I like flour tortillas. I’ve been eating them all my life. I’d buy them at the grocery and use them for Latin dishes, rolled sandwiches, whatever.
We’ve even used them cut with cookie cutters as a base for hors d’oeuvres. They can be a little expensive, maybe 30 or 40 cents apiece, but I never considered an alternative.
Not anymore, not after last night. Last night I made my own tortillas. The difference astounded me, and they were so easy that I wondered why I’d never made them before.
Last night’s batch, my first, were oblong and misshapen. And they did not fall flat on the pan when I cooked them, so they were wrinkled and lumpy in spots. On the plate they looked like a Mexican grandmother’s nightmare.
But they were so delicious that I didn’t care. They were nicely chewy, soft even after they cooled, and they held together well under last night’s fajitas.
I’m going to keep working at them and I know eventually they’ll look better, but I don’t know how I could ever make them taste better. They taste fantastic, in a completely different world than store-bought.
The recipe is here: https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/flour-tortillas-de-harina/ and there’s even a video to go with it. In that video you will see Mely Martinez’s expert hands turn out nearly perfect circles of dough that puff up, blowfish-like, when they hit the hot pan.
Mine did that, too, but they looked more like amoebas with intestinal problems than blowfish. In any event, I’ll bet they tasted just as good as hers, and so there’s no reason for you not to make them.
Her ingredients are flour, shortening, baking powder, water and salt, and she says not to worry if you don’t have the baking powder. You do want to take seriously her admonition to go easy on the hot water. I used about seven-eighths of a cup and I should have used a little less. The extra made the tortillas a bit harder to roll, but didn’t bother me otherwise.
I looked around and found several recipes that used less shortening — one used only an eighth of a cup rather than the one-third in Martinez’s recipe — but I’m going to stick with the larger amount.
And I’m going to stick with homemade flour tortillas. They don’t take long to make and I discovered last night that they are worth every minute, no matter what they look like.
“Amoebas with intestinal problems.” That’s quite an image!
When I was growing up in South Texas, my mom used a tortilla press to make them uniformly round. I don’t make them myself, but bring home dozens of tortillas when I visit Texas or California.
And I bet Melys Mama used lard. Sounds like you are turning into quite the baker. Cheryl was finally to find a 5 pound sack of flour 2 days ago, but, the shelves still are not full.
I’ll bet she did, and I did, too! Lard (except for that which is around my midsection) is my new friend!