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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


When I first moved to Texas, my next door neighbor Gloria made flour tortillas on a regular basis, using White Wings tortilla mix. The dough itself is not the trick; it's the rolling and cooking. Gloria was fast and accurate. She could roll out scads and scads of perfectly round tortillas in the blink of an eye. I watched her over and over, but I could never get such nice round tortillas. She baked them on top of the stove in a cast iron skillet and flipped them quickly with her fingers. They were delicious.

Not too long ago, I read a food blog by Homesick Texan, with a recipe for homemade tortillas, and despite the fact that I wasn't good at it 20 years ago, I decided to try again. My technique has probably improved a little, although I'm not sure I'd serve them to guests. Then again, I'd eat them first, while they were hot off the griddle, and there wouldn't be any to serve, so I guess that's not a problem.

Texas Flour Tortillas
(adapted from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, divide into eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place them on a plate so that they aren't touching, and cover them with a damp cloth for 10 minutes. Let them rest so that they won't be so elastic and will roll more easily into a proper thickness and shape.

After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

In a dry iron skillet (or comal) heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done. Keep cooked tortillas wrapped in a cloth napkin or towel until ready to eat.

Makes eight tortillas.


At 4/26/2007 9:41 AM, Blogger Toni said...

Those look good. Did you use a tortilla press? I've tried making them, not with great results.

At 4/26/2007 11:24 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Hi Toni! I rolled them. I should get a press. They'd be faster and prettier! Try this recipe and see what you think. Be sure you follow the resting time, so they will relax and not be elastic when you roll.

At 4/29/2007 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you get a press, you could buy some masa and do fresh corn tortillas.

At 5/05/2007 9:23 PM, Anonymous Andrea said...

Thanks for this recipe. I have considered making tortillas before, and this looks like something I could attempt. It would be wonderful to be able to make my own when I don't want to run to the store (which is often!)

At 5/07/2007 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember these! They are delish.
Love ya,

At 5/17/2007 11:01 AM, Blogger Kay said...

I've been making tortillas off and on for most of my life and mine still look more like the state of Texas than a pretty round circle. If I remember, I'll send you my abuelita's recipe. It's much simpler than the one you posted (which is easy enough).


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