Warm, fresh tortillas are a staple that many Southerners take for granted. Restaurants throughout the South make their own tortillas, and many grocery stores in Texas make their tortillas on site. By contrast, England’s grocery stores, if they have them at all, stock only overpriced, flavorless ‘wraps’ and packaged tortillas full of preservatives. These are not the real thing, and I refuse to eat them or serve them to guests!
|stack of homemade tortillas ready to serve|
|homemade tortillas cooking on my grandmother's griddle|
I often cook tortillas on a separate griddle alongside fajita meat, timing it so that I’m finished cooking the last tortilla just as the fajita meat is ready.
makes about 8 tortillas
4 cups flour (or 3 cups flour and 1 cup masa flour; or 3 cups flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups warm water
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut in oil with a biscuit cutter or a fork. Mix in enough water to form a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5 or 6 times, until dough comes together. With floured hands, roll dough into egg-sized portions. Let the dough portions sit for 15 minutes.
Using a rolling pin or a tortilla press, flatten each dough portion into a thin circle. Cook on a skillet over high heat for about 1 minute on each side or until little dark spots begin to appear and the dough is cooked through.
As you are cooking the tortillas, pile finished tortillas in a tortilla holder or on a plate covered with a dishtowel to keep them warm and soft.
Place any leftover tortillas in a bag in the freezer. To defrost, microwave for about 30-45 seconds on medium-high.