Flour Tortillas are a blast from the past. One of my college roommates, 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 above), 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!
Flour Tortillas Recipe
- Makes: 8
- Calories per: 299
- Active Time: 25 min
- Total Time: 40 min
- Difficulty: Easy
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||Place a 3-quart bowl on a scale and weigh in the flour. Whisk in the salt and baking powder. Rub shortening into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs (~1 minute). Add hot water; stir in with a fork and finish mixing with your hands. The dough will be soft and sticky. Evenly dust workspace with 2 tablespoons flour. Turn dough out on top and knead (plunge palm heel into the dough, fold, rotate a quarter turn; repeat) until the flour is incorporated. Encase in a bag and rest ~15 minutes.||Weighing flour produces consistent results. Whisking baking powder eliminates distasteful clumps. Resting allows gives the flour an opportunity to fully absorb the water. A bag prevents the exterior from getting crusty as it rests.|
||Shaping: Pinch dough into 2 equal portions, each of those into 2, and each of those into 2 for a total of 8 portions. Under a cupped palm, rub each piece of dough against the workspace in a tight circular motion to form a loose ball. To discourage sticking, use 1 teaspoon of flour per dough ball to keep the workspace and rolling pin dusted. Pat the first ball into a disc, flip to dust second side, and start rolling. Start each roll in the center, rolling away from you to the far edge. Rotate dough a quarter turn; repeat until achieving an 8-inch round. If dough happens to stick, use a spatula or bench scraper to release it from the workspace.||Uncovered dough dries out quickly. Working from the center prevents creases.|
|In a 12-inch ceramic nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook until bubbles form on top and golden areas appear on the bottom (~1 minute. Flip; cook the other side until golden areas appear on the bottom (~1 minute). While it is cooking, roll out the next ball of dough. Transfer cooked tortilla to a wire cooling rack and cover with an inverted bowl.||A rack prevents condensation. Covering reduces dehydration, keeping the tortillas soft and pliable.|
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).