Sunday, October 23, 2011

Homemade Flour Tortillas

I'm not one for many fancy kitchen gadgets cluttering my kitchen.  I do love my stand mixer and rice cooker but I'll pass on the quesadilla makers and crepe pans.  In fact, my husband forced me to buy real muffins pans because I was just washing and reusing an aluminum one that was about $3 at the grocery store. But the one kitchen gadget that I requested for my birthday was a tortilla press.

This might seem like it's a slightly off-the-wall, unnecessary request but last year, I made homemade tortillas. And I found out I am awful AND painfully slow at rolling out tortillas.  The dough is easy to make but it takes me f.o.r.e.v.e.r to roll out and produce somewhat thin, awkward, amoeba-shaped tortillas. (Homemade pita turned out exactly the same way, too.)

So just when I had declared my tortilla experiment a flop, we tasted them.  And, not surprisingly, they have so much more flavor than the store-bought kind.  No comparison.  And all it took was four (pronounceable) ingredients.

So a year later, I was still thinking about those homemade tortillas and requested the tortilla press to make my life easier. My generous parents got me this little cast-iron tortilla press and I tested it out this week.  The ingredients are probably in your kitchen -- flour, oil, water, salt -- and the dough is a snap to mix together.  There's two 20-minute rest periods for the dough but it was easy to walk away and do other things.  And with a tortilla press? So much easier and faster to roll out the dough with much better looking results (a worthy $20 investment, if you ask me)!  And considering how much we like Mexican, I can say this tortilla press will be put to good use in this house.

No one sponsored this post.  I'm just that bad at rolling out dough to require a tortilla press.

Homemade Flour Tortillas
Taken from: Handle the Heat
Makes 10-12 taco-sized tortillas and 5-6 burrito-sized (I will probably double this recipe next time because they're so easy to store in the freezer)
  • 2 cups of flour (I recommend using white whole wheat or spelt flour; I used one cup of each)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2/3 cup warm water (use 1/2 cup warm water if using spelt flour)
  1. Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl or food processor and mix together. Add the oil and mix into the flour thoroughly. Mix in the warm water (with the machine running, if using food processor). You'll want a dough that's soft. Once the dough is mixed, let sit, covered, for 20 minutes. 
  2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead it a couple of times, and pat into an even disk. Cut the dough into 10-12 pieces, and roll each piece into a ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let them rest for 20 minutes. If you have a tortilla press, use it to flatten each ball. If you're rolling the tortillas by hand, take one of the balls and flatten into a small disk. Using a floured rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface, roll the tortillas into a very thin, flat round about 6-8 inches in diameter. 
  3. Heat a heavy, ungreased griddle over medium-high heat. Toss a tortilla onto the griddle and let it heat on one side for about 1 minute, until it begins to brown in spots, then use tongs to lift and flip the tortilla to bake it on other side, about 1 minute. While the first tortilla is baking, roll the second one out. Transfer the baked tortilla to a plate and toss the next tortilla onto griddle. Repeat until all tortillas are rolled and baked. 
  4. You may stack the tortillas and cover them with a towel to keep them soft and warm until you're ready to use. You may also refrigerate tortillas for up to 1 week or freeze tortillas in an airtight container for up to 2 months.


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