Last week I posted about Breakfast Burritos and it occurred to me I should post about making homemade flour tortillas.
You may be wondering why I bother making tortillas. Of course, there are the usual reasons: it’s cheaper (although it’s pretty cheap to buy them), and I have control over what goes in them.
But, the main reason I make them is because the purchased packages contain at least 8 tortillas – which is way more than I generally need. Yes, I realize I’m the Queen of Freeze, but, unfortunately, tortillas don’t freeze well. Since I hate waste, I would find myself snacking on them just so I didn’t throw them out. Those are empty calories I DON’T need!
Flour tortillas are surprisingly easy to make, once you get the hang of it. Just roll them out on a floured board and quickly cook on a dry, heated skillet.
NOTE: Even if you have a tortilla press (which I do), you really need to roll them out with a rolling pin on a floured board first, then you can cook them on the press. With the heated press, they stop spreading before they’re the proper size. If you press really hard so they spread to full size before they’re cooked, they’ll shatter. I speak from experience!
FLOUR TORTILLAS – makes about 5 8″ tortillas, depending on how big & thick they are
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use corn oil)
- about 1/2 cup water
Into a food processor put the flour, salt and oil. Pulse a few times, then press the ‘on’ button. Slowly add the water through the pour spout until the mixture forms clumps. Depending on your flour, you may use a little more or less water than the 1/2 cup listed. (You’ll probably need to stop machine and scrap the flour from the side.)
Squeeze some of mixture together to form a small ball. If it doesn’t hold together, turn on processor and drizzle in a tablespoon of water. Run machine another minute to knead.
If you don’t have a food processor, the holidays are coming – put it on your wishlist! In the meantime, put the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork. Then knead for a several minutes on a floured board.
Once the dough is the desired consistency, form tight balls in the amount for the size tortilla you want. I make 5 balls for 8″ tortillas. Cover in an air-tight container (I just put them in the food processor with the lid on) and let rest for at least 30 minutes. This decreases the elasticity of the dough and allows them to be rolled easier.
On a floured board, flatten each ball with one hand while pushing in the sides with the other. This helps keep the edges from being too jagged. Then start rolling your dough with a rolling pin, from the center of the dough outwards, forming a circle.
Heat a dry skillet (no oil or butter) over a medium flame, then place your rolled dough. It will stick initially, so don’t try to move it. After 20 seconds or so, shake the skillet and, when the tortilla scoots around, you can flip it. You don’t want to brown the tortilla (that will make it crispy), just gently cook it through. A couple browned spots on the bubbles are okay. Keep flipping and turning to cook it evenly.
It should take about 1-2 minutes total. Use your eyes as a guide, not a timer. While the first one is cooking, roll out the second, etc.
Immediately place the cooked tortilla into a plastic bag to keep it soft. If I’m making burritos, I also roll the bag to prevent the tortillas from cracking when I form the burritos.
They’ll keep a couple of days in the plastic bag, but the point of making them is so you don’t have an abundance of extras. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself tearing off bits and snacking. Unfortunately, the myth that if you eat only a portion of an item the calories don’t count isn’t true. Dang!