Homemade Flour Tortillas
I love to make things that most people would never think of making at home, because they are so readily available, like Tortillas. Sure, you can find good quality Tortillas just about anywhere, especially in the Detroit area, which has a large Mexican population, but I enjoy learning how things are made. Now that I know how to make a Tortilla, I can change the ingredients around a bit and do something creative with it, like sweeten it and make a Mexican dessert. Maybe Cinnamon Ice Cream wrapped with Banana Tortillas; there are a lot of possibilities.
I used lard in my Tortillas, sue me, I like lard for certain things. As my Mom always says, Lard makes the absolute best pie crust! Do you know how often I eat a piece of pie? Maybe twice a year, why not make it with the good stuff! It's all about moderation. By the way did you know that lard has half of the cholesterol of butter? You can just as easily use vegetable shortening in this recipe, if the four letter word LARD freaks you out.
This recipe is changed just a little from the one in the book The Southwest: Williams-Sonoma New American Cooking which I heard about from Cookie Jill's site, Cookies in Heaven. The Tortillas came out picture perfect, and tasted even better. The Recipe:
Homemade Flour Tortilla Recipe
2 1/2 Cups A.P. Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
5 Tbsp Lard (or Vegetable Shortening)
3/4 - 1 Cup Warm Water
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the solid lard until it is in pea sized pieces. Add the water a little at a time, working it in until the mixture comes together in a cohesive mass. Knead the dough for about a minute, if the dough is sticky, add a little more flour. Form into a ball and wrap with plastic, let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
When the dough has rested, cut the ball in half, then cut each half into 6 equal pieces, roll them into balls. With a rolling pin, roll the balls into rounds of about 1/8" thickness (I like them a little oddly shaped, it makes everyone sure that they're homemade).
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add 1-2 tortillas at a time if they'll fit. When they start to bubble, check the underside, if there are brown spots, flip them over. The second side doesn't take quite as long, cook them just until the bubbles turn light brown. Serve immediately or cool and stack them, place them in a plastic bag and refrigerate. I say if you're going to all the trouble, make them to order in front of your guests, they cook very quickly, and are wonderful when right off of the skillet!
Makes 12 Tortillas