I had several hankerings for enchiladas a couple winters ago when I couldn’t get to the store. And who wants to go without tortillas when you don’t have to? I shall never hanker unrequited again. I was determined to learn how to make them myself.
Servings: 12 (or the size you make them)Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 1 min per tortilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening or lard
1 cup milk
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-size bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter. Stir milk in and mix the dough as much as possible with a spoon.
The dough will appear dry at first. Work it the rest of the way by kneading and a pliable dough will result. Cover bowl and let rest for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle a bit of flour in the bowl and knead again briefly. Divide dough into 12 balls.
Taking one ball of tortilla dough at a time, flour waxed paper and stretch the ball a bit to get started. Place dough on the floured wax paper and sprinkle flour on top of the dough.
Roll out the tortilla as thinly as possible without breaking the dough.
If your dough sticks as you pull it up, you aren’t using enough flour. It should pull off the waxed paper easily. (Every recipe I looked at suggested rolling the tortilla between two pieces of waxed paper. I tried that and found it very annoying. There is no need for that. If you flour your tortilla, you should have no problem rolling it out and picking it up, and it’s much simpler without hassling with the extra sheet of waxed paper.)
I line a large cutting board with waxed paper and transfer each tortilla one at a time to the cutting board. (When I’m finished, I can easily carry the cutting board to the stove to cook them. Place tortillas in single layers, separating layers with waxed paper.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high. (You’re cooking them dry, no oil, so cast-iron is best.)
Roll these out just as thinly as you would with lighter tortillas–-they will puff up and become thick as you cook them. When cooking, do 30 seconds per side, only flipping once.
Place cooked tortillas in foil and keep wrapped while continuing to cook the remainder.
This recipe makes twelve 6- to 8-inch tortillas. To make larger tortillas, divide your ball of dough into fewer portions. (Remember not to make larger tortillas than you have a pan to cook them in!)
To store tortillas, place in sealed baggies in the refrigerator.
These keep well for a week or more in the fridge. To make them last longer and for added freshness, include homemade dough enhancer in the first step (three tablespoons per recipe batch). You can also freeze them in a freezer baggie for a couple of weeks.
You can vary these endless ways–-substitute some whole grain flour. Add crushed hot peppers, chopped olives, anything you like for gourmet tortillas.
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