Friday, February 1, 2013

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Flour tortillas.  In my experience, premade flour tortillas have always been rather dry and tough.  I just accepted it, though, because the idea of making them myself never really crossed my mind.  Until recently.  I came upon a blog post by Homesick Texan about her quest to find the perfect flour tortilla recipe.  Apparently there's what's known as "Texas" style tortillas that are light and puffy, unlike the flat, thin ones I was used to.  I'm guessing this has to do with the baking powder in the recipe.

After reading her post, I felt confident enough to try making these tortillas myself.  The recipe is very simple and uses basic pantry ingredients, so I didn't have much to lose.  I was thrilled with the end result.  The tortillas were puffy, tender and chewy at the same time.  I used them for soft tacos, but I could easily have just rolled one up to dip in refried beans.  They were that good!  I think once you've had homemade tortillas, there's no going back.

Texas Flour Tortillas
Homesick Texan

Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.
Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.
Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.
In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.
Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.
Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil.

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