I made my own tortillas…yeah I did!

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The earth moved for these tortillas – literally…that’s how much they rock.

Actually, I tell a slight lie… the earth moved not just for these tortillas but for everyone in Melbourne tonight.  As I was just about to write this post, the house started to shake, the windows were rattling and there was a deep rumbling sound that went on for about 30 seconds.  I initially thought it was the neighbours again with their ‘doof doof’ music which normally vibrates through our house but that wasn’t it.  Tonight we had an earthquake and to be honest, I think I peed in my pants a little.  Once I realised that we were actually having an earthquake, I slightly started to panic.  What do I do?  Do I run outside? Do I hide in the bath? (no, that’s for fires I think), do I stand in a doorway? do I get down low and go go go? (nope, that’s fires again).  By the time I had gone through the options, the earthquake had stopped.  Yup, I’m awesome in a potential emergency situation…

Ok, so I’m not the calm, cool and collected one during an emergency but who cares when I made my own freaking tortillas.  When I mentioned to a friend I was making them, I think she thought I was a little loco.  But bear with me…once you’ve made your own tortillas it might be a bit tough to go back to store-bought ones.  It was a revelation, I tells you.  What I had experienced as just a simple edible vessel to hold all the goodness became the goodness in itself.

It really isn’t that difficult to make just a little more time-consuming than microwaving the tortilla packet for 45 seconds,  but the satisfaction you get from making them is worth it.

Flour Tortillas

Makes 20-22 tortillas

What you need:

  • 3 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 7 tbsp vegetable shortening (copha) or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup very hot water (just boiled from the kettle)

What to do:

Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and with your fingers mix the ingredients so it all comes together and knead for a few minutes until a smooth dough forms.

Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and let the dough rest for 15-30mins.

Portion the dough into approximately 40g/3.5oz balls and store them under another bowl covered with a tea towel to prevent them drying out.

Roll out the dough into about a 6-7 inch circle.  The easiest way to do this is to roll the dough into an oval.  Turn the dough 45 degrees, roll out again.  Turn the dough another 45 degrees and roll it into a circle.

Heat a skillet or pan until very hot and cook the tortilla on one side for about 45 seconds.  When you start to see the tortilla bubble, flip it over and cook for another 35-45 seconds and then do a final flip and cook for another 10 seconds.

I found the best way to store them without drying out and getting cold was to heat up a dutch oven (I used my Le Creuset) in the oven at about 150C and then put a tea towel inside and while I’m cooking the tortillas to wrap them in the tea towel within the dutch oven should keep them warm until ready to serve.  Otherwise you can just heat them up on a plate (no more than 5 at a time) under a damp paper towel for 30 seconds.

I used the recipe from this video on you tube.  Although the video is slightly blurry I think it’s an easy to follow step-by-step guide plus how can you resist the Charlie Brown theme song as the soundtrack!

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  • Helpmeet

    Homemade fresh tortillas are the best!! Would I be able to make a batch and freeze them between layers of parchment paper?? I’m not sure how I would go about unthawing them for use later or if they would just turn into a wet mess.

    • http://www.merci-mama.com/ Jules

      Hi Helpmeet, I think it would be fine to freeze them in between layers of either parchment paper or plastic. When you’re ready to use them, I would just thaw in the fridge. Good luck!

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  • LALS

    is there a texture difference using oil?

    • http://www.merci-mama.com/ Jules

      I’ve personally not made them with shortening so I can’t compare to be honest. I would think there wouldn’t be a huge difference but I know a lot of recipes use shortening so I think that is the preferred ingredient. Let me know how you go!

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