The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fresh flour tortillas

  • Pin It
breadsong's picture
breadsong

Fresh flour tortillas

Hello everyone,
I caught an episode of "Mexico: One Plate at a Time", on TV - hosted by Chef Rick Bayless.
Fresh flour tortillas were the subject - very quickly made, using a food processor.
The recipe is available online at rickbayless.com  -
(I used the ingredients posted online, and the method demonstrated on TV, to make these tortillas). 

                         Here's one cooking...

 

Fresh flour tortillas...0h-so-delicious! They puffed up nicely while cooking:
   

                  This one ballooned just like a pita!:


My adaptation of the recipe and method:

I wouldn't hesitate to make these flour tortillas again - they were fabulous; enjoyed freshly-cooked, a delight!
Thank you, Mr. Bayless!

Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong

Comments

varda's picture
varda

Breadsong,   Your tortillas came out great.   I made some awhile ago, but used lard instead of shortening as I'm trying to stay away from trans fats.   Seems ironic doesn't it when lard is the "healthy" choice.  Yours certainly look better than mine did.    One question - are they supposed to puff up and do they settle back down so you can use them for wrapping?    Or did you serve them on the side?    -Vada

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Varda,
Thank you!
I remember Mr. Bayless saying on his show fresh rendered pork lard was his favorite fat, to add good savory flavor to the tortilla.
The only shortening I had on hand has some trans fat. I usually only use it if I need to grease the odd pan & haven't paid any attention to the trans fat part...I thought it might be better to try using another fat, so I made the tortillas again, using olive oil.
The tortillas weren't quite as flaky as the ones made with shortening, but the olive oil did contribute some extra flavor.
I made a few more with some whole wheat and barley, adding 10% more water to keep the dough soft, for rolling.
Husband was happy - "Tortillas, again?!" (he loves them) ...

... this was one made with olive oil

 ... 1/3 all-purpose, 1/3 barley, 1/3 whole-wheat flour + olive oil

They do settle down as the cool and make wonderful 'wrappings'...

Thanks so much Varda. I'm happy to hear you make tortillas - aren't the fresh ones the best?
:^) breadsong

varda's picture
varda

Especially love the whole wheat and barley one.   Will have to try that.   Thanks for posting your variations.  -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

You're so welcome, and hope you like them! :^)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

recipe and saw the same episode who knows how long ago?  I too use lard and a little butter.  They sure beat store bought for freshness and taste!  We usually buy them though because there are so many tortilla factories around here and when fresh they are pretty good.  Even the grocery stores have tortilla factories in them!

It is amazing how much they ook like pitas isn' it? Just not as thick.

Nice dry frying!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi dabrownman :^)
We were in a grocery store in Las Vegas once and saw one of those 'tortilla factories'...my husband's jaw dropped as he saw all those beautiful fresh tortillas rolling off the line...one of the ladies working there brought him some samples - she could tell from the look on his face he really wanted to try a fresh one!
I tried making these tortillas with olive oil, and will try butter for the next attempt - I bet it adds a beautiful flavor.
Thanks so much - glad you saw the show - we love the Mexican food Mr. Bayless makes on that program.
:^) breadsong

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I've only just started making tortillas and noticed the 'puff' on cooking and wasn't sure if that was correct or not so your post has answered that for me..thanks! I had found a recipe online that said to use lard (tenderflake here in Canada) and they've turned out amazing. I had to buy myself a cast iron skillet to cook them and I found 50 grams makes 7" tortillas ..a little smaller than my 10.5" lodge skillet so tried 83 grams to make them a little bigger (around 9").  Now I'm finding they're SO good I fill them with too much 'stuff' I want to go a size bigger and now need to buy the 12" skillet :) While shopping for a new skillet I found some cute little cornbread cornstick cast iron forms that look interesting....funny how just looking up one recipe leads to another..then another..then a new pan...on and on :)

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Jackie,
Happy to hear you like fresh tortillas, too :^)
Sounds like you like your tortillas 'loaded'! I had a 12" cast iron pan but gave it away as I found it heavy to move around.
Fresh cornbread is another favorite of mine and I hope you have fun using your cornstick pan!
:^) breadsong 

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Being a tortilla purist, hominy flour/meal is the only way to go (tortillas de maize). To me, flour tortillas have always tasted like wallpaper paste. I offer the following as evidence.

Homemade Wallpaper or Papier-mâché Paste Recipe

1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup sugar, or not
1 Tbsp alum, or 2–3 Tbsp salt, or not (prevents mold)
3 cups of water

Stir together over low heat, and cook until the mixture begins to clear.

cheers,

gary

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Gary,
Corn tortillas are amazing freshly made, but we really liked these flour ones, too.
Toasting these flour tortillas when cooking, to get the brown spots, made them taste nice - soft and still warm,
we thought they made excellent wraps for tasty fillings. They didn't take long to make, so not much would have been lost if we didn't like them - but even still, I'm glad they didn't taste like wallpaper paste! (at least to us)
 I smiled at your comparative recipe though ---
:^) breadsong

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

I think it's because of the flour tortillas that I don't care for wrapped dishes. Perhaps corn tortillas made with the minimal amount of flour needed to strengthen the tortilla for use as a wrapper would be OK. But, I will not eat a burrito, and I'm a guy that figures Tex-Mex is a basic food group.

cheers,

gary

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Gary,
There's a tortilla formula in Advanced Bread and Pastry, that has a mix of corn and wheat flour.
I'll have to give that one a try - thanks for the reminder!
:^) breadsong

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Fuuny. I have run out of bread flour recently and been trying my own hand with flour tortillas.

Geeting pretty good at it, but one thing I wonder about:

In cooking, it seems to destroy the seasoning in my cast iron skillets. I've got 2 that I now have to reseason.

Got to figure out how to prevent that. Guess my heat is too high. This last time, it was only a little past half way, on my old coil type, electric stovetop.

Yours look marvelous, by the way.

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi,
Sorry to hear about your skillets...we re-oil our cast iron pan each time we use it. It's an ancient pan, and has built up a good finish over the years, and it really does need a new coat of oil after cooking a batch of these tortillas. I cook over a gas flame, in between medium and high, and the dry heat does dull the finish.
Thanks for your compliments on the tortillas - I enjoyed seeing them puff up like that - and the resulting flaky texture was lovely.
:^) breadsong

EvaB's picture
EvaB

Do you wash the pan between cooks? This will take it off, and never ever use soap on the pan. To clean the pan I just use hot water in the pan, and a scrubbie and take off the stuck particles (bacon leaves lots behind,) I then rinse with hot water, place on the burner and heat to hot and dry, and spray with pam, or season with lard or bacon grease, although I'm told the bacon grease isn't good something to do with the salt in it! My mother certainly never had a problem with bacon grease. To really clean the pan, you need to burn it, this will take all the outside black burned on stuff off. You simply place it into a nice pile of wood, (built up with lots underneath and on top of the pan) and light it keeping the pan in the middle of the coals, burn and then clean off the warm pan (not hot, it can get almost cherry red and its HOT) and wash when cool, reseason with lard rubbed all over, and simply cook again. My aunt used to put the cast iron ware into the wood burning barrel heater. When you reseason the burned off pan, you need to coat the whole pan in lard, and put it into a hot oven (400F at least) for an hour or so, but be aware the lard will likely smoke. This sort of sets the lard into the tiny grooves and chinks in the metal, and gives it patina which is fairly non stick, washing a cast pan with dish soap will take the patina off, and putting it into a dishwasher is worse!

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Eva,
I never heard of putting a cast iron pan right in the fire but will keep that in mind if I ever have to rescue the finish on one.
:^) breadsong

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

To clean all that burnt on gunk, put the skillet(s) in your oven, and run the self-cleaning cycle. All that's left of the gunk is a fine gray powder on the oven floor.That's the lazy man's way, not to mention that open fires are frowned upon in  the city. ;-)

To re-season, I rinse in plain water, dry and swab the cooking surface  with lard or more commonly, bacon drippings. Heat in the oven @≈350℉ for about an hour. I don't grease the outside of the pan because it's grease there that becomes the burnt on gunk. Just using the frying pan will cause enough build-up.

Normal care, for me, means wiping the skillet out after frying; no added grease. If I make something that involves watery liquids, e.g. gravy from the fond left from my chicken-fried steak, I will wipe with drippings after rinsing and drying the pan.

cheers,

gary

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Breadsong,

These look wonderful, and eaten straightaway; utterly unworthy of comparison to wallpaper paste, of course

All good wishes]

Andy

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thank you so much, Andy :^)
  I am grateful for your kind words!
:^) breadsong

isand66's picture
isand66

My wife bought me a tortilla press a year ago and I've yet to use it.  You have reminded me yet again to finally give it a go.  When we were in San Diego a couple of years ago we went to Old Town which has a bunch of great authentic Mexican restaurants.  One place was hand pressing the tortillas right outside in front of the reStaurant.  I had the best shrimp tacos ever!

thanks for sharing your beautiful post.

Ian

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Ian,
Is your tortilla press a metal one, or a wooden one? I have a wooden one and love it for pressing the corn tortillas. Pressing between sheets of plastic works like a charm to prevent the masa dough from sticking.
Thanks so much Ian, and happy-tortilla-pressing; you'll be able to re-create those wonderful shrimp tacos,
and great memories of San Diego!
:^) breadsong

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

breadsong - I couldn't quite see from your picture what you loaded on your tortilla ..is that quacamole? Mine, with shredded cheese, lettuce, chopped tomato and ground beef were good but I'd love some ideas for other combinations to try!!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Jackie,
These were the tortilla toppings, this time around :^)   :
Grated jalapeno jack cheese
Simple mashed black beans (with a squeeze of lime juice added)
Diced tomato
Oven-roasted chicken breast
Roasted tomato salsa (this one was store bought, but we also really like this fire-roasted tomato salsa, with some finely diced onion added)
Luxury guacamole (my favorite!)

Can you tell I like Rick Bayless recipes? If you try any of them out, I hope you enjoy them!
:^) breadsong


 

butterflyblue's picture
butterflyblue

Yours look delicious.

I had a nice Hispanic lady from church teach me once.  She never measured, just threw stuff together, and they came out WONDERFUL.  I tried it at home several times, just doing it by eye and feel, and never had that great of results.  I guess if I had persevered I'd have figured it our eventually (she started making tortillas as a child, after all), but I just found a recipe and do it by the recipe now. 

I ought to make some more soon.  My husband likes them a lot, but they're just so much trouble to make. 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi,
Thank you, and it's good to hear you have a recipe you can rely on.
The first time I tried making flour tortillas it was with a different recipe and it was a bit of a disaster with sticky dough. I was much happier with this recipe and method.
I love homemade tortillas too, and really enjoyed making these - the dough was very easy to work with and I was pretty happy with the lift when they hit the hot pan!
:^) breadsong