Spoonful Test Blog

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Homemade flour tortillas

Please click the lady to the right to vote for my blog today!  And then go make yourself some tortillas, okay?  Because they're delicious.

I used to think that making my own tortillas would be hard.  But guess what?  It's not.

You know what's harder than making tortillas?

Taking photos of making tortillas.

But don't worry, I sacrificed for you, my lovely readers!  I took way too many photos while I was making the tortillas.  So...sorry about that.  And also, my kitchen was a mess.  But it would have been lying if I had cleaned first, right?  Because my house is just kind of a mess these days.

These tortillas are SO DELICIOUS.  The flavor and texture are way better than store-bought tortillas, and they don't cost a lot to make!  Hooray!  You know I'm all about saving money.

I studied glanced at several homemade tortilla recipes, read hundreds of reviews, and came up with this recipe!  If you try it, let me know how they turn out!

3 cups of flour (I use all-purpose)
1 tsp salt
5 tablespoons of softened butter, shortening, or lard (I used 2.5 tbsp of each butter and shortening)
3/4 cup of warm water/milk

Put your flour and salt in the bowl of your standing mixer.  Or, if you're not cool, put it in any random mixing bowl.

...and if you don't have a mixer, you should get one.  I <3 my KitchenAid.

Ta da!  Flour and salt.  Mix them together really well (with a fork or a sword or something).

Then add the butter/shortening/lard.  Make sure your butter is soft!  And if you forget to leave it out to soften, throw it in the microwave for a few seconds and that should work.  Just don't let it melt.

Mmmmmm, shortening.  Delicious.

Now, use a pastry cutter or fork or sword to cut the fat into the flour and salt.  It'll look crumby (not to be confused with crummy) when you're done doing that.

Ta da!  So crumby.

Now you get to add some water and/or milk!  Hooray!  I've made this recipe using equal parts milk and water, and today I made it with only water.  Both turned out great, so it's up to you!

First, put your dough hook on your mixer.  While the mixer is going (slowish), add the warm water slowly.  The dough should start to come together and peel off the sides.

At this point I've needed to add a little water...if it looks like there's a lot of dry flour that isn't getting picked up, add a tiny bit of water at a time until all the flour is incorporated and it isn't dry.

If your dough feels really sticky, throw a little flour in until it's soft and slightly sticky, but not super sticky.

...don't you love how precise I am?  I should be a food blogger, probably.

Now turn your mixer up a bit to a more mediumish speed (again with the precision!).

Anyway.  Turn your mixer up and let the dough hook knead for 30 seconds, ish.  Or longer if your baby starts throwing onions and you need to go take them away from him.

Now you have a lovely ball of dough!  Is there anything better?

*If you don't have a stand mixer, you can do these steps by hand!  Just mix the ingredients until they're all combined, and then knead the dough for a couple of minutes on a floured surface until it's smooth and elasticky.  It takes a little longer, but will still work!

Now, dump your dough onto a floured surface.

Hahahaha.  Dump.

Ok, so now you're going to divide it into equal-sized pieces.  I make 16 tortillas out of this recipe, and they're kind of smallish.  So if you like big tortillas, you can make fewer!  It's up to you, okay?

I'm pretty scientific with my dividing.  First I make my dough into a blob.

I take a big knife and start by cutting my dough in half.  And then each of those are cut in half.  And then I cut them in half the other way.

BOOM!  Science.

Next, roll your pieces into balls and leave them under a slightly damp towel for at least 45 minutes.

Yeah, I know they're not all the same size.  That's just the way I roll.

Get it?  Because I rolled them into balls.  Ha!

So now comes the worst part of making tortillas.

Because while your balls are resting under the towel, you'll be in the living room hanging out with your family.  And then you'll hear a noise.

A very suspicious noise.

And you'll call the dog's name.

And she'll come into the living room with her ears back and her head down.

And then you'll run into the kitchen and see this:


So then you almost kill your dog and have a meltdown.  And then you say "Screw letting the balls rest for 45 minutes!  I'm rolling them out now!"

But you should really let them rest for at least 45 minutes.  Because my tortillas didn't roll out quite as thinly this time as last time.

Before you start rolling them, put a skillet on the stove and heat it to...mediumish.  For me the correct heat is 4.5 out of 10.  Don't grease the skillet...just leave it dry!  I use a cast iron skillet, in case you wondered.  It's red.

The first time I made these tortillas, I cooked them on medium-high (around 8), and it was WAY too hot.  The instant the tortilla touched the skillet they were burnt.  So I would start lower and then increase the heat if they're taking too long to cook...because doing it the opposite way is much harder.

Now you can roll out your tortillas!  You'll want to do this one at a time, leaving the other dough under the damp towel.  Otherwise they'll dry out and it becomes hard to roll them!

You may need a tiny bit of flour on your counter, but you don't want too much!  I like to roll my tortillas out as thin as possible.  They'll puff up a little when you cook them!

Transfer the tortilla to your skillet, and try to lay it flat without any folds.  I'm really awful at doing that, so I just smush down the folds.  I'm obviously a professional cook.

If your pan is all the way heated, you should only need to cook your tortillas for around 30 seconds on each side.  Once it starts bubbling on the top I turn it over to check.  If it is white with brown spots, it's done!  


And sometimes the tortillas grow boobies!

Tee hee.

So there you have it!  Delicious homemade tortillas!  They're thin, soft, and delicious.  I store leftovers flat with a paper towel between tortilla in the refrigerator, and then just reheat with a paper towel on top when I want to eat them again!

I'm not exactly sure how long these will keep in the fridge...we've kept them for three or four days and they were still good!  But without all the preservatives that store-bought tortillas have, I wouldn't trust them to last much longer than that.

So that's the story of how I made six tortillas instead of sixteen tonight.  If anyone would like a dog, I have a really stupid one for cheap!

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