I promised I'd have a post up about crackers and tortillas a couple of weeks ago, friends. I managed to get crackers posted, but the tortillas went slap outta my head. Sorry about that, y'all! If you're like me and have never made your own tortillas, you're gonna get hooked fast. They taste way better than anything you can buy at the store and are way cheaper to make too.
Now, friends, I grew up in Alabama and was raised by a transplanted Yankee who couldn't cook the basics much less anything like a homemade tortilla. My mama wasn't gonna branch out to include from scratch ethnic cookin', but as an adult, I've roamed here and there, making friends along the way. Some of those friends know a thing or two about making tortillas and one of them grew up in Mexico, rolling out tortillas for her mama who, I'm told, was the best cook in Tapalpa. This recipe and technique is based on my friend's childhood experience of making tortillas with her mama. I've replaced lard with shortening because I just never have lard on hand, but my friend assures me this substitution is fine.
A word to the wise before you try this recipe: you need to follow the directions or you're going to get a dough that is a hard, crumbly mess. Don't be afraid to scrape a batch and start over. It's just flour and water, right? Peace, B.
You'll need the following ingredients to make about 30 tortillas:
5 cups flour (I use bread, but you can use all-purpose.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
1 and 1/2 cup boiling water
Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Cut in the shortening. I use my hands to do this because it makes me a little crazy to use a utensil. The flour should look a little like cornmeal when you're through.
Add the water a little at a time. Use a spoon to mix the dough because it will be hot. You'll have a gooey, sticky mess at first and that's okay. Just keep adding the water and mixing. When the dough starts to form, that's when I use my hands to knead the dough. The warm dough will feel so good on your hands, friends! Knead for a few minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
Rub the ball of dough with oil and let rest for about ten minutes.
Divide dough into about 30 golf ball size pieces
and let rest another 15 minutes.
Roll out each piece of dough to desired thickness.
I like mine pretty thin.
Heat over medium high heat in a large skillet.
Less than a minute per side. You want them to
get those little brown spots and bubbles on them.
Wrap them in a dish towel as they come off the stove to keep them nice and warm or let them cool and store them in a plastic bag. You can freeze them in baggies as well. You will want to simply eat them as they come off the skillet, but resist the urge- okay, eat one because they're way good just off the skillet, but save some for eatin' later too!
Perhaps the best quesadillas in the history of ever served with my homemade salsa (sorry, I'm not giving up that recipe, friends!), Los Charros chips, and a big ole scoop of sour cream!