Homemade flour tortillas (Tortillas de harina) recipe

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Homemade flour tortillas are easy to make using simple ingredients such as all purpose flour, salt, vegetable shortening and water. The tortillas can be made in advance, wrapped in plastic film and refrigerated for a few days. Flour tortillas are an essential ingredient in Mexican cuisine, in dishes such as fajitas, burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas and much more.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes, Serves: 4 

 

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp vegetable shortening or lard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup water

Makes 8 (12 inch in diameter) flour tortillas

Directions

Sift the flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the vegetable shortening or lard and mix using your hands, until well combined.

Stir in the cold water and work the flour to form a ball. Use more water if needed until there is no flour in the bowl. Empty the dough on a well floured surface and knead well, for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Roll the dough into a cylinder of about 1 1/2 inch in diameter and cut it 8 equal sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, rub it with a little vegetable shortening and set aside. Let the balls stand for 10 minutes.

Take each ball and press it down with your palm to flatten it. Roll it out using a rolling pin until the tortilla is thin and 12 to 13 inches in diameter. Cook the tortilla in an ungreased  skillet or frying pan over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, turning only once. The tortillas should brown slightly on each side. When the tortilla is cooked, remove from the heat and repeat with the next one.

Notes and tips

Because of the baking soda, the tortillas will rise slightly (therefore become thicker) as they cook. If they turn out thicker than what you would expect, use less baking soda or omit it.
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Comments

I remember my grandmother also adding bacon grease from the leftover bacon she cooked for breakfast into the tortilla mix similar to your recipe. The added bacon grease gave the tortillas that extra good taste to eat with her meats and gravies, fideo, rice and beans,salsa, served with tea, coffee, or Coke. Julia Rodriquez Gonzales was some cook! She made abuelita's chocolate leche, otole with raisins, and grandpa helped with caldo, menudo, and tamales. Alfredo DelAngel Gonzales always worked hard at work, hard fixing a truck when home, but knew all the secrets grandma and him shared like when to add cinnamon/nutmeg and when to use comino seeds/powder. They fed 3 generations--and if you had knocked on their door, they would have invited you in for pan de dulce and coffee at the kitchen table, while they gathered up a meal and you would find yourself back on the doorsteps again, amidst the roses in the garden, smelling the aromas of latin,native american, and french cuisine. My Mexican- Native American grandmother,on my mom's side had my grandmother on my dad's side over for coffee, she was Polish, and did not speak English- somehow they communicated for hours about cooking and sharing recipes and enjoyed eachothers visit. It was a time when all were neighbors and families were taken care of... a time we must remember. A time where you could sit at the table and feel security, a sense of peace, away from all worries, and catch up on the news of the family at a slower pace with comfy foods and family and friends.
Posted by dyan gonzales on Aug 24, 2009, 12:03
SORRY TO SAY, BUT THE AMOUNT OF SALT ADDED TO 2 CUPS OF FLOUR IS TOO MUCH, I USE 3 CUPS OF FLOUR AND 3 TABLESPOONS OF LARD NOT OVERLY FULL AND 1/2 TEASPOON BAKING POWDER AND 1 AND A HALF CUPS OF WARM WATER AND IT DOES TURN OUT JUST RIGHT FOR ROLLING PIN, MMMMM GOOD TORTILLAS!!!!

ALSO HEAT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH HOW SOFT OR HARD TORTILLAS TURN OUT IF TOO HOT THEY BURN SURFACE AND DONT COOK WELL, IF TOO LOW THEY DRY UP AND DONT PUFF UP, SO HEAT HAS TO BE JUST RIGHT.

WHAT I DO IS TO COOK AT ABOUT 375 TO 400 DEGREES AND THEN ADJUST FROM THERE DEPENDING ON HOW FAST I AM MAKING MY TORTILLAS.

OK? BY THE WAY I AM A GUY AND I COOK TORTILLAS FOR MY WIFE SHE DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO MAKE THEM, MMMMM I HAVE WONDERED FOR A WHILE IF SHE JUST PLAYING DUMB.
Posted by JOEL PENA on Oct 04, 2009, 11:52
You may be right about the amount of salt... Something between 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of salt should be enough. We have changed the recipe accordingly. Thanks for the tip!
Posted by admin on Oct 08, 2009, 07:33
Also, you're supposed to use very warm water to mix, definitely not cold, the texture is very dependent on this. I might not be an uber tortilla pressing ham like our friend dyan up there - but through practice I've found cold water to be a big no-no.
Posted by thatguy on May 14, 2011, 10:13
how do i fix my tortillas when there is too much of the lard put in? this is my first attempt at homemade and my mother gave me wrong measurements according to this recipe. lol so any and all help very much appreciated!
Posted by tabby on Nov 29, 2011, 03:08
Yeah I was also doubting the cold water...the hotter the water the better...my mom uses manteca de puerco for the tortillas and they come out good as well, my mother in law uses half shortening and half of the manteca d puerco and they come out super soft and yummy :)
Posted by kenia on Nov 30, 2011, 02:56
How can I get the tortillas to retain their softness after reheating them? Am I using too much or too little baking powder? what would each do?
Posted by Digna on Oct 21, 2012, 09:34
WHAT DOES IT MEAN BY ALL PURPOSE FLOUR & WHAT IS SHORTENING (I mean what ingredient)
Posted by anjana patel on Oct 30, 2012, 12:01
Anjana, all purpose flour is plain flour and shortening can be any type vegetable fat.
Posted by admin on Nov 12, 2012, 05:48
Yes, i made the mistake of not reading the comments, cold water makes them less smooth!
Posted by courtney on Nov 29, 2012, 09:56

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