Friday, October 26, 2007

The Homemade Flour Tortilla

Tortillas are perfect for so many uses. They're good with scrambled eggs, cheese and a spoonful of salsa. They are great with grilled chicken and sour cream. They can even be eaten with a bit of butter and cinnamon sugar. Store bought tortillas serve there purpose. You can get them fresh and cheap at a moment's notice. But what is rather more delicious is homemade tortillas.

When I lived in Los Angeles I used to love to eat at a little family run Mexican restaurant. It was within a mile or so of my house. When I walked in the first thing I would notice was a woman making fresh tortillas. They were scrumptious!

Tortillas don't take much time at all to make and they store well in air-tight containers in the fridge. That is if there are any left to store!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp. vegetable shortening, diced
about 1/2 cup hot water

Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add shortening and rub it in with your fingertips until your mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add enough water to form a soft dough.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead until smooth. Divide dough into 12 pieces and shape each into a ball. Cover with a clean dish cloth and let rest for 15 minutes.
Roll out 1 ball at a time into a flat circle, approx. 7 in., keeping the remainder of the dough covered. Stack tortillas between sheets of not stick paper, like wax paper.
Heat a grill pan or large, heavy non stick skillet over medium heat. Cook 1 tortilla at a time for 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly browned in places and puffed up. Serve warm.

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