For me, there has always been a bit of mystique surrounding tortillas. I love them, particularly the fresh ones from Fairway in New York City that come in a variety of flavors. But I have never tried to make my own. Hell, I wasn’t even sure it was possible.
You’d think by now that I would have it through my head that if you can buy it in a store, you can make it at home. And most of the time the results outshine anything you’d buy that’s been commericially manufactured.
When I saw the recipe for tortillas in Taunton’s Fine Cooking Magazine this week, I was intrigued. Then when I was too tired to go to the store Friday but really wanted quesadillas for dinner, I decided to try it. Okay, okay. I know it’s bizarre that I would be too tired to take a 5 minute ride to the store but willing to mix and knead and cook tortillas so that I could ultimately make another dish with them. Alright, I have no excuse or explanation for that. It’s just one of those things . . .
Back to the tortillas. They were awesome, and I am not just saying that because I made them. They were light and fluffy, without an overwhelming flour-y taste that you sometimes get. And they folded easily without cracking (big plus). And they were easy. Who doesn’t like easy?
recipe adapted from Fine Cooking, June/July 2006
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup warm water
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add shortening and using the dough hook, mix on low to medium for 1 minute. Slowly pour in warm water and let mix for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Remove dough from mixer and turn onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth.
Divide dough into 8 equally sized balls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for about an hour.
Heat a skillet at medium-low. Remove one ball at a time, roll to a very thin circle and place in the hot skillet. Cook until lightly browned on both sides, turning frequently. Repeat with remaining balls. Be sure to keep unused balls covered to avoid drying.