How to make Mexican Flour Tortillas from scratch
There are a variety of brands of flour tortillas in the supermarket, but why make flour tortillas from scratch? when you can only drive a couple of miles and buy them at your nearest store. Although the supermarket tortillas rescue you, for speed or because it is impossible for you to make them at home. It is true and I admit it, we do not always have the time to do everything from scratch, and what we have is speed to be able to lie down on that sofa and rest from a very heavy day.
Supermarket and homemade flour tortillas
Homemade flour tortillas stand out for their softer texture. Compared to commercials that offer slightly stiffer textures due to the wide variety of preservatives they contain. Canned products will never give you the feeling of freshness in tortillas and, of course, their great homemade flavor is unmatched.
It is true that making flour tortillas has few ingredients, so it will be a challenge . To be honest, I don’t know the reason why I fought so hard because they came out perfect, well, it could be because I was very “clumsy” or because Grandma never passed the recipe correctly, you know “secrets lead them to the grave”. The truth is that everything is a matter of practice, it is the key to perfecting flour tortillas!
In Mexico the best cooks are “the ladies of the ranch”. Small towns far from “the city” where they cook with a lot of flavor and tradition. They have the best advice, and I say advice because, as good teachers, they already cook without measuring or weighing anything, only with “trial and error” or “a good eye of the cubero.” They can make super rich and soft flour tortillas and without comparison with the commercial ones. Some tips you could “steal” from these traditional Mexican chefs are.
Top tips from "The ranch ladies"
- Always make the preparation with 1 kilo of flour, because … Well, really, I don’t know, it worked for me. I tried many times to make the recipe with 1/2 kilo and nothing. Sometimes they came out hard and without consistency, I guess doing it this way is perfect for the amounts that if in this same recipe you take only 1/4 or 1/2, the amounts start to be disproportionate.
- It is better to melt the lard , combine it with the hot water and thus it will be better incorporated into the flour. At first I incorporated the butter directly into the flour, when trying this method I saw that the butter is incorporated better because it is already melted. The difference is minimal, I kept this advice.
- Letting the dough rest is very important, how long ?, enough to give the dough a bit of elastic consistency for 30 to 1 hour. I will give you a tip for beginners, let it rest for 1 full day or at least 5 hours.
The best advice of all
- Take care of the 3 turns rule to raise or inflate the tortilla. With the comal (griddle) previously heated to medium-high temperature. The following steps are carried out: 1st shift, this shift is fast, it is allowed to cook for approx. 5-7 seconds, it is not cooked yet, it does not matter !, we turn, second turn, let cook for longer approx. 13-20 seconds and at this point you start to see some bubbles, our tortilla begins to inflate, the steam begins to form inside the tortilla and large bubbles form. We can apply pressure with something light, for example with a cloth, a cup of coffee, etc., to raise more steam and form more bubbles (be careful because if the bubble bursts, the steam will come out and burn it).We come back again, third shift: we finish cooking, we try not to cook them so much so that they do not lose their flexibility. The times are estimated since they depend on the temperature of the comal.
Let's do it!
So I pass on all the advice I could get from the queens of Mexican cuisine, hoping that they will work for you as they do for me. Although I have to admit that sometimes I get so excited by the gossip from the neighbor or my children fighting in the kitchen, when I cook the flour tortillas I end up giving it so many turns that the result of the tortilla is dry, hard and a little overcooked (burnt), anyway.
I hope that my experience with this recipe will help you improve your technique a little, you will not regret having done it. They are super delicious, ideal for tortillas with beans, meat and avocado with a super spicy sauce, or how about tacos de machaca with melted cheese? “Quesadillas” or “cachetonas” (omelette with cheese and pork), well, there are endless dishes with flour tortillas that you won’t try all of.