¡Homemade Tortillas!

“Hey guys; you’ve written a couple times that we can find homemade tortilla recipes right here on your blog; I’ve looked and can’t find any – Where are they at?”

Ummm, well this is embarrassing… that’s a really good question; I coulda sworn they were here somewhere… Alright, I admit defeat, so here they are!

Unless you live near a source of fresh tortillas made daily, you owe it to yourself to build your own. The difference between store bought and fresh is night and day.

Ingredients are super simple and so is the process, although it certainly takes a good few reps to be able to turn out tortillas that look as good as what you buy; (Monica is our go-to roller for that very reason). As with all things cooking, the quality of what you use profoundly affects the finished product, so chose carefully.

Equipment needs are minimal; you can get by with just a rolling pin and a nice heavy frying pan. If you make corn tortillas with any frequency, you’ll want to consider buying a press. They come in really handy, are fun to use and a very cool tool to boot.

Flour tortillas must be rolled, not pressed, so a good pin helps immensely; the thin, wooden kind that tapers towards the ends is best as far as we’re concerned. Finally, a comal, the traditional, sideless cast iron cooking surface will do a great job; they’re cheap and easy to find.

Here are our favorite recipes and methods.

Flour Tortillas
3 Cups unbleached, white flour
4 Ounces Unsalted Butter
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Hot Water

You can substitute either lard or canola oil for the butter if you prefer; each will impart a subtle taste difference, so try them all and pick your fave.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder thoroughly.

Melt the butter and add to the dry mix. Use your fingers to massage the butter into the mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Add water and mix by hand until the dough forms a ball. Knead dough for about 2-3 minutes until smooth.

Divide the dough into 12 equal balls, then flatten those slightly with your palm.

Place dough on a clean, dry work surface and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow dough to rest for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour.

When you’re ready to rock, lightly flour your work surface, and us a pin to roll each ball out until it forms a nice circle roughly 6″ to 8″ across.

In your pan or comal over medium heat, cook the tortillas until you see that a bubble or three form, about 1 minute. Flip the tortilla and cook the other side for about 30 seconds.

You should have nice, light golden spots where the bubbles get cooked – if you don’t see that, turn your heat up a bit. Conversely, if you’re getting on toward charring within those time frames, reduce your heat.

Stack your finished wrapped tortillas in aluminum foil to keep them warm.

Corn Tortillas
2 Cups Masa Harina
1 Cup plus a few tablespoons of hot Water

In a mixing bowl, combine the Masa and water by hand and knead steadily until you get a nice, consistent dough that does not stick to your hands. You don’t want the dough too dry, either; shoot for a dough that holds together, isn’t sticky, but feels moist to the hand. Use additional tablespoons of water to get there if needed.

The kneading is the critical process here for great corn tortillas that don’t dry out and get crumbly. While flour readily absorbs water, corn needs some time, so 3 to 5 minutes of gentle work will let that process happen, and you’ll get great tortillas.

When all is well, cover with a clean damp cloth and let the dough rest for 15 minutes – This allows the masa to fully absorb the water, and helps keep your final product from drying out and crumbling.

Set up your mis en place – Masa, press or rolling pin, comal or skillet.

Check your dough – If it feels dry, and it probably will, add a tablespoon of water and knead that in – You want a feel like a soft cookie dough, but not sticky.

pinch off dough and roll a ball a bit bigger than a golf ball – Repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover those with a clean, damp kitchen towel.

Whether you use a pin or a press, cut a gallon plastic storage bag into two equal sheets and place a ball of dough between them, then press or roll to roughly 6″ around. You can use the bottom of a glass baking pan in a pinch, too.

Cooking process is exactly the same as for flour. Each side will get 30 to 60 seconds of cooking time.


E & M

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6 thoughts on “¡Homemade Tortillas!”

  1. The tortillas de harina we make like this are great even when they come out roughly in the shape of Texas. (we aren’t very good rollers.)

  2. Pingback: Real Deal Queso

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