Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No Lard Tortillas

I was going to post a recipe for Hot chocolate today, considering half the nation is buried under snow, but my best friend made a special request. Yesterday she asked, "Hey when are you going to post that tortilla recipe you've been talking about?" Well, I didn't have time to write something up yesterday, so I'm posting it today. So for those tortilla-less folks who get a hankering for Mexican, but can't make it out the front door, let alone to the market, this recipe is perfect for you.

I had heard making tortillas was easy but I was sceptical. A few weeks back I was searching for a recipe on Tasty Kitchen and I stumbled across this particular recipe for homemade flour tortillas . The thing that makes this recipe unique is that it calls for oil, and not lard, shortening or butter.

I was surprised to find out how easy they were to prepare. I'm still not the most skilled with a rolling pin, so they were rather free formed in shape. They worked great for egg tacos and quesadillas. If I was going to make something like enchiladas I would buy a package of flour tortillas. The uniform tortillas would just be so much easier to handle when assembling that sort of dish. If anyone can give me some tips on how to get the tortillas less amoebic in shape, that would be awesome. One quick note about ingredients. Because you aren't getting any flavor from the fat, if you have it, unbleached flour is the way to go. Unbleached flour has a bit of a nutty flavor, where bleached flour is pretty tasteless. Tasteless works great in chocolate chip cookies because there are a lot of other flavors in there that you'd rather shine through, namely the chocolate, butter and sugar. Of course, if you are snowed in and don't have any unbleached flour, I'm sure that regular old bleached all purpose will work fine. To continue with the Chocolate chip cookie metaphor, it's kind of like using milk chocolate chips in the recipe. Yeah, they taste OK, but semi-sweet chips result in a better tasting cookie.

Also, do not use soybean oil. Stick with canola. I made a batch with Soybean oil and they did not roll out as well as the ones I made with canola. They didn't taste any different, they were just a pain to roll out. I haven't tried making these with regular vegetable oil so I can't attest for the roll-ability of the tortillas with that particular oil.

After making a few tortillas, I found I was able to roll out one portion of the dough while another was cooking on the skillet. This allowed me to get sort of an assembly line going while I rolled and cooked out all the tortillas. It went much quicker than I expected, and I'm pretty slow going in the kitchen.

I was also surprised that the tortillas stayed warm under a dish cloth as the remainder of the tortillas were cooked. This was a really nice surprise. This meant that I got to eat my tortillas warm too!

The recipe didn't say how to store any leftover tortillas. Since there are no preservatives, I was afraid if I left them on the counter they would go bad so I stored them in the fridge. I reheated them briefly on the skillet to make them malleable again. They tasted just as good the second day as they did the first!

 No Lard Tortillas from Tasty Kitchen
3 cups Organic, Unbleached Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
⅓ cups Canola Oil
1 cup Hot Water

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder with a whisk. Add the canola oil and mix with your fingers until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add 1 cup of hot water and mix until a ball is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. (I have also refrigerated it overnight).

Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll out one at a time on a floured surface. Brush off excess flour. Cook on a hot, ungreased griddle over medium-high heat. Turn the tortilla when brown blisters form on the first side. Stack the totillas and serve warm.


  1. I have the same trouble - I'm no good at rolling circles. Homemade taste better, but for perfect circles I go with store-bought.

  2. Thanks Girlie! I will have to try these out tomorrow night as tonight Im going to recuperate from shoveling. Halfway down the walk so far, but the front yard is all the drifted snow that wasn't on the drive, Oy!

    Thanks again :)

  3. Cookie baker lynn- well I feel much better if you have a problem rolling circles too!

    Amy- woot woot for getting the walk done. Lemme know how the tortilla go. Mrblocko just informed me that we have another snow day on Thurs. yay.

  4. ok, the tortilla's are going to need perfecting, technique wise, I think they were a teeny bit overdone, and too floury, both my fault. They already top an store bought ones I have had, though. Lots of work (but I could just be too impatient today), but well worth it.

  5. The flour could be a result of them being overdone too. Extra flour on the dough when you put them on the skillet has a tendency to get burnt/dark. I didn't do this with the tortillas, but with the first batch of pita bread I made. I guess there is a learning curve with the toritillas cause no one can tell you how much flour or how long to cook because everyones humidity and heat source are different. I'm glad that they tasted good though!


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