Flour Tortillas

Flour Tortillas

Flour Tortillas are a blast from the past. My college roommate, Joni, used to bring back big stacks of homemade tortillas after visiting her parents. We loved sitting around pulling off strips, nibbling away until they were all gone.

If you like the relatively flat tortillas reminiscent of those made in Mexico (see picture to the left), leave out the baking powder. If you prefer the light fluffiness of the Tex-Mex variety, be sure to include it. The choice is yours.

Better yet, be adventuresome and try both.

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Time: 1hr 0mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • 8 ¾ ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon double acting baking powder, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
In a 3-quart bowl, whisk all together; form a well. Weighing flour produces consistent results. Sifting baking powder eliminates distasteful clumps.
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
Pour into the well. Whisk inside to draw flour from the edges. As liquid thickens, switch to a bamboo mixing spoon, using a kneading motion (scoop the flour from bowl sides to plunge into the center, rotating bowl a quarter turn; repeat). To incorporate remaining flour, knead with your hand (deeply fold and press). Drawing in flour makes mixing easy.
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Evenly dust workspace. Turn dough out on top and knead (plunge palm heel into the dough, stretch, deeply fold, rotate a quarter turn; repeat) 2-3 minutes. Place smooth side up; invert bowl on top and rest 20-30 minutes. Gluten continues to develop during resting, reducing hand kneading time.
  To Shape (see other options below): Pat dough into a 6-inch round. With a chef’s knife or bench scraper, cut 8 equal “pizza” wedges (cut round in half, each half into 2 wedges, each wedge into 2).  
  Under a cupped palm, rub each piece of dough against the workspace in a tight circular motion to form a loose ball. Invert bowl on top and rest 10 minutes. Uncovered dough dries out quickly. Dough tightens with handling, and a rest period allows it to relax, making it easier to roll.
  Meanwhile, preheat an empty 10-inch seasoned cast iron griddle over medium-low heat until water droplets flicked from fingertips dance across the base (5-7 minutes). No butter or oil is required. Preheating the griddle discourages sticking.
  • 8 teaspoons all-purpose flour, divided
For each ball of dough, use a teaspoon of flour to keep dough, workspace and rolling pin dusted. Pat into a disc, flip to dust second side; roll into an 8-inch round. When rolling, start in the center and roll to the far edge while your other hand lightly stretches the dough towards you. Rotate dough a quarter turn; repeat until reaching the 8-inch round. If dough happens to stick, use a spatula or bench scraper to release it from the workspace. Working from the center prevents creases.
  Cook first side until bubbles form on top and golden areas appear on the bottom (about 1 minute). Flip; cook the other side until golden areas appear on the bottom. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cover with an inverted bowl. A rack prevents condensation. Covering reduces dehydration.

FOR 4-INCH FLOUR TORTILLAS: Makes 32. Divide each of the 8 “pizza” wedges into 4 smaller wedges. After rolling each to 4 inches, cook 3 at a time.

FOR QUICK PERSONAL PIZZAS: Makes 16. Divide each of the 8 equal “pizza” wedges into 2 smaller wedges. After rolling each to 5 inches, space across 3 half sheet pans lined with parchment paper, or each evenly coated with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Top each tortilla with 1 tablespoon pesto or marinara, 1/4 cup shredded/crumbled cheese (mozzarella, Monterey Jack, cheddar, goat cheese or feta), 1/4 teaspoon Italian herb mix (basil, parsley, oregano) or fresh herb leaves, 1/2 cup finely chopped/sliced/diced toppings (precooked meats, pepperoni, bell pepper, onion, garlic, mushrooms and/or cherry tomatoes), 1/8 teaspoon each roughly ground black pepper and kosher salt, and finally 2 teaspoons drizzled olive oil (to promote toppings roasting versus burning). Bake 1-2 pans at a time until crust edges are golden (18-20 minutes).



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