Thursday, October 23, 2008

Homemade Tortillas

Today I asked Mami to teach me to make tortillas. I'm sure it's been over 15 years since she last tried teaching me! I wanted to make wheat tortillas and so we used her usual recipe substituting the unbleached all-purpose flour with wheat flour. The tortillas turned out a bit hard but they were edible. Ask Juju, she ate 3 in a row! Mami said this happened because we used only wheat flour. She always makes tortillas with all-purpose flour and suggested that next time I use 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of wheat flour. Below is my mami's tortilla recipe.

3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour (or 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 of wheat flour)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of lard/shortening or butter or oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of warm milk or warm water

1-Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl
2-add the fat (lard/butter/oil) and, using your hands, blend completely into the dry ingredients until fully incorporated and a bit crumbly
3-add the warm milk (or water) and continue to mix with hands until all of the liquid is absorbed. Add more milk/water if too dry and more fat if too hard dough on hard surface and continue to knead until soft, you may need to flour the kneading surface
5-roll into a log and cut off a ball about the size of a lemon
6-pull over the edges of the ball to the center until the "ball" is smooth--should look like a thick chocolate chip cookie OR you could just roll it into a ball (I think Mami does the pulling over part because it stretches and smooths out the dough). Make these dough balls (called "testales" in Spanish) with the whole batch of dough and place them on a dish towel.
7-roll out each "testal" into a flat tortilla with rolling pin to about 8" in diameter
8-place on a very hot griddle and flip when you see "bubbling". Once you flip it, then you can press on the tortilla with a dish towel (Mami always uses a special wooden press that Papi made for her but a dish towel works fine). The pressing will cause the tortilla to puff up. It might puff up on its own, but if not, this helps.

Store in a plastic bag to retain softness.

I found this recipe online and it is very similar to Mami's. If my future attempts at making tortillas fail, then I'll try this one.

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