Friday, March 18, 2016

Flour Tortillas

Bust out your rolling pin and lard because we bout to make some tortillas. GOOD ones. I'm sorry, I've tried butter, I've tried oil, I've even thought about bacon grease. But there's a simple fact for me. I don't make good tortillas without lard. There. I said it. Lard, lard, lard! See how beautiful those are, okay aside for the picture quality that is because, that picture sucks. But the tortillas are soft, and flakey. Sorry folks. That flakey goodness comes from the lard. Or it comes from lard for people like me who are not good at making tortillas with oil or butter. You can find lard at the grocery store, or you can most certainly render your own ask your butcher! I HAVE had success with using part lard part butter, more on that below.

Aren't they gorgeous. I know, if the picture was better as far as exposure it might blow your mind. Maybe it's a good thing I can't take awesome pictures. I double this recipes so, the first measurements will give you about 12 tortillas, second will double.

These tortillas will not keep for long, as they don't have preservatives. you can heat them up in a dry skillet, or on a gas flame (my favorite way to heat up any tortillas). I store them in a airtight container in the freezer if they need to be stored for more than a few days. One thing I have learned is that once I roll these tortillas out, I can place them in between parchment or wax paper and freeze them. When I want hot fresh tortillas I just cook them from frozen on a cast iron pan. They are perfect and it works so well.
Leftovers make amazing quesadillas also-

Tortillas (Flour)

12 and 5/8  ounces flour (2 and 3/4 cups) 
2.5 ounces Lard (5 tablespoons)
3/4- 1  teaspoon salt
6 ounces of very hot tap water (3/4 cup)

  1. Mix the flour and lard in a mixing bowl. Work the mixture with your hands to combine the ingredients well. There should not be big chunks of lard in the dough. It should have a cornmeal texture.
  2. Mix the water and salt together.
  3. Pour half the water into the flour mixture. Mix well. the dough will start clumping together, but it won't become a ball of dough. Add water until all the the flour is damp.
  4. Knead the dough for about 20 times, the dough shouldn't feel elastic like a bread dough, but it should come together.
  5. Divide the dough into about 12 balls. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
  6. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. 
  7. Heat a heavy skillet or cast iron on medium high heat.
  8. Roll a ball of dough out, on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin. The tortillas should be fairly thin, about 7 inches across.
  9. Place the tortillas on the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds on each side. Reduce or increase heat as needed. Don't over cook these, they will become crispy.
  10. Place the cooked tortillas in a clean kitchen towel while you cook the remaining dough so they stay warm.
Measurements for a double batch
1 pound 9 and 1/2 ounces
5 ounces Lard
12- 13 ounces water
* I have had success with 30/70 (butter/lard) ratio. I tried 50/50 but it didn't yield the same texture.**

Freezer Tip: 

  1. Freeze cooked tortillas between wax or parchment paper. 
  2. Freeze UNcooked tortillas, this is my favorite method. Roll the tortillas out, place them in between parchment or wax paper and freeze them. When you want hot fresh tortillas take them out of the freezer and cook them from frozen on a cast iron pan. 
Find more Freezer Tips here.

That's it! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Have fun, you'll never go back to store bought tortillas again.

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