If you've ever been to Mexico, chances are that you've seen women effortlessly rolling out tortilla after tortilla. Although flour tortillas are actually much harder to make than they appear – especially if you're watching someone with decades of practice – it is a skill that you can learn. It's worth the effort, especially when you consider how much better flour tortillas taste when made by hand!
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
- 1 1/4 cup warm water.
Lard is traditionally used, but most people today prefer to use vegetable shortening for health reasons.
- Mix dry ingredients for the tortillas. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the other tortilla ingredients. Cut in the vegetable shortening using a pastry blender or your clean hands. Blend this until it is mixed evenly. Add the water, and make a ball out of the dough.
- Knead the dough. Knead the dough for approximately five minutes on a lightly floured surface. Let the dough “rest” at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece up into a ball, place it on a baking sheet, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit this way for about 45 minutes.
- Roll out the tortillas. Again on a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball of dough into a circle. You can cook the tortillas immediately or store them stacked, with a layer of waxed paper between each one. If you store them, it is best to cover them with a damp cloth so that they don't dry out.
- Cook the tortillas. The traditional way to cook flour tortillas – which also provides the best taste – is to use an ungreased cast iron skillet or griddle. Cook the flour tortillas over medium heat until they are a light golden brown, then flip them and cook on the other side.
Flour tortillas are delicious on their own or with a variety of fillings. Try serving them warm with butter or rolling them around beans or a meat mixture. The tortillas are sure to be a hit no matter how you serve them!