I hadn’t made tortillas in a while. In fact, I guess it’s been years. I knew they were easy to make, but I remember a mess, a big mess, and figured they were cheap enough to buy – I could avoid all the hassle. But when you have 300 pounds of flour in the pantry… you can NOT buy tortillas. You have to make them. And truth is, I’m glad I did. They were much easier than I remember, much less mess and waste. Maybe I’m just neater now… but if you look around my home, you won’t believe that. Anyway, as with most everything we make from scratch, the homemade was so much better than any store bought, it was worth the effort. Gladly, the effort was minimal, so these will be a staple again in our house. And another good use for some of that flour.
I hope you try and enjoy!
In a large bowl, mix together with a fork, pastry cutter, or your fingers:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons shortening or lard (I use shortening)
When the shortening is well mixed with the dry ingredients so that the flour more resembles corn meal in texture, slowly add:
1 cup warm water
Knead the dough for a few minutes. It should be soft and pliable, not sticky. Use less water if it’s getting sticky; more if it’s still too dry to knead.
Pull apart or cut the dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each into a little ball. Let them sit out for about 15 minutes. Preheat your griddle or heavy fry pan. I have a large cast iron griddle that takes up two burners on my gas stove, and allows me to cook two tortillas at a time. Since you’re only making a dozen here, it doesn’t take too longer no matter how you do it. Keep your heat at medium. Too much heat will burn them; not enough will dry them out.
Roll out the dough balls into an approximate circle, as thin as possible. Use a rolling pin, and turn the tortillas over, rolling both sides flat and thin. Use a little flour to prevent sticking, but no more than is necessary. Lift and put onto the dry skillet, one at a time, single layer. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes – air bubbles with form evenly in the cooked dough, and they will have golden brown spots when cooked perfectly.
Stack them in a pile to keep them warm, or reheat them back on the cast iron skillet if need be before serving.