Saturday, May 7, 2011

Homemade Flour Tortillas

I loved the restaurant Rio Bravo for two things: their salsa and their fresh tortillas. I was so sad when they went out of business. For years I have contemplated making my own tortillas and today was finally the day (I'm writing this on Cinco de Mayo). These are great, but I think next time I will invest in a tortilla press to make it faster and easier. With a press, I think it would be worth making your own tortillas every time instead of using the crappy store-bought ones that are full of preservatives.

I was able to make 16 fajita/taco size tortillas with this recipe. Don't expect your tortillas to be perfect circles - you only get those lovely round edges with a press. Tortillas are traditionally made with lard, but I made mine with shortening and they turned out fine. I think these days most people don't even have lard or know where to purchase it. Which is not a bad thing in my opinion...

recipe found on

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. shortening (or lard if you want to be traditional)
1 1/2 cups hot water

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Mix in the shortening with a pastry blender or your fingers until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.

Preheat a skillet over med-high heat. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll each ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot skillet and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and cook until golden on the other side (mine never got golden - just cook until cooked through). Keep warm and repeat with remaining balls of dough.

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