Homemade Flour Tortillas

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Jennifer Pallian
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I have a thing for flatbreads, in case you hadn't noticed.

Making your own flour tortillas is quick and simple, and I can promise that your efforts will result in soft, fresh and delicious vehicles for chicken, guacamole, and sour cream. They are so easy and tasty that I am confounded as to why I have been buying the dry, twenty-ingredient (most of which are mysterious) variety from the International section of the supermarket.

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The supermarket sort do last longer - I'll give them that. I've had a few tortillas, in their signature yellow zippered bag, sit for weeks on the counter and maintain their integrity as if I had just bought them. Highly suspicious, if you ask me.

The homemade counterparts really only taste incredible the first day. But luckily, they only take minutes to whip up, and the rolled-out dough can be frozen between sheets of waxed paper for fresh, homemade tortillas anytime!

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Not only are they great for fajitas, but also for rolling into a lunch sandwich - try refried beans, avocado and red onions. Or for breakfast, smeared with peanut butter and wrapped around a whole banana.

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I adapted this recipe from Gourmet magazine, where they cut in vegetable shortening, in place of the vegetable oil. This probably results in a flakier tortilla, but not worth the trans-junk. I'd be more quickly convinced to use lard, which is more authentic anyway. Not having lard on hand, the oil works great!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2/3 cup warm water

1. In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour and salt. Add oil and warm water, stirring to combine. Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 3 minutes, until dough is smooth. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces, rolling each piece into a ball. Allow to rest, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes.

2. Once dough has rested, preheat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (do not use nonstick for this). Roll out each ball into a circle, about 6 inches in diameter. Cook one at a time in the hot skillet for about 60 seconds, flipping half-way through, when it starts to puff and a few brown spots have appeared on the first side. Keep warm by wrapping the stacked tortillas in a clean dishcloth.