Tortillas de Harina
Flour Tortillas (wheat)
(this are NOT to be confused with CORN tortillas. Corn tortillas are made with MASECA, this are made with plain wheat flour, or you can use whole wheat also. Flour tortillas are rolled with a rolling pin, NOT pressed with a tortilla press)
These tortillas are great for quesadillas or burritos (I guess you could even do “wraps” with them, as long as you use them warm, otherwise they’re not very flexible). They are moist and buttery, and even if they don’t come out perfectly round (mine never do!), you can wow your friends and family! They are not as good as my mom’s, but they’re pretty close.
UPDATE!(july 2012). I wrote this post 5 years ago. We had recently moved to Switzerland (still here), and I was trying to a)do something with my time (now I have an almost 4 year old to keep me busy), b)bring some familiarity back to my life, it was overwhelming to be in a new country living a new life.
I pinned this (and a couple other posts) on pinterest, just trying it out, and I am super surprised to see how many visits it brought. I will read the comments and try to update the recipe to answer questions. Thanks!
revisions/comments in red
(makes about 35 tortillas about 6 inches in diameter)
1 kilogram of Flour (all purpose OR whole wheat) + 1 cup for rolling surface (=2.2 lbs, OR 8 cups)
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used oil because it was easy to find in a Swiss supermarket. I had just arrived to Switzerland and I did not know the language or the products. Please feel free to use vegetable lard. Lard is actually the "traditional" ingredient) (Also, I've had good results using less oil/lard, so feel free to experiment)
1 tbsp. Baking powder
2 tbsp. Salt (or less)
1 1/2 cup warm water (as hot as you can handle to mix with your hands)
- Mix your dry ingredients
- Make a “hole” in the middle of your “mountain” of flour.
- Add oil (or melted vegetable lard) and water and start mixing .
- When the dough is firm enough to handle, knead it a bit on a flat surface.
- “break” pieces off the dough (about the size of a golf ball) by squeezing it with your thumb and index finger (like you’re choking it :))
- Make several round balls (called “testales”), and place them on a floured surface (cookie sheet works great).
- Let the testales rest for about 30 mins. covered with a damp towel. (comments say 1 hour works best, I will try that, although it's just too long for me to wait :)
- Place a testal on a floured surface. Flour your rolling pin and roll. Whatever technique you use for rolling… just spread them enough so they are bout 6 inches in diameter. (do not try a tortilla press for flour tortillas :) It just doesn't work)
- Cook your tortillas on a “comal”, flat griddle or skillet at medium heat (mine was on 6 on an electric stove). You don’t need to oil the skillet (there’s enough oil in there).
- Just like with pancakes, the 1st one is never good, but the rest are delicious.
- You can pile up the uncooked tortillas, they won’t stick. (but not more than 5, and keep them far from the hot stove, otherwise they DO stick together)
- My process is usually: flatten, place in comal, flatten another one, turn the one in the comal, flatten another one, remove the one from the comal and repeat!
- It takes about 1 minute to cook on the 1st side (you will see some bubbles appear on the surface, this is normal), then you turn and press with it down with a flat turner to make a bubble again it takes about 30 seconds on the second side. Do not overcook or they will turn hard like cookies. delicious cookies, but not good for burritos.
Eat them warm with butter, avocado, queso, or refired beans, but to freeze or refrigerate, make sure you cool them spread out on a flat surface before bagging them.
(on the photos I had henna in my hands… they’re not dirty! Hehe)
thanks to all those who have taken the time to comment and give tips and feedback! I don't know why I cannot reply on each of your comments individually... but I read them and I appreciate them!