Tortillas are a staple in our home, we eat them with practically everything. They are used as an edible bowl disguised as tacos, a spoon for sopping up chile, an edible wrap when we are craving a sandwich and my personal favorite, toasted on a comal and then slathered with butter and drizzled with honey. Homemade tortillas taste so good when made fresh but honestly they will last awhile and warm up nicely in the microwave or toasted on a comal or cast iron griddle. My only problem in making them was keeping up as I prepared the individual rolls into balls and then rolling them out before toasting. Good thing I had a helper handy. Joe came in and saved the day, running the individual balls of dough through the tortilla press and then passing them off to me to roll out a bit thinner so that they would toast up soft and fluffy. In no time we had a stack of tortillas ready to be devoured!
This recipe is inspired by Comfortably Domestic. I have made tortillas with lard or shortening in the past but Kirsten’s recipe intrigued me. By using canola oil in place of the shortening the tortillas came out lighter and fluffier. Her recipe makes a big batch (18 tortillas) so you may or may not want to cut down the recipe. You’ll need flour, baking powder, salt, canola oil, and warm water.
Prepare a work space with a sprinkle of flour and begin kneading it into a large ball of dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. One of the keys is to keep the dough from drying out, always keep the dough covered with a kitchen towel throughout each stage.
Break off a piece of dough approximately the size of a golf ball. It should be approximately 2 ounces. It was easier for me to just break off a piece and weigh it so that each tortilla would be close to the same size.
If you have a tortilla press, I suggest that you press the tortilla as flat as you can and if need be roll it out further until it is thin enough to see a shadow of your hand underneath. Place the tortilla on a very hot comal or cast iron griddle for approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute. Flip over for an additional 30 seconds.
It’s so light it will puff up when it’s turned over. It will collapse as soon as it is retrieved and placed in a tortilla warmer also lined with a kitchen towel. Stack them on top of each other as soon as they come off the hot comal. They will be so soft and warm it will be hard to keep your hands off them.
This is about half and filled one of my tortilla warmers. Good thing I have two!
Homemade Flour Tortillas (adapted from Comfortably Domestic)
6 cups Flour
2 tablespoons Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Salt
1 cup Canola Oil
1 1/2 – 2 cups Warm Water
Whisk the flour along with the baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil. Work the oil into the flour with your fingers until little clumps begin to form. Work it in until the clumps are no larger than pea size. Begin to add the hot water about 1/2 cup at a time, working it in with your hands adding more water as needed until it begins to form a dough. When the dough is damp (not wet) and will easily stick together, turn it onto a work surface lightly sprinkled with flour. Knead the dough and shape it into a large round ball. Keep dough covered with a clean kitchen towel to keep it moist as your begin to pinch off pieces of the dough to make smaller dough balls.
Pinch off a piece of dough approximately the size of a golf ball weighing about 2 ounces. Roll into a ball pinching the edges underneath. As you make the balls (approximately 18), place into a bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel. Cover them each time you add a ball of dough to the bowl to keep them moist.
The next step is to roll out each individual dough ball into a thin round disk, approximately 6 inches in diameter. If you have a tortilla press it will make rolling them out a bit quicker. Sprinkle a little bit of flour over your work surface so the tortillas won’t stick as you roll them. They should be rolled thin enough to see a shadow of your hand underneath but not so thin that they will tear.
Heat a comal, or cast iron griddle over high heat. When hot toast the tortilla for approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute. Turn tortilla to toast the other side about 30 seconds. You should see small bubbles when toasting. Stack the tortillas in a tortilla warmer lined with a clean kitchen towel. Again, keep the tortillas covered as you make them.
Serve fresh or keep refrigerated for up to a week. Warm any refrigerated tortillas in the microwave or toast on a comal or skillet.
Makes approximately 18 tortillas.