This past weekend I finally got a chance to play with my newest kitchen gadget – a tortilla press.
I know you don’t need a tortilla press to make tortillas. I made them before without one, but I was hoping to start making them more often – not to mention more *ahem* uniform, and progress to making corn tortillas and tortilla chips. As usual, I was motivated by a desire to create a healthier alternative to what was available in the shops.
I am fully aware there are those who will object to the use of the terms ‘healthy’ and ‘tortilla’ used in the same sentence, but a) I doubt they spend much time on this blog, and b) I am not seeking perfection – just improvement. Since my tortillas come without additives and vegetable oils (yep. They’re packin’ lard. Heck. I may even try coconut oil if I run out of lard) I think they’re an improvement.
We’ll have to wait and see yet on the tortilla chips, but the flour tortillas turned out well. They are a bit smaller than what we’re used to, but they pass The Kid taste test. The real test, of course, will be when he uses them to make his patented quesadillas that he won’t let anyone make for him because they have to be done a certain way. How this varies from how anyone else does them, we have yet to determine.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lard
1/2 cup warm water
Blend the flour, baking powder, and salt together. With a pastry blender, fork or by hand, cut in the lard until the ingredients cling together when you squeeze a bit in your hands. If it is crumbly, there isn’t enough lard or it’s not mixed in well enough. If it makes a hard clump, there is too much lard for the amount of flour.
Add the water all at once and quickly mix until the dough forms a mass. Knead by hand a few times, or until you have a soft dough that is no longer sticky. Cover and let rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.
After the dough has rested, form 1 inch diameter balls. Shape into tortillas either in a press, or by rolling on a floured surface.
Cook on a griddle or cast iron pan for 30 seconds to two minutes per side, or until they are done. I have an electric griddle that I set on 450 degrees, but even at that temperature it didn’t cook very fast.