Thursday, April 2, 2015

I've gotten back into making flour tortillas



So, you know that I had bought flour tortillas a couple of times this winter. I was just tired of making them myself.

But, with renewed desire to get our budget under control, I got back into making them myself.

We had bean, rice and cheese burritos the other night, and I made whole wheat tortillas, using this recipe, here. I used all whole wheat flour in the dough and white flour for rolling out. And I made a recipe and a half for the dough, but made each one larger than the recipe suggests, for burrito-size. It took me about 10 minutes to make enough tortillas for the 5 of us. I'm not sure what the grocery store charges for whole wheat tortillas. But I estimate that I saved about 80 cents over buying white flour tortillas from Dollar Tree.


I also made a food processor salsa, using canned tomatoes, tomato paste, some diced onions, chili peppers from the freezer, garlic powder, salt, vinegar, oregano, cumin and chili powder -- all the basic items that I use in making large batches of salsa in the fall for canning.

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14 comments:

  1. Lili,
    what did you use to cook the tortillas?
    I made them from scratch once and had two problems. First I don't have a pan large enough for burrito size tortillas. I opted to use my griddle, also small but the biggest thing I have, it wasn't hot enough to brown the tortillas so I over cooked them. In the end I decided it was worth it to purchase my tortillas even though for something so simple I think they are quite expensive. I've picked them up at C&C maybe I'll try the Dollar store.

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    1. Hi Linda,
      My favorite surface is the Farberware stainless skillet that my mother-in-law passed down to us. But I've also used a griddle. The skillet has a stainless interior, with aluminum clad bottom, vintage c. 1950s. It's a 10-inch I think, and has a flat bottom (unlike what I'd use for something like eggs, with sloping sides).

      My burrito-size tortillas do slide up the sides a bit, maybe an inch over the size of the skillet bottom. I do preheat my skillet so that it's nice and hot when I start. And mine don't "look" like they're totally baked. In between the browned bubbles, the surface looks doughy, but it's not, just pliable.

      The overcooked ones are still usable. I've used overcooked flour tortillas as a base for very thin-crust pizza or skillet-fried lightly in oil, and used for tostadas.

      Dollar Tree flour tortillas aren't too bad, and good for a small household (there are 6 in the package). That may be a good size for you.

      Kris asked me, a while back, if I'd ever made a lot in advance and frozen them. I'm going to give that a try. It would be nice to have the convenience of ready tortillas, without the last minute work.

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    2. Do you think they taste better?

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    3. I like the texture of homemade more than store bought. They're chewier, which I like.

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    4. Kris, the other thing about homemade tortillas, if they're done right, they're more flexible for rolling up/filling. But I still think their "best" quality is the cost, 20 cents for a dozen tortillas. With homemade beans, some rice, a little cheese and homemade salsa, burritos for the whole family for about 50 cents.

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  2. We've freezed our leftover homemade flour tortillas and they are every bit just as good. I am eating one now (your post reminded me of the ones we had in the freezer, just add cheddar cheese and pop in the microwave for 90 seconds for some instant quesadilla) I save those take out taco sauce packets too for topping...yummm

    YHF

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    1. I compared my recipe with yours and there is only a slight variation with the ratio of flour and salt to oil (recommends using "shortening"). Also the recipe we used says to melt the shortening with water then add to the flour/salt mixture. I think next time we make this, I am going to try mixing in the oil first, then water.

      YHF

      I prefer homemade tortillas to bought any day. I am always disappointed when a Mexican restaurant doesn't make their own and serves a perfectly round store bought tortilla. When we travel to Arizona, we always stop by Humberto's. I love their very large and chewy hand made tortillas. They spin the tortillas with their fingers to stretch it larger. I tried that at home and it works!!

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    2. Hi YHF,
      when you freeze your tortillas, do you put anything like waxed paper between each, or do you freeze in a stack?

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    3. Lili, there is no need to individually freeze each tortilla. We just stack it in a large Ziploc and freeze. We use Pam spray cooking oil in the frying pan and the oils there seem to be enough to keep the tortillas from sticking to each other in the freezer. Even getting squished and jammed pack in the freezer doesn't crack or deform the tortillas once frozen.

      YHF

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    4. Thanks, YHF! I don't use a spray, but maybe a dusting of flour on each would be enough.

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  3. I use the recipe on the King Arthur site and they are very easy to make. Use oil due to my dh being allergic to shortening. The are cooked on a non-stick pan or caste iron skillet. They freeze snd reheat well too. Cheryl

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    1. Hi Cheryl,
      So yours turn out well on cast iron. Mine become dry and brittle on cast iron, but I'll try a few things, like higher temp on the cast iron griddle. My stainless skillet works well, but I can only do one tortilla at a time. The griddle is big enough to hold 2 tortillas.

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  4. I have never made tortillas. However when we lived in Houston, it seemed like there was a Mexican restaurant on every corner and they all made their tortillas by hand. And yes those were much better than we could buy in the grocery store.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      you've lived in a number of interesting places, cuisine-wise.
      Interesting that all the Mexican restaurants other places make their own tortillas. I'm pretty sure that the few Mexi places here use packaged ones.

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