Tortillas are a food we sometimes overlook. We find ourselves too busy focusing on the fillings to pay much attention to the tortilla itself. But we've discovered that a well done flour tortilla (not to be confused with a masa corn tortilla) is a marvelous thing: flaky and tender, with the just the right amount of chew, and a subtle sweet and nutty richness. Tortillas, like any bread product, can be intimidating. But they don't have to be. At heart tortillas are a simple, versatile, and rustic bread that is quick to make and forgiving for newbies. Tortillas don't have to be perfect circles or exactly uniform. Homemade fresh tortillas coming hot off your stove will be miles ahead of their store-bought competition. A recent trip to San Pedro Sula, Honduras re-ignited our passion for making Homemade Flour Tortillas, and we've been making them regularly ever since.
Yield: 12 large tortillas
- 5 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup shortening, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 3/4 cups warm water (not hot to the touch)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) to thoroughly combine.
- Next, cut in the shortening and butter, this is most easily done with your fingers, working each piece of shortening and butter into the flour until it is a uniform texture like wet sand.
- Dump the warm water in all at once, and use your hands to bring the dough together, it will be very sticky. If it's unworkably sticky, add another few tablespoons of flour.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls.
- Flatten the balls into small circles and set aside on lightly-oiled plastic wrap or a silicon mat. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
- On a well floured surface, roll out each tortilla into a rough 8-10 inch circle.
- Preheat a wide non-stick or cast iron skillet on high heat for 3-5 minutes until very hot.
- Dry cook (not using oil) each tortilla for 1-2 minutes on each side until dark spots begin to form and the tortilla has cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside (covered) in a stack until ready to serve. Repeat this process until all the tortillas are cooked.