In Mexican cuisine, tortillas are as essential as daily bread. With this simple recipe, you can create your very own homemade flour tortillas.
Essential!!! In a nutshell, the homemade flour tortilla is one of the top 5 comfort foods on my list! The most wonderful meal prepared by my mom would consist of a freshly made pot of pinto beans, mashed with Mexican chorizo, and warm flour tortillas right off the comal (Mexican griddle). Oh, I just made myself very, very hungry! I will never forget when I asked my mom for her recipe. There were no real measurements, but after years of preparing them, I think I'm finally happy with the results. Thanks, Mom!
Melt the shortening in a microwave-safe bowl (glass). Add the water, salt and baking powder. Gradually add the flour in, working the dough with your hands until it's no longer sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, preheat a griddle to medium heat. Make dough balls, about 2 inches in size. On a flat surface, dust with flour and roll out one dough ball at a time (about 5 inches). Cook on griddle until the tortilla starts to bubble up, turn and cook for another minute.
If tortillas are cooking too fast, turn down the heat. You want a light to golden brown color. Stack the cooked tortillas in between a clean kitchen towel, and keep them covered.
Once the tortillas have completely cooled, store in resealable plastic bags in the refrigerator. Reheat on hot griddle for a few minutes. They will keep for 5 to 7 days.
While kneading the dough, you want to add as little extra flour as possible. The dough will be smooth and just slightly moist.
I get asked a lot about the temperature of the water when preparing the tortillas. I have used both hot and cold water while preparing the recipe, and both have worked; but I prefer a hot water. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to help you mix in the beginning until dough is cool enough to handle.
For a tasty, sweet treat, shallow fry a few flour tortillas until golden and crispy, dust them with cinnamon and sugar and violá! A quick buñuelo!!
If you want to speed up the process of making tortillas, I would suggest purchasing a large, heavy griddle that can cook 6 tortillas at once.