Growing up in Texas, we are surrounded by Tex-Mex restaurants. Tortillas fresh off the heat with a little butter were the ultimate treat when I was a kid. In Houston, we have little Tortillerias on nearly every main road that provide hot, fresh tortillas. If I ever move away from Texas (heaven forbid!) I would hate to have to eat those stale tasting gluey textured grocery brands. So I wanted to learn how to make them myself.
Using a food processor, this was much easier to make than I expected. Are they better than tortillaria down the street? No. Are they better than grocery store tortillas? Hands down better. Will I make them again? Definitely.
The first step is to mix your dry ingredients in the food processor. After that, you add your lard. Yes, lard. I got mine from the butcher. But if you don’t care about the traditional recipe you could use shortening.
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and roll those portions into small balls. Then use a tortilla press to flatten them out. I didn’t have a tortilla press…
…so we improvised. We used pot bottoms to squish the dough. It worked, but I wished I had a press.
All you do now is throw them on a hot pan and allow them to cook for about 30 seconds per side.
The dough starts to bubble when it is ready to be flipped. Adapted from The Kids Cook Monday.
Homemade Tortillas – whole wheat or white
Make 10 tortillas
2 cups white whole wheat flour, or all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup lard or vegetable shortening
2/3 cup warm water
In the bowl of the food processor, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut the lard or shortening into small pieces and add to the flour. Pulse about 10 times, until it is well distributed throughout the flour and the texture of sand. Add the warm water and pulse again about 10 more times, until the dough comes together.
Turn out into the mixing bowl and knead for about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest at room temperature for an hour to allow the flour to fully absorb the liquid and soften.
Divide dough into 10 equal pieces (cut in half then cut teach half into 5 equal pieces) and roll each into a ball. Cover with a damp tea towel.
Warm a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Use the tortilla press (or the bottom of a pot) to press each dough ball into a tortilla between 2 pieces of wax paper. If you like thin tortillas, carefully stretch them further out by hand. When the griddle is good and hot, place one tortilla on the griddle, and wait until you see it start to bubble and the bottom start to brown, about 30 seconds. Turn it over and cook for about 30 seconds more. Place the warm tortillas on the platter and cover with a tea towel or place in a tortilla warmer. Continue with the rest of the dough.
Tortillas will keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days, or you can freeze them for up to 2 months.
Make ahead directions:
Make the dough and let rest at room temperature for an hour. Put in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you are ready to make your tortillas, allow the dough to come back to room temperature. Then continue following the steps, starting with making the dough into balls.