Tortillas go back many years, with various kinds of the corn version being used in Mexican cooking for centuries. The much newer flour tortillas originated in Sonora, Mexico, in the northern part of the country. Flour tortillas have become much more popular in the United States and in Northern Mexico than in the southern part of Mexico. The same is true of many of the Tex-Mex dishes, such as burritos, quesadillas, and soft tacos.
This tortilla recipe is easy and produces light and delicious homemade flour tortillas every time. It makes 6 to 8 flour tortillas, but it is easily doubled if you want to cook more.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of canola or corn oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup of lukewarm water or milk
Sift together the baking powder, flour, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Pour the oil into the dry ingredients, mixing with your hands to combine. Add the milk or water, working that into the dough until you have a sticky ball.
Dust a pastry board or counter lightly with flour, and knead the dough for at least 1 minute. The mixture should be firm and no longer sticky.
Place in a bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 to 8 balls, and cover again with the damp cloth. Let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes this time.
Lightly dust a pastry board or counter with flour, and roll out each ball in a circle, about 1/4 inch thick. A tortilla roller (looks like a short piece of a broomstick) works best for these, but a small rolling pin will work.
Heat a heavy skillet or griddle on high heat for 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side, or until the dough looks slightly wrinkled and a few brown spots appear on both surfaces.
Serve the tortillas warm on a plate or basket, to be eaten with salsa, or filled with your meat of choice.
Billy Bristol is the writer and editor for Food in Texas, a website devoted to the celebration of traditional homemade Texas Food. With simple recipes and cooking ideas that bring out the best in classic Texas cuisine, Food in Texas is creating its own culinary legacy. Food In Texas [http://www.foodtexas.com]
Photo: National Cancer Institute - Renee Comet
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