Introduction: Homemade Tortillas? Yes You Can!
Tortillas are a simple traditional component to hundreds if not thousands of delicious recipes, from beautifully handcrafted lawn art to traditional tacos. Anyone can cook an amazing flour tortilla with this delicious indestructible. (please excuse my inability to draw circles, they taste amazing even though they are not round)
20 to 60 minutes depending on how many you make and how many pans you have
First time ever making this recipe for 20 tortillas with one pan took about an hour
Step 1: Stage One: the Math (yes Cooking Is for Math Majors)
The original recipe cooks about 3 tortillas, my guess is that you will want much much more than this, so here is where you get to do the math! Do NOT mix all at once!! follow the instructions! (at least mostly)
- 1 Cup flour
- 1/4 Tsp salt
- 1/4 Tsp baking powder
- 1/4 Tsp yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tsp honey (or 2 if your creative)
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil (i like veggie oil)
- 1/3 Cup of water
Do the math from here to get to how many tortillas you want super easy!
Tons of tortillas (roughly the same recipe, cooking is what I call an "exact" science. I rarely make the same recipe the same twice)
- an amount of flower equal to that of your gluteaus maximus
- a few pinches of salt
- about the same amount of baking powder as salt
- a squish of yeast
- a pile on the lid of sugar
- a spoonful of honey to help the yeast go down
- about a pocket full of oil
- a couple mouthfuls of water
Basically what I am saying is to make an edible tortilla you can mess up pretty bad and it still works, you might even like the way it turns out!
Step 2: Stage Two: Flour, Salt, and Soda
Start with a mixing bowl, or any bowl that is roughly 4 times bigger than the amount of flour you are using, bigger is better but to big is irritating to work with and even more so to clean. If you are using one cup of flour like the recipe here says you need a bowl just big enough to fit about 4 cups of "stuff" inside without spilling.
For the remainder of this indestructible I will refer to the 3 tortilla recipe posted in the previous step, do not forget to use your multiplier to create the correct amount!
Tip: Make extra!! You WILL find that you eat the dough, and probably an entire tortilla before you finish cooking.
In this step we will be mixing the flour, salt, and baking powder into the mixing bowl, do do this simply measure out the three ingredients and pour them into the bowl.
Flour: 1 cup
Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
Baking powder: 1/4 teaspoon
Mix these well, the better you mix at this step the better the tortilla will taste, the salt and baking powder MUST be mixed throughout the entire flour mix! (or else it tastes funny) You can stir with a wire whisk, a fork, your hands or just about anything else.... So long as you take into account cleanliness, good handwashing, cooking gloves, its up to you; just don't get sick it will give my recipe a bad name.
Step 3: Stage 3: Its Time to Make Them Grow!
In this step we will start the yeast growing so that your tortillas can be light and fluffy! Yeast is what makes most breads rise, this includes pizza dough, scones, bread, and it turns out, flour tortillas taste better when you add this simple ingredient. The recipe can be made without yeast but why would you let me the creator down and make something that is sub par? Oh wait, what i meant to say is, why would you deny yourself the satisfaction of being the best tortilla chef on your block?
This is the hardest part in the entire recipe, it requires patience and that is something we are all lacking. Begin with a cup or measuring cup, it does not need to be very big, enough to hold the water sugar and yeast, about a cup.
Ingredients in this step:
1/3 Cup WARM water (not hot! It will kill the yeast; however, not cold either it cant grow at that temperature)
1 Tbsp honey (can be replaced with sugar if needed although honey is infinetally better)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp active yeast
Mix all of these ingredients in the separate dish until both the yeast and honey are dissolved into the water mixture. Do not microwave after adding the honey or yeast, even if you really want to. let sit a couple minutes, after about five minutes there should be a bubbly mixture floating on top of the water. If there is nothing after about ten minutes scratch it cut the cost and start this part again. Its worth the $0.05 your yeast is dead.
Step 4: Stage Four: Chemical Reactions!
Add the two tablespoons of oil to your yeast mixture after the froth has began to grow. Mix it gently, not stirring too hard or it will be the same as if you did stir it hard (it doesn't matter). Next pour the mixture into the dry mix bowl.
To your lovely surprise there will be a large poof and a big bang with a flash of light as the two substances collide, this is the reaction between the.... Just kidding, the biggest poof you will get is flower puffing into the air due to the impact of the aqueous mixture.
Mix with a fork or your hands, do not use a wire whisk, your plastic spoon or anything else that WILL break when you apply pressure to the dough. It should mix into a big lump of bread dough.
Step 5: Stage Five: Mixing the Mixture
Mix the dough with your hands kneading it by folding it in on itself for as long as you can possibly stand. In my case this is less than two or three minutes.
At the end of your mixing you will realize it is either squishy like a... ill let you imagine something squishy and wet... or it is dry like the burnt desert sand. Both have very easy remedies!
If it is too dry, wet your hands under the faucet before you start mixing again, if you do this a couple of times it should come out to be perfect.
If it is too wet simply sprinkle a little bit of flour as you continue to knead the dough until it is a dryish but not too dry roll of dough that can be molded into shapes. about the same as a sugar cookie.
Step 6: Stage Six: Spill the Beans
Well, maybe we don't want to spill any beans right now but we do want to make a mess with our flour. Spread out a handful of flour over the counter or wherever you are rolling the dough. The purpose of this is to stop the tortilla from sticking to the counter and tearing when you go to cook it. The flour creates a barrier where the dough slides across the counter rather than sticking to it. Think of it as though you are oiling a machine, if you don't have oil the moving parts stop moving.
Another very helpful tip right here is to get your rolling block covered in flour as well as your hands, the less things that have an opportunity to stick to the rolling pin the better.
Step 7: Stage Seven: Making Paper
The idea of making paper comes from the usual desired thickness of your tortilla dough, too thin and its gross but too thick and it tastes like the most amazing pizza dough you will ever taste. If you have followed the recipe correctly up to this point you should not have a problem with the tortilla being to thin, the yeast will allow the super thin slice to grow into just the right amount.
There are two methods to doing this: Guess how much dough you need for one tortilla, or roll it all flat. If you have a small kitchen like me you will probably try to guess. However, if you are impatient like me you will just throw it all down and cut it out later.
Break it up into individual tortillas, this probably will work better for everyone so it is what i will suggest you use. Rip off or cut off a chunk of dough that you want to be your tortilla, if you get to much its fine but, if you get to little you will have to start over on rolling. place your small ball of dough into the center of your flour. From the center out in every direction use your rolling pin to flatten the dough into a rough circle shape, a square will work but most pans are circular. You want the dough to be rolled thin as 5 to 15 sheets of paper depending on your personal preference. Use a pizza cutter to make your shape the perfect circle or just pretend that it is.
Throw it all on the flour and roll it to the same thickness as the previous method. Use a bowl, dish, dinner plate, or if your more coordinated than me just eyeball a rough circle with your pizza cutter or knife to make your tortilla shapes.
Step 8: Stage 8: Fire!
Get your pan HOT. The highest setting on your stove is generally about right, you can adjust this with trial and error. To cook the tortilla you will be surprised to learn that you don't actually cook it. All that cleanliness that you took into account throughout this process will pay off right here. The heat is turned all the way up so you can quickly fry the outside of both sides, maybe burn a couple of the thinner spots and throw it on a dinner plate.
Pick up your tortilla. Goodluck, it will stretch into all kinds of oblong shapes sometimes even ripping and having chunks fall to the floor. At this point is where you will see the pizza chefs throwing and spinning the dough in the air. By doing this they create better more even shapes for their food. Personally, I can neither catch or throw so I just cook it so it looks funny.
Cooking the tortilla
Once your tortilla is on your barely greased very hot pan try shaking the pan back and forth a little, after a few seconds on the pan the tortilla should be able to slide back and forth very easily. If your like me you know whats coming... you forgot your spatula, the pan is way to hot and you realize you are an amazing chef (even if your like me and you are not). You decide you will just say "what the heck" and you flip the tortilla through the air landing perfectly face down inside of the pan! There is roughly 30 seconds of cook time or less usually on both sides of the tortilla, after this, your tortilla is done. Have your spatula before hand or be ready to flip it with your hands or risk a total failure in your flipping skills that have to be better than mine.
(I did it so why not give it a try! cooking is fun!)
Step 9: Stage 9: Its Cooked Now What!
A handmade flour tortilla can be used in a variety of ways, tacos burritos you name it! Some quick ideas on where you can go from here:
Hundreds of other things!
Step 10: Variations!
By slight variations or mistakes in cooking of this tortilla you will find tons of new recipes only doing something almost insignificant!
Bread! Use a little more honey and yeast then just throw it in a bread pan and cook it
Flat Bread! Roll it a little bit thicker and cook it a little bit longer and colder
Scones! roll it a little bit thicker, cut it into pieces, let it rise while you heat up your oil for deep frying
Pizza dough! again a bit thicker, make a little extra and cook your pizza!
You name it, any suggestions, variations, recommendations just throw em down into the comments and lets get cooking!