Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homemade Tortillas

I'd always wanted to try making my own tortilla, even though they are available in every grocery store, home made is almost always better.

As most of you who are familiar with me you know I am not a big fan of "shortening"  mostly because it is so highly processed and even the organic onces seem to be filled with ingredients I can't pronounce.  Mostly though it's because I don't like the flavor and I don't think that shortening is even necessary unless you are taking a long journey into the dessert with out refrigeration.  Butter is pure, easy and is made from one very pronounceable ingredient:  Milk.

It is admittedly kind of radical to make tortilla with butter, mostly they are made with lard or shortening, so I was a bit worried. Turns out my worry was un-necessary.

These Tortilla worked out great, where easy and have kept well in the fridge for over a week.  The only thing to watch out for is to make sure as you cook them you keep the cooked ones covered in a warm slightly damp towel so they don't try out and lose there flexibility.  But even if that does happen as did to me, when you put cheese on them and put them under the broiler they regain their wrap-ability.

Homemade Tortillas

Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl add 3 cups of bread flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour (or all bread flour if you want white tortilla).

In a separate bowl add 1 cup of warm water, add to this 1 teaspoon of salt, stir until the salt dissolves. 

With your fingers mix in 1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) of unsalted butter into the flour mixture until it is completely mixed in.  Gradually add, a little bit at a time, the salty water.   Mixing it well with you hands as you go.  When all the water had been incorporated you should have an easily workable ball of dough.  If it is too stuff add more water.  

Ned the dough until it becomes elastic and is very easy to knead.  About 5 minutes.

Conversely you can make the tortilla in a standing mixer with a paddle attachement.  You could swap out a dough hook after the water is added but I find the paddle works just fun.

When the dough is kneaded roll out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a large sausage, using a sharp knife or a dough cutter divide the dough into about 20-24 pieces, roll each into a perfect ball the size of a large walnut.

Place these balls on the parchment and cover with a barely damp cloth.  Let sit at least an hour if not longer.

Place each ball onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into 6-8' rounds.   

When ready to make the tortillas put a large cast iron skillet on the stove over medium high heat, when the pan is hot place dust off your tortilla and place it into the pan and wait for it to bubble up like below:
It should take about a minute or so.

Using tongs, or your fingers, turn the tortilla over and cook on the other side for another 30 seconds or so, you want both sides to be browned a little.   
Place in a pile on a plate covering them with a barley damp cloth.
I melted cheese on top of each under the broiler and served them with guacamole, peach salsa I had put up in the late summer and some black beens I had made in my new favorite cooking pot my Olla from Mexican.
Funny how everything in our house somehow ends up being a version of pizza.

Bon provecho!

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