Recipes For Making Your Own Mexican Tortillas

Love those steaming hot flour tortillas you get at your favorite Mexican restaurant? Why wait to enjoy them? Learn to make your own homemade flour tortillas.

When you go to a Mexican restaurant, the chances are high that you will get a basket of chips and a bowl of salsa to snack on while you peruse the menu and wait for your food to arrive. Now, if the restaurant is good, you will get a container of piping hot flour tortillas whether you ordered the chicken flautas or the beef enchiladas. If the restaurant is great, these tortillas will be fresh and homemade. If you have ever wanted to bring the taste of authentic flour tortillas into your own home, try your hand at one of the following recipes. I must warn you...while the recipes may sound easy, the most difficult part will be rolling out the tortillas into circular shapes. With a little practice, however, you will become a professional at making your own homemade tortillas.

Flour Tortillas

Mix together three cups of unbleached flour, one teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Throw in anywhere from four to six tablespoons of lard or vegetable shortening (now you know why tortillas are fattening!). Using your hands mix the lard or shortening into the dry ingredients. Keep a cup and a quarter of some warm water nearby. Slowly begin adding the water, mixing the ingredients with your hands each time. You will want to continue adding the water and mixing the dough until the mixture stops being sticky and develops a soft consistency. Once you reach this point, continue to knead the dough for about three minutes. Separate the dough into twelve equal parts, rolling the dough pieces into small flattened balls (disc-shaped). Put the dough balls into a bowl and cover them with a towel, letting the dough rest for ten minutes. While the dough rests, put the heat on your stove to medium-high heat. You can cook the tortillas on a flat griddle or on a Mexican comal. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on each dough ball so it does not stick to your rolling pin. Using a pin made especially to roll out tortillas (these pins are much thinner than the normal rolling pins used to roll out pastry dough), roll the dough until it is circular-shaped and thin. Be sure to pick up the dough and turn it with every roll to make a consistent shape. Place the tortilla on the griddle or comal and let it cook for a few seconds. Flip it over and let it cook some more on the other side. The way you can tell the tortilla is ready is that the surface will be covered with brown spots. If you leave the tortilla on for too long, it will burn and become very hard. To keep them warm, place them in a cotton towel.

Lower Fat Flour Tortillas

If you are watching your waistline, but still want to enjoy the taste of homemade flour tortillas, make the following adjustment to the recipe above. Cut the salt down from one teaspoon to only half a teaspoon. Instead of using lard or vegetable shortening, use four tablespoons of low fat margarine. Once these slight adjustments are made, continue with the recipe above.

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