Introduction: Eat Good Food: Make Your Own Tortillas
It's just not fair.
I live in Michigan, have completely bland ancestral taste buds, and grew up on a mixture of celery salt and black pepper. Spices, intriguing food, and fat of any kind just weren't my mom's forte. That being said, she did a good job feeding all four of us ungrateful kids, but she instilled in us a terror of fat, spicy food, and international cuisine. We've all been on a mission to rescue our palettes ever since. My brother lives out west, and thrives on the spiciest food available. My oldest sister married an amazing Hatian guy who makes kickass food, fish heads and bones aside...;) My other sister just ferments everything. :)
Today I'm making what are supposed to be "authentic Texan tortillas." Apparently they're different from their bland, rubbery and thin northern cousins made from nothing but white flour and a complete lack of sunshine. Who knew sharing a border with Mexico could do so much for flatbread?
Step 1: Start Your Mixers!
Mix together these ingredients:
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vegetable oil
It's gonna be dry and crumbly, but that's perfectly normal. Just try to incorporate the oil into the flour/salt/baking powder mixture.
Step 2: Add the Milk; Slowly
For this step, you'll need:
3/4 Cup warm milk.
I used my skillet to warm it up, because I only have one saucepan, and it's in the fridge holding tuna chowder right now.
It doesn't really matter how you warm up the milk, just don't overdo it. You don't want to burn the milk to the bottom of your pan/make it all frothy and hot, because...that's just not what you want for tortillas.
Add the warm milk about 1/4 Cup at a time. Mix after each addition: this allows the milk to get well mixed in before things get soggy.
You'll end up with a sticky ball of goo.
This is perfectly okay.
Just keep on reading.
Step 3: Knead It!
Knead your dough for a full five minutes on a floured surface, such as a clean counter or a bread board.
Next, you'll want to put the dough in a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let it sit for a full 20 minutes. If you skimp on this step, your dough will be obnoxious, tough, rubbery, and you'll never roll the dough into tortillas. Don't skimp on this step!
Step 4: Get Some Balls!
After you've let it sit for 20 minutes, take the dough and cut/rip it into 8 equal pieces. Roll these pieces into balls in your hands, and put them on a plate. Make sure they're not touching, and cover them with that same damp cloth you used in the last step. Let them sit an additional 10 minutes.
Step 5: Roll It Out
On a floured surface, pat your balls of dough into little disks about 4" in diameter.
Then take your rolling pin, (no matter how retro it looks,) and roll out your patties into 8" rounds, starting from the middle and moving out. This can take some practice, but if your tortillas aren't round, really, nobody cares. They'll just be impressed enough by your mad culinary endeavors in the first place. Blinded by the light of your expertise, even.
Step 6: Cook 'Em Up
Take a big pan, preferably cast iron, but obviously mine isn't...so...really, any pan, and heat it up. Keep it dry - don't add oil or anything. Slap your tortillas in there for about 30 seconds per side, or less, depending on how hot your pan is. They'll start to puff up and get big bubbles when they're done. Keep the cooked ones warm in a cloth towel until you're ready to eat them!
They keep well in the fridge for a few days, wrapped in foil/etc. Reheat them any way you like, but I personally like putting them in foil in the oven for a few minutes until they're nice and warm.
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