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Flour Tortillas, FC#79

elizaram's picture

For years, flour tortillas have been on my "things I would love to be able to make but haven't learned how yet" short list. I tried cookbooks, the Internet, even got my friend Diego to hit his mom up for her legendary family recipe, but somehow in my hands they never quite came out right.


Tried the FC recipe last night and it is a winner. The tortillas are soft and pliable, slightly flaky, and very yummy. DH ate more than half the batch by himself - I'll have to make more today! I served them with Wolvie's carnitas and the chopped Mexican salad (also from the current issue). Outstanding.


It's been so long since I tried to make tortillas that I can't recall what the difference might be between this recipe and the ones I tried before. It may be ingredients (I don't think the other recipes had baking powder), or technique (adding warm water after cutting in cold lard seems odd, but I can't argue with the results), or both. But it works, and I am one happy flatbread maker. :-)




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Aberwacky's picture

(post #39062, reply #1 of 20)

Thanks for the report--tortillas are one thing I've always wanted to make because I love the fresh ones so much, but they never turned out like the ones from the places that make their own.


I'll give them a try. (I even have homemade lard in the freezer!)


Leigh


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Frankie's picture

(post #39062, reply #2 of 20)

I did a search for Wolvie's carnitas and could not find the recipe. Do you know the link or the proper wording to find it?

Frankie


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elizaram's picture

(post #39062, reply #3 of 20)

Here you go:


Carnitas


These are soooo good! Probably my favorite way to fix pork butt.




Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. — Clare Boothe Luce



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whatscooking's picture

(post #39062, reply #4 of 20)

I made that chopped salad last week but madmom-ed the toppings (no jicama, added some queso fresco and some tortilla chips.)  The vinaigrette is great.  We really liked this salad.  Used the left ver vinaigrette on a carrot salad the following day. Cumin and carrots worked well together.

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SallyBR1's picture

(post #39062, reply #5 of 20)

I made flour tortillas and corn tortillas many years ago - even had a little tortilla press, that broke on me. It was a cheap piece of cr ap, anyway

they are so much better than store bought, but somehow I never had the desire to make them again - maybe your post will inspire me

Did you roll them with a rolling pin, or you have the press?

 


 


"The beauty of a Sally is how neatly she can be divided"
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elizaram's picture

(post #39062, reply #6 of 20)

I used a rolling pin. I found they were pretty easy to roll out. A tortilla press is somewhere on my list of future kitchen purchases, but I didn't realize you could do flour tortillas with it (have only heard of pressing corn). I will give it a try when I get one - seems you'd get more symmetrical tortillas that way, and with less flour clinging on.


I should add that I cheated by making these almost entirely in the food processor. Pulsed to mix the dry ingredients, pulsed again to cut in the lard, then added the water with the mixer running and let it go just until the dough came together. Took out the dough ball and kneaded for a minute or so. Cut into eighths with the bench knife, formed into balls, and let them rest. No trouble at all. I just did my 3rd batch while making my morning tea - the boys are eating these as fast as I make them!




Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. — Clare Boothe Luce


Edited 6/6/2006 8:43 am by elizaram



When I was young, all my friends were imaginary. Now that I'm older, all my friends are virtual.

SallyBR1's picture

(post #39062, reply #7 of 20)

I used the press for flour tortillas too - I had to cover each side with plastic wrap, it was a bit messy. But it worked ok.

I guess I never knew you were not supposed to... :-) I can see that the rolling pin would work better, though

 


 


"The beauty of a Sally is how neatly she can be divided"
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MadMom's picture

(post #39062, reply #8 of 20)

I never owned a tortilla press.  Made my tortillas by using a zip loc bag, cut on three sides.  Just put the ball of dough inside, and roll it very thin, then pull up one side of the plastic and drop it onto the grill from the other piece of plastic.  (Clear as mud?)  Can use one zip loc for a whole batch, and it's an easy way to get them nice and thin.



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deejeh's picture

(post #39062, reply #9 of 20)

I remember reading an article about a chef (can't remember who) who said she once was catering a meal that featured tortillas and didn't have a press or the time to roll them out.  What she did was put the dough between two layers of plastic wrap and press down on it really hard with the bottom of a cast-iron frying pan.  She said it worked perfectly.


deej

Syb's picture

(post #39062, reply #10 of 20)

I can't imagine that a tortilla press would work for flour tortillas.  The elasticity of the wheat dough makes it hard enough to get thin with a rolling pin.  No wonder Sally's broke.  Many of the presses you can buy do look like crap though.  For corn tortillas the cast iron pan sounds like a good alternative to a press.  For flour tortillas, I'll try it next time, just to get them started, but again, I don't think pressing alone would make the flour tortillas thin enough. 


MadMom's suggestion about the Ziploc bag is the way to go, at least for corn tortillas.  I've always used a recycled tortilla bag.  The thicker plastic makes it much easier to deal with than plastic wrap.  Also, for either kind of tortilla, be sure your dough isn't sticky.  Too much water added makes a real mess when forming the tortillas. 

mangiaFagioli's picture

(post #39062, reply #11 of 20)

Just slightly off subject, or maybe parallel...


One of the things I like most when I'm in Berkeley or the bay area (about half the time, it turns out) is that you can buy fresh masa at local mexican grocers for either corn tortillas or tamales, and the taste is amazing (have to mix in fat and I cheat, using olive oil instead of lard). No such luck when I'm in New York the other half the time (at least I haven't found it on the Upper West Side). and a decent heavy press cost me all of 8 bucks

pamilyn's picture

(post #39062, reply #12 of 20)

What is fresh masa? Pamilyn

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Gary's picture

(post #39062, reply #13 of 20)

masa; masa harina
[MAH-sah ah-REE-nah]
The Spanish word for "dough," masa is the traditional dough used to make corn TORTILLAS. It's made with sun- or fire-dried corn kernels that have been cooked in limewater (water mixed with calcium oxide). After having been cooked, then soaked in the limewater overnight, the wet corn is ground into masa. Masa harina (literally "dough flour") is flour made from dried masa.

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Nightrider's picture

(post #39062, reply #14 of 20)

I'm reviving this thread to say that I made the tortillas yesterday, and they were fabulous!  Not to mention that DH was totally impressed that we had homemade tortillas for dinner.


I'm definitely going to be making these again.  The recipe is really easy too!

bonnieruth's picture

(post #39062, reply #15 of 20)

I was talking about this on another thread, but this one is probably better.  My thanks to all who told me to use the flour tortilla recipe in FC#79.  I did, and they were much better than on my previous attempt.  I  would not say they were entirely easy, however; I still had problems getting them into the pan without their folding over on themselves.  Are there any tricks for this?


Edited 9/10/2007 6:40 pm ET by bonnieruth

unbaked's picture

(post #39062, reply #16 of 20)

Drape them over the rolling pin and then 'unroll' them onto the comal.


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bonnieruth's picture

(post #39062, reply #17 of 20)

Thanks, I will concentrate on making that work.  I did try it without much success, but now I don't remember what the problem was.

unbaked's picture

(post #39062, reply #18 of 20)

Maybe your dough isn't stiff enough. I used to buy uncooked flour tortillas quite often. They shouldn't be so tender that they'd be a problem to get onto the comal. Corn tortillas are generally much looser than flour, they can be a challenge, but I've seen cooks tossing around the uncooked flour tortillas without a problem.

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

bonnieruth's picture

(post #39062, reply #19 of 20)

Maybe my dough did need more flour, then.  The tortillas held together okay, but I certainly couldn't have tossed them around.  Thanks, I will be doing this again soon.

unbaked's picture

(post #39062, reply #20 of 20)

They definitely should NOT be sticky at all. Corn tortilla dough is sticky no matter what and must be handled very carefully, but the flour ones should be easier to handle.


We used to buy them uncooked from the Tortillerias in TJ. Of course, they may have been made differently to allow them to be handled. My maid used to make them, but I never watched her. I've always been more into corn tortillas myself.


'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine