Tortilla making has a certain amount of allure behind it, and if you are like I am, you like to imagine apple-cheeked Abuelitas standing over hot coals patting out paper thin tortillas with their soft, wrinkled hands, instead of scary metal machinery cranking out tortillas en masse. The closet I can get to making a tortilla is ripping open the package and throwing them in the microwave, so I was delighted when my friend Monique offered to make me authentic Mexican tortillas. Here’s what you need:
- 2 Cups of Self Rising Flour
- 3/4 Capful of Corn Oil
- 3-4 Shakes of Salt
- 1 Cup of Hot Water – not boiling, but as hot as your delicate hands can stand
- A rolling pin or if you’re very fancy, a pelote
- A cast iron pan
- A clean dish towel and large zip lock bag
1) Set the cast iron pan on medium.
2) Put two cups of the self rising flour into a large mixing bowl.
3) Slowly add a cup of hot water, mixing the water into the dough as you go. SLOWWWWWWLY. If you get excited and dump it all in, you’re going to have a mucky, floury mess that doesn’t mix well.
4) Keep mixing with your hands until the dough feels like bread dough – soft and pokey and mostly together, like this.
5) Once you’ve made a well-formed ball, press your thumb into the center of the dough ball to make an indentation. Pour the 3/4 capful of oil into this hole, and leave the dough to rise for five minutes.
6) Waited your five minutes? Good. Now, knead the dough again with your hands, making sure the oil is well mixed into the dough. Separate the dough into 5 separate lumps on a lightly floured cutting board.
7) Using your rolling pin or pelote, roll the ball upward once, then downward once. Roll from side to side until the tortilla is quite thin.
8) Throw it on the hot pan. It will bubble up immediately. Don’t be alarmed if you smell smoke, that’s normal. Using your fingers (‘cmon – be daring), flip the tortilla over on to the other side. The tortilla is done when it looks like a tortilla. Don’t over cook or it will be hard and yucky. This may take some time to get right, so don’t cry if your tortilla crisps up like a critter on the fourth of July.
9) Wrap the tortilla in the dish towel and place it inside the ziplock bag while you cook your other tortillas. You want them to stay steamy and warm inside.
10) Serve with other yummy things. We did shredded rotisserie chicken, el pato salsa with tomato, onion and cilantro, cheese and fresh cabbage. SUPER YUM!!!
11) Enjoy fat food coma and unbutton jeans. You did it!