Have you every really thought about those shells that you buy at the grocery?  How long have they actually been sitting there, and why do they have an expiration date two months from now?  Scary isn’t it?

flour tortillas
Knock out preservatives with your own homemade flour tortiallas  (photo : Shutterstock  – Ekatarina Kondratava)

At least once a month we plan one dinner meal as “taco night”.  Usually this ends up on a busy week night where Jim and I get home late and need to throw dinner together in a hurry. Thank goodness that we always have homemade tortilla shells in the freezer!

It does take some time to make your own tortillas, but it is well worth the wait! Once you eat them fresh, you will never want to buy those plastic wrapped, processed, never expiring, tortillas that you find at every supermarket. And don’t become discouraged – your first few may look funny, but as you practice, your technique will improve, resulting in the best tortillas that you have ever tasted.

Chili powder added to the tortilla adds an extra kick to your meal.
Chili powder added to the tortilla adds an extra kick to your meal.

For those individuals that want to add a few extra nutrients and flavor to their wraps – feel free to experiment. For example: Add 1/2 cup of well-drained, finely chopped spinach to the flour mixture or our personal favorite – add 1 tablespoon of chili powder to the flour mixture to get it a smoky flavor.  I am also thinking we could add roasted red peppers, but we haven’t tried that – yet!  See: Our Home-Made Chili Powder Recipe

Flour Tortilla Recipe

Ingredients:

*makes 8-10 tortillas

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons shortening (or lard)
1/2 cup very warm water

Instructions:

Slowly add the hot water into the dry ingredients. You may have to add a little extra water if the dough is a little dry.
Slowly add the hot water into the dry ingredients. You may have to add a little extra water if the dough is a little dry.

1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk together to mix evenly.

2. Add shortening/lard.  Using a pastry cutter, combine the ingredients. Continue to cut mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Slowly pour in water (you want it hot, but not boiling). Stir to bring mixture together.

Knead the dough and let the dough rest. Don't skip this step - it makes a huge difference in the end result.
Knead the dough and let the dough rest. Don’t skip this step – it makes a huge difference in the end result.

4. Lightly knead dough on a lightly floured surface – approximately 30 times. You can stop when your dough becomes a cohesive ball and is less sticky. You can add small amounts of water as needed.  Cover with a tea towel and allow dough to rest for 45 minutes.

5. Divide dough into equal portions  – roughly the size of table tennis (ping-pong) balls. Place onto a plate and cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

Roll out each dough ball as thin as you can.
Roll out each dough ball as thin as you can.

6.  Roll out each individual ball of dough on a lightly floured surface until very thin. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium/medium-high heat.  Place one tortilla onto the griddle. Cook on each side for 20 to 30 seconds, removing it while the tortilla is still soft but slightly brown in spots.

7. Repeat until all tortillas are browned.  Stack tortillas and cover with a towel to keep warm. Serve immediately or allow to cool before storing tortillas in an air tight container.

Tortilla ready to be filled!
Tortilla ready to be filled!

*You can freeze tortillas for several months.  Just pull out the amount that you need, wrap them in aluminum foil and warm them in the oven.

Enjoy!

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Mary and Jim




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Homemade Flour Tortillas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening or lard
  • 1/2 cup very warm water

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk together to mix evenly.
  2. Add shortening/lard. Using a pastry cutter, combine the ingredients. Continue to cut mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Slowly pour in water (you want it hot, but not boiling). Stir to bring mixture together.
  4. Lightly knead dough on a lightly floured surface - approximately 30 times. You can stop when your dough becomes a cohesive ball and is less sticky. You can add small amounts of water as needed. Cover with a tea towel and allow dough to rest for 45 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into equal portions - roughly the size of table tennis (ping-pong) balls. Place onto a plate and cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Roll out each individual ball of dough on a lightly floured surface until very thin. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium/medium-high heat. Place one tortilla onto the griddle. Cook on each side for 20 to 30 seconds, removing it while the tortilla is still soft but slightly brown in spots.
  7. Repeat until all tortillas are browned. Stack tortillas and cover with a towel to keep warm. Serve immediately or allow to cool before storing tortillas in an air tight container.

Recipe Notes

*You can freeze tortillas for several months. Just pull out the amount that you need, wrap them in aluminum foil and warm them in the oven.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

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