Oh sure, there are times when I have a solid weekend day all to myself and I have time to pull out Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice book (if you don't own it already then please leave this site. Now. You can come back once you have bought it!) and deep dive into poolishes, wheat glutens and other assorted sundries of bread making. But this post isn't for those times. It's for the week nights when work has kept me overlylong because some silly Director needed an update on a project or whatever. The family walks in around 6:30 and we're all starving... what do you do for bread? You could do much worse than these warm, pillowy babies here.
I recently took it into my head that I wanted to know how to make flour tortillas like we used to get back home in San Antonio. No, my poor old mom didn't make them... the local Krogers managers were smart enough to set up a tortillaria right next to the front door of the place. You couldn't walk in during evening rush hour and NOT smell those wonderful pieces of hispanic heaven. And on those nights when the store managers were feeling particularly evil they would have one of the bakery workers standing in the front door with a tray full of hot, fresh tortillas handing them out to incoming customers. Bastards. The first ones are always free, aren't they?
Are these true, authentic hispanic food? Don't know, don't care. But I do know they are the same type we used to get in Texas and are so common place in grocery stores these days. But they're better. TONS better. These don't come from some factory a hundred miles away.. you make them. By hand. Yes, each one. No, they don't have to rise and there isn't any lengthy preparation. In fact this batch, plus picture taking, took me less than 30 minutes to knock out.
So how long, exactly, would it take your SO to run to the store, get a dozen tortillas and make it home? Well, we're about 10 miles away from the nearest Wally-World so driving, plus store time and checkout... hmmm... I honestly don't think Robin (who is a cautious driver) could do it in less than 25 tops. Give me the keys to my Jeep and I bet I could do it in 20, but who would make the tortillas? :) So here we go...
Summary: Soft, pillowy, just like when I was a kid in Texas
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (not bread flour, AP)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup hot milk
1 Light up the stove or griddle. Get a large non-stick surface hot and ready to go. I like these to cook fast, so fire that baby on up. Set out a heavy plate (that will hold heat) and a spatula to handle the hot bread.
2 Put a smidgen over 3/4 cup of milk into the micro and set on high for 60 seconds and leave it. We'll cover why it's just over 3/4 cup shortly...
3 Measure out all of the dry ingredients into the mixer of your Kitchen Aid or a large bowl that you can mix in by hand.
4 Add in 2 T of vegetable oil. Yes, vegetable oil. No, I don't mean butter. It works, trust me. Now mix those items together just a bit.
5 Slowly mix the hot milk in until the dough ball comes away cleanly. You may need to add a little more or less and you may need to adjust with additional flour.
7 Mix the dough for 3-4 minutes then turn out on a floured surface and knead once or twice to shape it some. (Note: To this point you should have taken no more than 5 minutes tops! Yes, the clock is running, come'on! Didn't you read the post title?)
8 Divide the dough into 12 equal balls, if you are measuring with scales each ball will be somewhere around 2oz in size.
9 Here's the fun part that you may want some help with the first couple of times. Roll each ball into a 6" circle on a lightly floured surface and cook them on the skillet/griddle. Each one will take about 30 seconds per side to cook so you can put one on and roll out a second tortilla. Once the second one is ready you can flip the first one and place the second one on the surface. By the time the third one is ready the first will come off and the second will be ready to flip. Lather, rinse, repeat until done.
10 Be standing at the door when your SO walks in with one of these lathered up in butter and waiting for him/her. Don't ever send them to the store again for something that's so easy for you to whip out. Seriously, that's just mean. :)
Cooking time (duration): 25 Number of servings (yield): 12 Meal type: snack Culinary tradition: Mexican
No, you don't have to have perfect circles. If you want that, just wait for the SO to get back with the store-bought, week-old, machine-pressed whatever-they-are's. Not that I'm biased or anything. Now, grab some butter and salt or pico, corn relish, hell put whatever you want on them. I know a certain 16 year-old who likes to smear peanut-butter all over these, roll them up and devour them. Can't say as I blame him, really.
Apparently Robert Rodriguez is a huge fan of homemade flour tortillas and has a recipe on the Sin City DVD regarding his process. Happy to report that it's not that much critically different from mine, sweet! Linkage here. (Thanks to the REDDIT food subreddit!)