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Making tortillas with plain/AP flour

Mexican

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21 replies to this topic

#1 AlainV

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 03:01 AM

I am looking for a T&T recipe for Flour tortillas as well as the way to cook them without special equipment (in a simple pan).

Is it possible to make the dough with a stand mixer or a food processor ?

Help welcomed :wink:

#2 sandra

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 03:41 AM

Alain, you can make the whole thing by hand...


Flour Tortillas
(makes 10-15 tortillas)

3 cups flour
3 Tbsp lard or shortening
1 Tsp Baking Power
1-1/2 Tsp Salt
3/4 Cup Hot Water
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add shortening and mix well. Slowly add water and stir until you get a kneadable dough that is not too sticky. Knead on floured surface. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Shape dough into 10 or 15 equal sized balls. Roll out each ball into pancake size as thin as possible. Cook on a flat skillet over medium high heat.
www.nutropical.com
~Borojo~

#3 AlainV

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 03:51 AM

Thanks for the recipe Sandra :smile:

Just a couple of questions.

What type of flour do you use ? Bread flour or all-purpose flour ?

I suppose that cooked tortillas freeze well. But how to defrost them ? From the freezer to a pan, or to microwave ? Is it necessary to let them thaw first in the fridge ?

Alain

#4 sandra

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 10:14 AM

You are welcome.

I use just plain flour - all-purpose, I suppose. As for the fat, if you are in the States, use Crisco if you're using shortening, although lard is more authentic.

As for the freezing, I can't tell you, as I have never tried - usually they go all at once! :wink:

For corn tortillas I do freeze them and I defrost them on the counter and then use them, but they are much tougher after freezing, so I use them for chilaquiles or enchiladas, or anything that requires frying them...

Edited by sandra, 23 June 2004 - 10:15 AM.

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#5 torakris

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 03:12 PM

Here is my recipe for flour tortillas, better than anything store
bought! : ) This makes 8 (8 inch) tortillas but I normally triple or
quadruple it and freeze the leftovers.

2 cups flour (do not use bread flour--the gluten content is too high)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk ( I use low fat)

1. Warm the milk in a microwave or saucepan, add the oil and salt and
stir to combine.
2. Add the flour and baking powder and work the mixture into a dough,
it will be sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a well floured surface and knead about 2
minutes, return it to the bow, cover it, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
4. Divide the dough into 8 golf ball sized pieces and let them rest
about 20 minutes covered.
5. Place one piece of dough onto a lightlt floured surface and pat it
into a 5 inch circle with your fingers. Then roll it into an 8 incg
circle with a rolling pin. This can take some practice and don't worry
about perfcect circles or you will be doing this forever! I roll, give
it a quarter of a turn, roll again, quarter turn, roll, turn.....
6. Place the tortilla into a large hot dry skillet and cook about 20
to 30 seconds, flip and cook another 20 to 30 seconds, they should
puff slightly and have light brown spots.
7. Remove from the pan and place into a towel lined basket and cover
with another towl or foil to keep them warm and prevent them from
drying out.

After a little practice this can be really fast, I can roll out one in
the time it takes for another to cook, so it takes me less than 30
minutes to get 30 of them made.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"
Manager, Membership
kwagner@egstaff.org


#6 ExtraMSG

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 11:26 PM

1 C flour (AP or bread flour)
1/4 C lard (shortening works, but don't tell me)
1/4 tepid water
Salt

Basically the same recipe both Kennedy and Bayless use. You can cut the lard by as much as half (and you probably shouldn't add it all at once). But I like them fatty.

Add the salt to the water to dissolve (about a 1/2 tsp). Integrate the lard into the flour, add the water (half at first) and combine. I like to use my hands to integrate the fat into the flour, but a Cuisinart works, too. I just think in the long run you're better off doing it by hand because you'll get a feel for it. You can melt the fat into the water instead, but I don't think that provides as good texture in the end, but it's much easier. It shouldn't be too sticky. You'll want to knead for 5 minutes until it's nice and elastic. Let it rest before using. Then roll out and stretch balls into tortillas and cook on medium high griddle (comal). Cast iron works excellent for this. Don't be afraid to let it cook, though it shouldn't take long. There should be mottled brown spots on it. Look at these:

http://www.extramsg....=view_photo.php

btw, there is a recipe in the RecipeGullet: http://recipes.egull...cipes/r820.html

#7 tiramisu

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:27 AM

living in an asian country we dont get the flour here used to make tortillas the traditional way. anyone know how to make them using all purpose flour?

#8 Chris Amirault

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:35 AM

My MIL came up with a recipe using AP flour after years of frustration trying to replicate her (Mexican-American) MIL's recipe. We've got it at home; it's also in Joan Nathan's New American Cooking, as it turns out! I will add it later today.
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#9 Dakki

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:14 AM

living in an asian country we dont get the flour here used to make tortillas the traditional way. anyone know how to make them using all purpose flour?


Flour, yes. I don't think you could get maseca-type cornmeal easily in Asia. The yellow American-style cornmeal just won't do.

I'll post a recipe off the back of a flour bag when I get home. (I'm a corn tortilla guy).
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#10 Dakki

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:13 PM

1 kg AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tsp salt
200 g lard or vegetable shortening
Hot water (as necessary for kneading)

Preparation:
In a large bowl, manually incorporate the dry ingredients and the lard or shortening.
Gradually pour hot water into the bowl and knead until you achieve a homogenous, elastic dough.
Allow the dough to rest for an hour. Then, divide into individual portions and form these into balls.
On a clean, dry surface, spread some flour and extend each one of the dough balls with a rolling pin.
Heat the griddle evenly to medium-high temperature to cook the tortillas. Turn the first time when the top side starts to look slightly cooked. Turn again when it starts to look brown and a third and last time when the tortilla looks completely cooked.


Recipe is from the back of a bag of Paloma Blanca AP flour. Translation is all mine.

NOTES: Not too enthusiastic on the whole rolling pin thing, in my house we always used a tortilla press. Also, I remember putting the dough balls between two pieces of wax paper to keep them from sticking to the press. You could try that.

Also, I don't think all AP flour is the same? I remember something about "soft" and "hard" wheat from some TV cooking show (Alton Brown?).

EDIT: Just in case it's not clear, I haven't made these since I was a kid. I like corn. So, don't shoot the messenger if they don't come out right, OK?

Edited by Dakki, 03 May 2010 - 12:15 PM.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#11 Lindacakes

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:58 PM

I would really like to learn how to make tortillas that I saw made in Mexico. I've never had anything like them before or since. They had no resemblance to the thin wafers made either with corn or flour.

I had them in a very touristy hotel near Chichen Itza. The sort of place with a big open air dining room. Some kids were practicing dancing with beer bottles on their heads with their dance teacher for the evening's performance. For lunch there was a buffet with various hot stews to put in the tortillas.

There was a woman sitting down making and cooking tortillas. She had a bowl of corn dough and she formed balls, which she flattened out and then passed from hand to hand, stretching them. The resultant tortilla was small and relatively thick. The patty was slapped onto the wall of a hot wok-like pot, so that there were about six of these cooking at once. You waited for them to cook, she put as many as you wanted on your plate, and then you were free to eat until you exploded.

Which was quite easy to do, because they were moist and corny tasting, with some burnt areas that added extra flavor, and the pork stew was superb. One right after another.
I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#12 A Patric

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 01:39 PM

I like both corn tortillas and wheat flour tortillas, and have made both from scratch many times, even going so far as to nixtamalize the corn and grind it into masa myself, but growing up with Mexican relatives from northern Mexico and Texas led to many more wheat flour tortilla experiences. I've tried many of them, and the best I've had are home made using a recipe from Rick Bayless's Authentic Mexican.

There are only four ingredients:

AP Flour (I use King Arthur)
Hot Water (I use a little more than the Bayless recipe calls for--1 full cup)
Lard/Shortening
Salt

Here is the recipe online.


They are the best tasting and best textured tortillas I've ever had, hands down. Using bacon fat in place of the standard lard pushes them right over the edge into sublime.

On the other hand, my mom always made tortillas with baking powder, but I really feel that the texture suffers for it. If you the proportion of ingredients just right and use a high heat to cook them, they'll puff up naturally just like some unleavened Indian flat breads do.

Man are they good!

[Edited to add ingredient specifics and recipe.]

Best,

Edited by A Patric, 03 May 2010 - 01:50 PM.


#13 Dakki

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:50 PM

There was a woman sitting down making and cooking tortillas. She had a bowl of corn dough and she formed balls, which she flattened out and then passed from hand to hand, stretching them. The resultant tortilla was small and relatively thick. The patty was slapped onto the wall of a hot wok-like pot, so that there were about six of these cooking at once.


That's how the housekeeper we had when I was a kid taught me to make them. She always claimed they were ten times as good as regular, tortilla press tortillas but in retrospect I suspect she just gave me a task that would keep me quiet and in sight.

You don't see these a lot because they're fairly labor-intensive to make compared to using a tortilla press.
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#14 Chris Amirault

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:30 PM

Here's the recipe I referenced above from my fantastic MIL, Susan Castañeda, whose voice comes though in this recipe. It's been delarded; feel free to sub in lard for shortening. This recipe has been tried and true for over 30 years.

Combine:

6 1/4 c AP flour
4 t baking powder
2 t salt

Cut in 1/2 c plus 2 T shortening (lard). Gradually add 2-2 1/2 c buttermilk until you have a pliable but firm dough. Knead 3-5 minutes.

Shape into a pile of golf-ball sized spheres and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Rest for 15-20 minutes while you heat your comal.

"Roll, roll, roll until you sweat": one at a time, roll out the tortilla and, working quickly, transport to hot comal. When tortilla is just picking up slightly tan spots on one side, turn it over (30-45 seconds depending); let it cook another 20-30 seconds on the second side and remove to a plate. Cover cooked tortillas with dry towel as you go.

"Serve with peanut butter and tequila."
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#15 Lisa Shock

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:58 PM

Just a quick note here that AP flour varies regionally in the US. In the South it's closer to cake flour because of the high demand for biscuits, in the North it's closer to pastry/bread flour because it's used for more kneaded breads. The labels won't tell you what you have, you have to test it yourself.

I don't know much about the rest of the world, but, if the packaging gives a % protein content, you can check this chart.

#16 janeer

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 07:44 PM

Here is the recipe I have used for nearly 40 years. Authentic flour tortillas do not contain baking powder.

Tortillas de harina

4 c flour
2 tea salt
6 T lard
1 to 1 1/4 c lukewarm water

Sift flour and salt and work in shortening. Gradually add water to form a ball; knead until smooth and form into balls about the size of small eggs. Cover and let rest about 15 min. Roll or pat out. Place on medium-hot comal (ungreased iron pan)and cook about 2 minutes on 1 side; flip and cook about another minute on the other,lightly "tickling" it with your fingers to encourage it to puff up. Remove to a plate and cover.

#17 Indirect Heat

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:00 PM

I really like Homesick Texan's recipe: http://homesicktexan...-tortillas.html

#18 BadRabbit

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 10:44 AM

Just a quick note here that AP flour varies regionally in the US. In the South it's closer to cake flour because of the high demand for biscuits, in the North it's closer to pastry/bread flour because it's used for more kneaded breads. The labels won't tell you what you have, you have to test it yourself.

I don't know much about the rest of the world, but, if the packaging gives a % protein content, you can check this chart.



That chart looks a lot like the one from Shirley Corriher's Cookwise. Her section on flours and protein content helped me when I started baking because I had always thought all AP was the same.

Does anyone know where typical Mexican flour lands on the protein scale?

#19 A Patric

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 04:19 PM

Authentic flour tortillas do not contain baking powder.


More importantly, tortillas without baking powder are just better.

I really suggest to people to try figuring out how to make them well without the baking powder. Yes, it will take practice, but you will absolutely not be sorry.

And yes, I am repeating myself, but if only one person here makes the transition, and experiences what an amazing thing the powder-free tortillas can be, then it was worth it.

The Bayless recipe is really just spot on as long as one adjusts water volume to balance the gluten content of the AP flour.

Now I´ll shut my yapper. :wink:

#20 justjackie

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 01:32 AM

Hi,I would like to know more about how to make a good white flour tortilla.Do you use high gluten flour or low,or a mixture.Is lard the best ?I have an electric tortilla press and cooker but do not have to use this.Do you use baking powder or not.There seems to be two  schools of thought?I do make them with  a yeast dough but would like alternatives.



#21 Ann_T

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 07:17 AM

I use lard and baking powder in my flour tortillas.  I use unbleached all-purpose Canadian flour which is  a higher gluten flour.

 

Fajitas%20May%2020th%2C%202011%203-L.jpg

 

Flour Tortillas


2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup lard/shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup warm water (might need a bit more)
 
Place the flour, salt, baking powder in food processor and pulse to
mix. Cut in the shortening and then add the warm water and process to
make a soft dough. Dough should be soft but not wet and sticky. Wrap in
plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 10 or 12 pieces and shape into balls. Keep covered.

Roll each ball out into a 7 to 9 inch circle. Dough should be thin.

Cook on a dry hot grill or frying pan on medium heat, turning once. Do
not over cook or they will be hard. Butter and roll up and wrap in
tea towel to keep warm as you cook the other tortillas.

(I place the ones wrapped in the towel in a low 200 oven to keep warm,
while I am cooking the rest.)



#22 Okanagancook

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:38 AM

I use the wheat flour tortillas recipe from Diana Kennedy's Recipes from the Regional cooks of Mexico I use this one because it has much less fat yet still produces a nice tortilla. It uses all purpose flour and no baking soda. I usually make up a recipe and the extra dough that is not cooked can be frozen in balls which can be quickly defrosted.





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