Homemade flour tortillas are way better than store-bought products. Lard should not be replaced with shortening or vegetable oil unless it’s absolutely necessary. This makes the tortilla thin and perfect for seafood and grilled meats as fillings. You want a soft and chewy thicker tortilla for quesadillas and melted cheese scoop ups.
Basic Tortilla Recipe
Whisk together four cups all-purpose flour with a teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Incorporate two tablespoons of lard into the mixed ingredients using your fingers, incorporating everything till the flour looks like crumbly cornmeal. Add 1 ½ cups water and continue mixing till you get a smooth dough. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, then knead for a few minutes till it becomes elastic and smooth. Make 24 pieces of equal sizes from the dough then roll each piece into a ball.
Preheat the skillet over medium heat. Roll out each dough ball into a disc of thin, round tortilla with a rolling pin. Cook in the skillet till golden and bubbly, flip to the other side and continue cooking till bubbly and golden as well. Do this till you’ve cooked all the tortilla discs you’ve rolled out.
Preparation time for this recipe takes only 15 minutes while cooking time can take 45 minutes, so your tortillas should be ready in an hour.
You can enjoy a subtle porky flavor when lard is used. The bready,chewy texture is thanks to the baking powder. A very hot skillet delivers optimal tenderness in the cooked tortillas.
It is best to eat the cooked tortillas fresh and warm. Storage can be done in the fridge. The tortillas should be individually reheated in a hot skillet. You can also wrap the tortillas together in aluminum foil, which keeps them moist and facilitates easy cleanups. The foil-wrapped tortillas can be reheated in a warm oven.
More Basic Tortilla Recipe
Mix together 3 cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt, a cup of warm water and ⅓ cup of vegetable oil, working on the mixture till a dough is created. Roll the dough into a big ball and take around one- to two-inch pieces off to make smaller balls. Pat the dough balls flat using your hands and flatten them out into discs or circles. You can also use a rolling pin to press the dough balls flat.
Cook each disc in a flat pan on the stove, waiting for the sides to develop little brown specks and wart-like bubbles on the surface.
Chewy Tortilla Recipe
If you want tortillas that are soft and thick with a characteristic bready chew, try this other recipe.
Combine the same dry ingredients. Rub the fat (either lard or vegetable oil) in to get a coarse texture, then add warm liquid (either milk or water). Knead the dough till a smooth and semi-elastic dough is achieved. Let the dough rest for ten minutes, then divide it into balls. Let the dough balls rest for 15 minutes. Afterwards, roll each ball out into discs or circles. Cook every one of the discs, letting them puff out and develop brown speckles. Transfer to a plate and cover the cooked tortillas with a clean dish towel, allowing the steam to keep them warm and to soften them.
In terms of flavor and tenderness, using lard, water and no baking powder makes the cooked tortillas win hands down. For a chewy and bready texture, using vegetable oil, milk and baking powder will bring great results despite the finished product being a bit bland and not quite as soft as one would prefer.
You may decide to get the best of those recipes and combine in a single one. The procedure will be pretty much the same. However, use lard as the fat that can also bring the flavor you want. Keep the baking powder as leavening agent. Use water. Follow the rest periods for the dough.
A skillet heated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit can result in significantly chewy and soft tortillas. If you don’t have an infrared thermometer available, judge the tortillas by the way they look. The tortillas should brown, puff and bubble in just 45 seconds for every side with the right temperature.
Give the cooked tortillas time to rest shortly before hitting your taste buds in an explosion of tenderness and flavor.
Use them to scoop up some queso fundido with or to make tacos, fajitas and anything you can make with tortillas. Eat them with fluffy eggs, grilled meats and seafoods. The possibilities are endless!