Imagine coming home from work and fixing dinner for your family, including making these from scratch. Not only would your family admire you, but they would be very happy! My mom did that all the time. One of my co-workers did that after reading this post and she was so proud of herself! Me, too! Once you’ve made them a couple of times, you’ll be able to make these with your eyes closed. Also imagine, a hot, fresh tortilla slathered in butter, or even mashed avocado, which is a favorite way to eat them. No, seriously-try it sometime– try mashing some avocado on a warm tortilla, sprinkle with a little salt and enjoy! My niece says this avocado “taco” is her one-year-old daughter’s favorite breakfast! I would have to agree.
See recipe at the end of this tutorial.
Roll dough into a log about 2″ in diameter. With a knife, slice dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes.
Heat a “comal” or griddle over medium-high heat. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll each dough ball into a circle, approximately 6 inches across.
Lay the tortilla on the heated, ungreased griddle and bake until bubbles form on top, about 45-60 seconds. Make sure the griddle is on medium high heat.
Using tongs (or your fingers like a Mexican grandma does), flip the tortilla over and cook for another 30 seconds.
Flip one last time for about 10 seconds to ensure even baking. Stack the tortillas inside a kitchen towel as they are made to keep them soft and warm. My mother insisted that the tortillas have a “right” and a “wrong” side, so I try to store them all “face up” after the last flip. Store any leftovers (yeah, right!) in a sealed plastic bag. They will keep at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Look at Daughter #2’s photo for this recipe. This is not a “Chees-us” tortilla, but can you see how it looks like there’s a baby foot imprint on it? No matter how many times I might try, I’m sure I would never be able to recreate it. This is one of a kind, so I had to share. And no–it was not a sign that she is pregnant. Whew! Recipe follows below.
- 3 C. unbleached flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ¾ to 1 C. warm water
- ½ C. safflower oil
- Mix together flour, salt and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the safflower oil.
- Add the warm water, starting with ¾ cup, working it in to make a stiff dough. Dough should be smooth and pliable, but not sticky. Knead until the dough is springy. (Daughter #1 tells me she uses her Kitchen Aid mixer for this step. I use my hands.).
- Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and roll them into a ball. Cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and allow them to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat griddle or pan to medium heat temperature. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll each dough ball into a circle, approximately 6 inches across. Cook until bubbles form on the surface. Flip it over and cook for another 30-45 seconds, just until it is light brown and cooked on the underside. Flip it over one more time and cook for about 10 more seconds to ensure that it is fully cooked. You can roll out the next tortilla while you keep an eye on the tortilla on the griddle--assembly line fashion.
- Repeat with the rest of the tortillas, keeping them warm by wrapping them in a kitchen towel.
- These will last 2 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container, or about a week if stored in the refrigerator. You can also store the uncooked rolls in the refrigerator and pull them out as you need them, for warm, fresh tortillas anytime.
Et cetera: This is my brother’s original recipe. He prefers using the safflower oil for a healthier tortilla. I prefer the flavor the lard gives the tortilla. Both are delicious! I grew up on these. They were my peanut butter and jelly sandwich after school, filled with mashed avocado or just plain butter or even cheese, as a quesadilla. Now that the kids are all grown up and gone, I make this recipe and refrigerate the dough balls, pulling out one or two at a time and bake them up fresh. It is heaven on earth. I have also made them with half unbleached flour and half whole wheat flour. If you are used to buying the whole wheat tortillas, they are good, but I prefer the more traditional flavor.