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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Handmade Flour Tortillas

‘Handmade Flour Tortillas?!’ you say.  
Actually, not so difficult. Not difficult at all, in fact.
I don't know about you, but when I'm having a good week, I make sweet things. . . cakes, brownies, whip up a batch of espresso buttercream ('No biggie!' I say flippantly).  

When I'm having a bad week, though, (and this was truly a bad, bad week), I make bread. I have never owned a bread machine; I've always wanted one, but in Japan, they're quite pricey and I always think, 'Well, I can knead.  I have hands!' (I also do not own a rice cooker, and make rice in a pan nearly everyday. In Japan, this can be seen as an abomination. People ask me 'How can you possibly make rice without a rice cooker?', and my answer is always 'It's easy.') That being said, bread is not always easy; there's the kneading, the rising, the rising, AND more rising.  

But tortillas?  A snap.  No yeast, no problem, so it goes. 
Also, no oil when cooking the tortillas makes for very easy clean-up.

 As you can see, I could not locate my rolling pin, hence the substitute 
(which happened to be a gift from my mother-in-law; it's a suction tool for a brand of tupperware.)

Handmade Flour Tortillas
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup (80 ml) oil
up to 1 cup (250 ml) warm water
Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, and add the oil and warm water (only adding enough water as necessary) to form a soft dough. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place for about an hour.  Divide dough into small balls (depending on what size of tortillas you prefer). Cover the balls with a towel or plastic wrap so that they don’t dry out. On a lightly floured surface, flatten a small ball with the palm of your hand (this makes it easier to roll into a circular shape), and then roll out until fairly thin with a rolling pin. Heat a dry skillet (heavy iron skillet, if possible) over medium heat.  Cook the tortilla for about a half a minute to a minute on each side.  If bubbles start to form, press down with a  spatula. Repeat with all of the dough. The tortillas should be slightly browned but still soft. After cooking each tortilla, stack them, wrapping them in a towel and fold over.  (I learned this trick somewhere; it helps keep them more pliable.) Store tightly wrapped.

Use for quesadillas, burritos, or anything else you can dream up.
Like. . .Cherry Tomato-Oregano Tortilla Pizza!

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