FLOUR TORTILLAS

Flour Tortillas
My college roommate, Joni, used to bring big stacks of homemade tortillas to our dorm after visiting her parents. We loved to sit 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.

  • FLOUR TORTILLAS
  • Servings: 4-8
  • Time: 1hr 0mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
WHAT YOU NEED WHAT TO DO WHY
8 3/4 ounces (1 3/4 cups)
all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double acting baking powder, sifted
Whisk together in a 1-pint tempered glass measuring cup. Warm on high power to 105-110°F; pour into well. Whisk inside well to slowly draw flour from around the edges. As liquid thickens, switch to a large mixing spoon, using a kneading motion (scoop flour from sides of bowl to plunge into the center, rotate bowl a quarter turn; repeat) to incorporate most remaining flour. Dissolving salt decreases spot discoloration during cooking. Drawing in flour makes mixing easy.
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Evenly dust the workspace. Turn dough out over top and knead (plunge palm heel into dough, stretch, fold, rotate a quarter turn; repeat) 2-3 minutes. Place smooth side up; invert bowl over top and rest 20-30 minutes.

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).

Resting lets flour absorb liquids with less kneading.

Form 8 balls of dough by tucking the points under and rolling against the workspace with a cupped palm. Place smooth sides up, invert bowl over top and rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat an empty 10-inch seasoned cast iron griddle over medium-low heat until water droplets dance across the surface when flicked from your fingertips (5-7 minutes). No butter or oil is required.

Uncovered dough dries out very quickly. Resting relaxes dough, making it easier to roll. Preheating the griddle discourages sticking and creates a crisp tortilla exterior.
8 teaspoons all-purpose flour, divided

Cook first side until bubbles form on top and golden areas appear on 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 oversized bowl.

To freeze, encase in bags marked with date/contents. Defrost in the bags (to minimize dehydration) at room temperature. Do not refrigerate; it stales bread.

A rack prevents condensation. Covering reduces dehydration.

FOR 4-INCH 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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