homemade flour tortillas
Once you discover how easy flour tortillas are to make at home I guarantee you’ll never go back to store-bought again.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Since no Mexican fiesta is complete without tortillas, I thought I’d share my recipe for homemade flour tortillas with y’all today. Growing up in Texas, I have never been satisfied with store-bought tortillas. Not one to compromise, I would either pick up a dozen freshly made tortillas from local Mexican restaurants or avoid recipes requiring tortillas altogether. A few years ago I discovered just how easy it is to make tortillas at home and I haven’t looked back since.
My favorite use for homemade flour tortillas happens to be breakfast tacos. It’s my go-to dish when I either don’t feel like cooking or the fridge is running on empty. We’re pretty much guaranteed to have eggs, cheese and some sort of protein or veggie on hand and the entire dish can be thrown together in a snap. We just happened to celebrate Cinco de Mayo a day early with some bacon, egg and cheese breakfast for lunch tacos yesterday and they tasted just like home thanks to the perfectly charred homemade flour tortillas.
I challenge you to make your own tortillas the next time you make enchiladas, quesadillas or soft tacos at home. I guarantee your favorite dish will leap to a whole new level of culinary success when you do. If flour tortillas aren’t your thing or you have gluten sensitivities, I also have a recipe for homemade corn tortillas that is even easier to throw together. Also, if lard gives you the heebie jeebies, feel free to substitute Crisco, we usually do.
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup lard
- ½ cup cool water
- Place flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Use a pastry cutter to combine dry ingredients and lard until a coarse crumb is formed.
- Stir in water and then knead with hands until dough forms a well incorporated ball. Wrap in plastic and allow to sit at room temperature for one hour.
- Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll into balls. Set aside on a plate covered with a damp paper towel until ready to cook.
- Using a tortilla press, flatten each ball of dough between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap.
- When ready to cook, preheat small cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
- To cook tortillas, carefully peel away from both pieces of wax paper and lay flat in center of hot skillet. Cook for 30 seconds per side or until they start to create air bubbles and brown.
- Serve immediately or place in a tortilla warmer to keep warm.
Small Cast Iron Skillet
Last month I had the pleasure of joining the fun folks of Foodie.com and Dishcrawl for an informative Mezcal Tasting and Tortilla Workshop at Mezcal Restaurant in San Jose, CA. We were fortunate to spend the afternoon exploring the history of Mezcal from Proprietor Adolfo Gomez and learning traditional Oaxacan recipes from Mezcal Chef Octavio Gomez and his adorable mother, Doña Libo. I even ate chapulines (fried grasshoppers) a common and delicious snack found throughout Oaxaca.
The highlight of the afternoon was when Doña Libo gave a tortilla making demonstration showcasing some tips and tricks for making perfect tortillas from scratch. One of my favorite tricks was her solution for preventing the tortillas from sticking on the press. I usually use pieces of saran wrap which can be a total pain by the time I press all of my tortillas due to its thin and unruly nature. Doña Libo traces a salad plate onto a gallon-sized freezer bag and then cuts out her circle. The result is two round pieces of plastic that are thin enough to not get in the way of the press, but thick enough to stay in tact throughout a marathon tortilla pressing session.
If you’re near San Jose, stop by Mezcal Restaurant for a delicious meal featuring authentic Oaxacan cuisine.
(click photos to enlarge)
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