want to get fancy you could invest in a tortilla press, but some elbow grease and a rolling pin will work just fine.
This recipe is for flour tortillas, but if you're avoiding gluten, just replace the flour with Masa Harina.
Homemade Flour Tortillas
- 2 cups white flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or lard
- 3/4 cup hot water
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl add the oil into some hot water.
One teaspoonful at a time, drop the oil/water mixture into the dry ingredients.
Mix. And keep on mixing. Mix some more. Eventually, your oil, water and dry ingredients will all combine into dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it like you would bread dough, until it’s smooth and elastic. (You could also use your stand mixer for this.)
Divide the dough into 8 or 9 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Set it aside under a wet kitchen towel for 20 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the balls of dough out into very flat 7-inch circles.
Heat a nicely seasoned cast-iron skillet (or a nonstick pan) to medium-hot and cook each tortilla, flipping it over as it starts to brown and bubble (about 30-45 seconds each side). Place cooked tortillas in foil and cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.
Serve with taco or burrito ingredients, fajitas, as quesadillas, with eggs or just eat them with a little butter or guacamole.
The tortillas keep well for a few days in a sealed plastic bag.
Jessica Webster leads the food section for AnnArbor.com. You can reach her at JessicaWebster@AnnArbor.com.