Almost every Mexican grandmother has her way of making flour tortillas, and this easy recipe is from mine. I know she would be so happy that I am still making her tortillas and that she taught me how to feel the dough and know when it's time to stop kneading the dough. This skill is a gift passed through generations. This skill just can't be taught over youtube or explained in a recipe. But do not let that detour you from making your flour tortillas because you can do it, and it will be worth it.
To me, homemade flour tortillas with a spread of butter and a sprinkle of salt mean love. It was how my grandmother showed she loved you. Her gift, every time I would visit her home. And today, when I make flour tortillas, and the first one hits the comal, I can smell my childhood.
Abuelita's Flour Tortillas
- 1 Stovetop
- 3 cups flour unsifted
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- ½ cup of shortening I use palm oil or olive oil
- 1 cup warm water may need more if the dough is dry
- In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk dry ingredients until combined. Add the shortening or oil and thoroughly mix into the dry ingredients until you have small crumbs.
- Make a small well in the middle of your dry ingredients and add ¾ cup of warm water. Gradually mix the flour into the water. Add additional water as needed 2 tablespoons at a time until the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the dough. The dough will be barely holding together. Begin kneading the dough until it becomes smooth and the flour has absorbed the fat and liquid.
- Wrap dough into plastic wrap or a damp towel. Divide the dough into equal pieces and shape it into smooth balls. Keep balls covered, so they do not dry out while cooking each tortilla.
- You can roll each ball with a rolling pin (like my Abuelita did), flatten the ball with the bottom of a pie plate, or use a tortilla press. Note: if you decide to press out versus roll out your dough, the tortillas will shrink during cooking and be thicker.
- Place tortilla on a preheated and dry skillet. Turn the tortilla about every 30 seconds until thoroughly cooked. If you get air bubbles, that is a sign you have successfully made tortillas!