Monday, January 21, 2013

Easy Flour Tortillas

Okay, let me begin by saying, I have never taken issue with store-bought tortillas.  Quite the contrary, there are actually several brands that I really like.  They're soft, pliable and have good flavor.  So, that is not why I decided to make homemade tortillas.  It wasn't because I suddenly had the desire to see if I could make them either.  Nope, necessity truly is the mother of invention.  A couple of weeks ago I had a hankering for chicken mole enchiladas, and had everything to make them except tortillas.  You know how it goes when you really want something but don't have all the ingredients to make it; you can't get it out of your head.  That was me - completely obsessed.  Once I came to grips with the fact that my stubborn self wasn't going to give up on the enchiladas, I googled easy flour tortillas.  I quickly found one that looked promising and read the reviews.  After incorporating some tips from said reviews, I was ready to give it a whirl.

Now, here's where I have to convince you of something.  It's really important.  It's kind of a big deal so you need to trust me on this.  Are you ready?  The key ingredient is lard.  There, I've said it, and before you get all up in arms, I know it's not good for you.  I don't make a habit of using it all the time but there are certain instances that shortening or butter just doesn't cut it:  pie crusts, rolls and my big, fat, fluffy biscuits.  This is one of those times.  However, if you can't bring yourself to use lard, you can substitute shortening, but I will frown on it.  Just so you know.  Seriously, though, lard does make these super soft and pliable.  All I'm asking is that you'll consider using it.

Here's your Cast of Characters.

2 Cups flour
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon lard
3/4 Cup water

Whisk flour, salt and baking powder together in a medium mixing bowl.  Use pastry blender to cut lard into mixture, until the flour looks like cornmeal.

Add the water and mix until the dough just comes together.

With your hands, work the dough for about 30 seconds, until everything is well combined.  Be careful not to overmix or the dough will be tough, making chewy tortillas, and not in a good way.

Take a small piece of dough and form a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a very thin round.  You'll need to turn it over as you are rolling it out, dusting each side with flour so it doesn't stick.

Continue rolling out remaining dough.  Depending on the size you make, you should get  8 - 10.  I made bigger ones, and got 8 large tortillas.

Preheat a large, nonstick skillet on medium high.  Once the skillet is hot, place a tortilla in it.

Cook until the tortilla starts to bubble, about 1 minute.

Flip over and cook on the other side for about 30 seconds.

Take out, wrap in foil and place in warmed oven until the rest are done.

Serve while warm.  I made fish tacos with southwest broccoli slaw and cilantro lime sour cream.

These are so easy and taste so much better than store-bought, I don't know that I will buy tortillas again.