Making Tortillas (with Pictures)

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Making Tortillas (with Pictures)
Making Tortillas (with Pictures)
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Nothing tastes better than fresh tortillas! If you hate those leathery things at the grocery store that tear when you pack them and get soggy when you put ingredients on them, you can easily make them yourself. Here's how.

Ingredients

flour tortillas

For 8 tortillas

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water (or warm milk for a softer texture)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or lard

Corn tortillas

For 24 tortillas

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil for brushes

Steps

Method 1 of 2: Flour tortillas

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 1

Step 1. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium/large bowl

Make sure the bowl is big enough for all the ingredients.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 2

Step 2. Add shortening/lard until there are no more lumps

Use a pastry cutter or fork; don't knead too much into the dough.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 3

Step 3. Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 4

Step 4. Add water, about half a cup at a time, and knead the mixture into a dough

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 5

Step 5. Knead until smooth

The dough should be a little sticky, but not hard. You can add a little water or flour if needed.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 6

Step 6. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes

This will allow the baking powder of the dough to make a softer tortilla mix.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 7

Step 7. Roll the dough into egg-sized balls

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 8

Step 8. Roll out each dough ball with a rolling pin into a circle of about 15 centimeters

Sprinkle flour on your work surface before rolling out the tortillas.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 9

Step 9. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat

You can add a little bit of oil, fat, or lard, or do without.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 10

Step 10. Bake the tortilla for 1/2 to 1 minute on each side

If it starts to bubble, it's long enough.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 11

Step 11. Turn the tortilla over and cook the other side for a few seconds

20-30 seconds should be enough.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 12

Step 12. Continue until all your dough is baked

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 13

Step 13. Experiment with different types of tortillas

A few simple changes to this recipe can make simple flour tortillas spicy, unusual, or sweet.

  • Add a little cinnamon and sugar to your basic recipe for a sweet cinnamon flavor to your tortillas. If you want you can fry them and add the cinnamon/sugar mix as soon as they come out of the fat.

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  • Add some chipotle peppers and adobo to spice up your flour tortillas. This way you have tortillas with built-in salsa!

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  • Add some chopped sun-dried tomatoes to your recipe for rich-flavored tortillas. The perfect addition to fish tacos or chicken mole.

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Method 2 of 2: Corn tortillas

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 14

Step 1. Beat masa and salt in a medium bowl

Make sure the salt is evenly distributed in the masa.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 15

Step 2. Stir in water, a little at a time, until the dough starts to form

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 16

Step 3. Knead the masa until the dough starts to form

The dough should resemble clay: elastic and firm but also a little dry.

  • Add more water by tablespoons if the dough is too dry; add more masa if the dough is too wet.

    Make Your Own Tortillas Step 16Bullet1
Make Your Own Tortillas Step 17

Step 4. Measure out a generous tablespoon of dough and roll into small, round tortillas

Remember that corn tortillas are traditionally smaller than flour tortillas

  • Use a tortilla press covered with plastic for even, uniform tortillas.

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  • If you don't have a tortilla press, use a rolling pin for more artisanal tortillas.

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Make Your Own Tortillas Step 18

Step 5. Check for consistency before baking the tortillas

If the dough crumbles, it's too dry - add more water. If the dough sticks to the plastic on the press or rolling pin, it's too wet - add more masa.

  • This is your last chance to get the consistency right before baking.

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Make Your Own Tortillas Step 19

Step 6. Decide if you want to press all your dough before baking or press while you bake

Tortillas don't take long to bake, so you may want to have them all crushed before baking. If you are working with a tortilla press, you should have enough time to press tortillas as you bake.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 20

Step 7. Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat

Cast iron pans distribute heat evenly and quickly, so they are best for baking tortillas, but all non-stick pans will work.

Make Your Own Tortillas Step 21

Step 8. Apply a little oil to the tortillas with a brush and place them in the pan

Fry for 1-2 minutes on one side, or until slightly blackened and curled. Turn them over and cook for another 15 seconds. Take them off the fire.

  • If you're using a cast iron pan, you can bake more than one tortilla at a time.

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Make Your Own Tortillas Step 22

Step 9. Repeat this process with the remaining dough

Keep the tortillas warm by wrapping them in a clean kitchen towel if you serve them immediately.

Tips

  • Making good tortillas takes practice. Eventually you will be able to round them.
  • If you don't like soft tortillas, you can omit the baking powder.
  • Keep the baking sheet hot so the tortillas cook quickly. If they burn before they are cooked, turn the heat down a bit.
  • You can buy a tortilla press in some specialty (Mexican) cooking stores if you want an easy way to form tortillas.
  • To make fewer tortillas, use half the amount of each ingredient.
  • If you don't have a rolling pin, you can use a round bottle or even a broomstick!

Warnings

  • Store extra tortillas in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Since they contain no preservatives, they will spoil after a few days on the counter.
  • Traditional, authentic tortillas are usually made with masa or ground cornmeal. You have to adjust all ingredients in the recipe when using masa because it has a different texture than wheat flour.

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