Saturday, May 7, 2011

Homemade Tortillas

As I mentioned before about how am I not hip and with it like the other people that post recipes before holidays happen. With that being said I will be posting some recipes that we had for Cinco De Mayo. 

First up: homemade tortillas!

I really loved these tortillas! They call for lard instead of oil, which you would think wouldn't make too big of a difference but it does. At least to me. They were soft and pliable, and delicious! I was looking for a recipe similar to Cafe Rio's tortillas. For those who have eaten at Cafe Rio you know what I am missing out on here in Lubbock, Texas with no Cafe Rio to go to. I wouldn't say this recipe is the Cafe Rio tortillas, but it will work for me. (Until I come upon another recipe to try, or just work on perfecting this one.)
The hubby was kind enough to roll out the tortillas for me, he has had lost of experience making tortillas from the 2 years he spent in far Eastern Russia. Since they don't have a lot of tortillas in that area you learn to make your own. 
Now this isn't the recipe the hubby had in Russia, his called for oil, but it's pretty similar he says.
Something about eating a taco in a homemade tortilla made the meal so yummy. I love eating things that we were able to make from scratch that I could have bought at the store for 2 dollars, but we chose to be adventuresome. :)

Homemade Flour Tortillas


2 - cups all purpose flour
1 - teaspoon baking powder
1/2 - teaspoon salt
5 - tablespoons lard (recommended) or vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
3/4 - cup hot water


In a large bowl add the flour, salt, baking powder and shortening. Using your fingers cut in the shortening (or lard) until the mixture resembles pea size pieces (or use a pastry cutter). Add the hot water and mix together using your hands or a wooden spoon until the mixtures starts to form. Knead on a floured surface for 5 - 10 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball. Place the dough into a covered bowl and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Pinch off the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into golf ball size balls. Preheat your griddle or cast iron pan on medium high heat. Flatten each dough ball a bit and then roll out on a floured surface forming a circle.

To make a round shape roll out the dough and then make a 1/4 of a turn of the circle and then roll and make another 1/4 of a turn. Keep doing this until the dough is rolled out to 1/8 inch thick. You really want these to be very thin, almost like tissue paper because they do puff up while cooking. Place onto the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly. Flip and continue cooking the other side. Each side should cook about 30 seconds. Keep the cooked tortillas warm while you continue rolling and cooking the remaining tortillas (I just put mine in between paper towels or clean dish towels).

Recipe taken from: The Country Cook

Cook's Note: I highly recommend you use lard (or manteca) for these. Shortening will work great but the lard is just a bit better, in my opinion. These really are the best the day they are made. If you have any leftover, put them in a ziploc bag and pop them in the fridge. The next day, just fry them up and make tostadas or cut them into triangles and fry them for chips to have with Salsa or sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on them for a sweet treat.

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