I love fresh homemade flour tortillas. Around here, pretty much the only ones you can buy at the store are your run of the mill commercial tortillas. Yes, they’re convenient,which matters if you’re in a rush or you just can’t be bothered to make your own or you just don’t want to. Yes, they’re perfectly round and come in different sizes to fit your needs, from small to extra-large. I even used to buy them back in the day. Yes, I admit it. I used to buy store-bought tortillas. But I don’t anymore and this is why.
These days, around here, flour tortillas aren’t really all that cheap, closing in on close to $4. And I don’t want to pay $4 for something that doesn’t really taste like anything. Well, bland is a taste I suppose. And they sure as heck aren’t fresh, not by a mile.
There have been plenty of times where I’ve thought just grab some from the store and make your day a little easier. I go to reach for them and then the price jumps out at me. I pull my hand back, shake my head and go “what were you thinking!”
Just make them Claire, you know you wanna. Yours will be SO much better. And I’m pretty sure a lot cheaper. But even if they weren’t, I would still make them because they taste Yummo 🙂
You can mix this together by hand, but I generally prefer to use my KitchenAid Proline stand mixer. I just find it makes the process all that much easier to do. I just have to drop the ingredients into the mixer bowl and let it do all the hard work…which is the 5 minutes of kneading. I do turn out the dough to give it a couple good turns by hand before letting it rest.
I use a comal to cook my tortillas. I love love love mine. I use it to cook all sorts of different flatbreads, not just tortillas. I use mine strictly for flatbreads though you can use it for much more. A comal is a heavy flat cast iron skillet, which I find is perfect for cooking flatbreads. Its heavy enough to retain good heat and browns the bread nicely. Its one of my favourite kitchen must haves. There’s no side to the skillet making it super easy to flip the tortillas.
I use a restaurant style tortilla warmer to hold my tortillas once they’re cooked. It’s a thick round plastic container, with a tight-fitting lid, that allows the tortillas to steam and stay warm until they are ready to serve. I line mine with a clean dish towel, wrap the tortillas in it and let them steam inside to finish the cooking process.
If you’re looking for something to put in your fresh tortillas check out my recipe for easy soft beef tacos.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½-3 tbsp lard or shortening
- 1 cup hot water
- Add all dry ingredients into mixing bowl, stir to combine.
- Add lard or shortening, cut into flour mixture until well incorporated, should have a mealy look.
- Slowly add hot water, a little at a time, until the flour mixture comes together. Don't use all the water if you think it will make the dough to wet or add more if its too dry and it won't come together easily.
- Knead 5 minutes.
- Cover and let rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
- Pinch off dough, roughly the size of a large plum or smaller, depending on the size of tortilla you want. With practice you'll learn what size works best for your needs.
- Place a cast iron comal to heat over medium to med-high setting as you roll out your tortillas. Letting it get nice and hot slowly has always been a key step.
- Flatten ball slightly, then roll out as thinly as you can without tearing the dough or making holes. I never roll out more then two tortillas at a time, prevents the dough from drying out too much while waiting to cook them.
- Once the comal is sufficiently hot enough, start cooking your tortillas, one at a time.
- Cook first side for 1-2 minutes or until you start to see lots of bubbles appearing on the surface, the amount of time needed will all depend on how hot the comal/skillet is. You may have to adjust the temperature, up or down, so that your tortillas are bubbling/browning without burning. This comes with practice.
- When bubbles appear on top of dough, lift the edge to check to see if the bottom has begun to brown lightly in spots. If it has go ahead and flip the tortilla to cook the other side. If not, then give it a few more seconds, then flip and cook the second side when its ready.
- Cook second side for 1-2 minutes, adjust time as necessary to get the desired results.
- When tortilla appears properly cooked and is adequately browned, transfer cooked tortilla to a dish towel lined container that has a tight fitting lid. Place tortilla in towel, wrap and close lid. This is an important final step in cooking the tortillas. When they come off the comal they need to steam a bit to soften them. Usually by the time you're done cooking all the tortillas they are ready to eat. The towel allows them to steam without getting wet from the condensation that will collect in the container.
- Once tortillas have steamed sufficiently, serve and enjoy!
These are awesome freshly cooked, but also reheat very nicely, so they’re great for leftovers. I just reheat mine individually in the microwave, for about 15-20 seconds each, fill and enjoy 🙂