I grew up with homemade tortillas. Flour tortillas are hard to come by in Spain so my mom always made them for us. Having been raised on such tasty and fresh tortillas I have always been sorrily disappointed in the store bought ones.
However we have been rather unsuccessful in replicating them. I say we because Nathan has been working on these with me. Actually to be fair he tried three or four recipes, none of which came out quite right, and then I took a stab at a recipe, applied all the things we learned NOT to do, and had them come out perfect on the first try.
I tease him about it every time we make them. “How is it that you tried so many times and failed and I try once and they are perfect?” I say as I duck and run for cover.
So I won’t bore you with what not to do but here are the things I think you MUST do for them to come out right:
Kneed, kneed, kneed. I throw everything in my stand mixer and kneed it for a 6-8 minutes. You have to give the gluten time to form.
Let them rest. This recipe says to let them rest for 20 minutes. They must rest for at least the full 20 minutes. If you can give them more time awesome.
Roll them out as thin as you can get them. It takes time yes but you want almost paper thin tortillas.
Use a hot hot hot cooking surface. I have used both the pizza stone in a 450 degree oven and a rip roaring hot DRY griddle. Both work beautifully but they key here it HOT. You want to cook these babies in about a minute.
Under cook ever so slightly. Crispy charred tortillas are tasty but the ones that seem a tad underdone at first will finish cooking as they cook and be perfectly soft and chewy.
This recipe makes 8-12 tortillas depending on how big you want them. One happy thing I learned is that you can simply pop any unrolled dough balls into a ziplock and store in the fridge. I have kept them in the fridge for up to 5 days. No mixing, kneeding and resting required! Just pull out of the fridge, roll, cook, and devour.
(Wednesday I will be sharing with you the delicious enchiladas I made with this batch of tortillas)
Homemade Flour Tortillas (makes 8-12)
From the Joy of Cooking
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lard
3/4 cup warm water
Combine all ingredients in a the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and kneed for 6-8 minutes. Divide the dough equally into 8-12 pieces and roll them into balls (a scale is very handy here). Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Roll our each ball of dough into a 6- to 8-inch round about 1/8 inch thick.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Slide the tortillas into the skillet one by one, cooking until brown spots appear, about 30 seconds on the first side, 15 seconds once flipped. Alternatively place a pizza/bread stone in your oven and preheat to 450 F. Place a tortilla on the stone and cook on just one side for aprox 45 sec-1 min. Cover the cooked tortillas to keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve warm.