The other day, I introduced the first part of my Mexican Feast, which were cheesy frijoles refritos or refried beans. In that post, I promised to present these flour tortillas next.
Ummmmm, flour tortillas. I wish I could make another batch of these babies. They are so good. In fact, they were the star of the entire Mexican Feast (even more so than the steak and the chicken!). They were soft and flavorful. They even tasted just as good the next day after spending the night in the refrigerator. They were so good that I would sneak out a tortilla, put butter on it, roll it up like the ones pictured, and gobble it up. So freaking good!
Whenever I make Mexican dishes, I take advantage of my multilingual abilities by looking at recetas (recipes) from Mexico. I have made flour tortillas before, but they weren’t nearly as good as these were. I don’t know why these tasted so much better since the ingredients were basically the same. The procedure was slightly different, though.
I didn’t find this recipe on a blog or a cookbook; I found it on YouTube! The recipe is written in Spanish, so I translated it below for the non-Spanish speakers out there. You’re welcome. 🙂
With this recipe, you don’t have to cut in the lard or shortening. Also, you don’t need to use much flour to roll out the masa (dough). Using a Silpat makes the process even easier. Enjoy!
Translated recipe from Blanca Díaz
*UPDATE* I’ve been making these tortillas quite often now, and sometimes they come out perfectly, and sometimes they came out just okay. Here are some tips, if you’re planning on making these:
The tortillas should be soft and bubbly. I think the key to a good tortilla is to mix/stir the dry ingredients (even though she stated not to do so), and break in the shortening. Next start the mixer and then add the hot water as it mixes. The dough should be wet but not too wet (I usually use all of the water in the recipe). Don’t forget to let the dough sit for 30 minutes before rolling the dough. You should be able to roll it in a ball easily. I also add an extra 1/2 tsp of baking powder to ensure rise. Also, don’t let it heat up too long the first time you put it on the comal or skillet. The first exposure to heat is the most important part, I think. Flip it over as soon as you see a few bubbles.
Make ahead: Roll out all the dough balls and place between wax paper. Then place the wax papered tortillas in a freezer bag for later use. When ready to make them, just take them out and heat them on the comal or skillet. *UPDATE OVER!* Go HERE for make-ahead photos and more information!
3 ½ cups of AP flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
100 gr (7/8 cups or a little less than 1 cup) of lard or shortening, cut into small pieces (I didn’t cut it into pieces, and it was fine)
¾ to 1 cup of very hot water (almost boiling)
1. Place the flour in a bowl.
2. Add the salt, baking powder, and fat without stirring.
3. Little by little, pour the very hot water over the ingredients and mix them with your hands (or dough attachment in your stand mixer), measuring the quantity of water until you reach the desired texture. It should be moist and soft, but not sticky.
4. Knead/Mix the dough for approximately 5 minutes, and form a ball.
5. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel, and allow it to rest inside of the bowl for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Form small balls weighing approximately 40 grams each (if you don’t have a scale, the balls should be more or less the size of a ping-pong or golf ball). Cover the little balls again with the towel as you roll each one out.
7. Place one of the balls on top of a clean surface, and press down on it lightly with your fingers.
8. Roll out the little ball until you form an oval. Lift up the oval and turn it to the right 45 degrees, and roll it out again. Turn it 45 degrees again to the right until you creat a circle of the desired size.
9. Place the tortilla on a hot comal, griddle pan, or cast-iron skillet until it forms small bubbles on the uncooked side of the tortilla. Turn over the tortilla, and wait until it inflates a bit. Turn it again and with a spatula, press on it until the air inside goes out and stops inflating (I didn’t do this last part because it stops puffing up once you remove it from the heat).
10. Store the tortillas in tortilla holder, covered container, or wrapped in a towel. You could also keep it warm in a low-temperature oven. These tortillas can be reheated the next day; store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Yields 18-20 tortillas; this recipe can be halved easily.