Flour tortillas are more common in the northern states of México, where they are still made using the traditional recipe of
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup hot water
Some cooks will omit the baking power.
Although nowadays you can conveniently get them at the corner store, many housewives continue to buy one kilo of flour to make flour tortillas at home, Like Señora Hortencia Luna, a very sweet lady that used to be my son’s nana in Monterrey, NL. Everyday before going to work, she would cook this amount of flour in tortillas for her family. When I asked her why she always made the same amount, she told me that it was the only recipe that anyone knew. In México, it’s very common to find shortening in 1/4 kilo sizes packages and flour in 1 kilo sizes.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Either by hand or with a pastry cutter, cut in the shortening till the mixture is crumbly. If the mixture looks more floury than crumbly, be sure to add just one or two more tablespoons of shortening till it is crumbly. Add about 3/4 cup hot water to the mixture, or just enough to make the ingredients look moist.
- With your hand or a large fork, knead the mixture making sure to rub the dough against the sides of the large mixing bowl to gather any clinging dough. If the dough still sticks to the side of the bowl, add a couple more tablespoons of flour until the dough forms a soft round shape. The dough is ready to roll out now, but it is best to let it rest. Cover it with a dish towel, and let it sit for about an hour or so.
- Take the dough, and pull it apart into 10 to 12 balls. Lightly flour your rolling area, and roll each ball with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch thickness.
- Place each tortilla on a medium hot cast iron skillet. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until the tortilla does not look doughy.