Monday, May 14, 2012

Grandma's Homemade Flour Tortillas (& What's in a Name)

Grandma's Homemade Flour Tortillas


I fully realize that I haven't really explained the name of my blog yet. I planned to do so in one of my initial posts, but time and recipes got away from me. But, this ends up being great timing because of Mother's Day to share with you the story behind the name as well as one of my favorite family recipes.

As a child, I was one of the pickiest eaters. One of the things that you could get me to eat was my grandma's homemade tortillas. My grandma used to watch my brother and I before/after school and sometimes during vacation. For lunch, she'd never let me have leftover bacon from breakfast because she would always save that for my grandpa (have you had tortilla and bacon sandwiches? yum!), but would always make me peanut butter and honey sandwiches using her homemade tortillas. Now imagine if she had let me have that bacon with my peanut butter and honey tortilla sandwich, double drool. (Okay, I wouldn't have eaten it all together then, but it sounds really good now!)

To this day, my grandma's tortillas are still THE BEST TORTILLAS (though she doesn't make them anymore because of her arthritis). They're soft and thick and have the right amount of salt. (Many of the homemade tortillas that I've had don't have enough salt.) Because they're so thick, they don't really wrap very well for burritos, but you can just stuff it like a taco. When I have good tortillas, everything is stuffed into tortillas or sopped up with them. :-)

So in honor of Mother's Day and my grandma, I am gifting you one of my most special recipes-- my grandma's homemade tortilla recipe!

Happy Mother's Day!

Tortillas finished and keeping warm!

Close-up of my tortillas

I love the way the brown spots look on tortillas :-)

My lunch growing up: homemade tortillas, peanut butter and honey

More pb and honey!

Dark and flowery, New Mexican honey

All about tortillas and honey! :-)


Grandma's Homemade Flour Tortillas
A T&H family recipe

8 c. flour
2 Tbs salt
3 Tbs baking powder
1/2 c. oil (vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, or lard)
1 c. warm water

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Then add in the oil and knead with your hands until small clumps form (kind of like cornmeal or a little larger). Be careful not to overmix.

Add in warm water a little at a time and knead well until a ball forms (you might use less than the 1 c. of water or a little more, just see as you go). My grandma says not to add more flour after adding water-- not really too sure of the reasoning why though, so make sure you don't add too much water to the dough.

Once the dough forms into a ball, separate dough into balls (a little larger than golf ball sized). I usually do this by dividing the dough in half, then continuing to divide into halves until I get the size I want. It makes it easier to make sure they're all about the same size too. Place these between damp towels to let them rest and so they don't dry out while you're preparing and making the tortillas.

Heat a comal, large cast iron skillet, or griddle on medium heat. (I've been told not to use a non-stick skillet because it will ruin the coating.)

Roll out a ball of dough with a rolling pin. Starting from the center of the dough, roll the dough toward your then working your way around the dough (starting from the center each time) until a disk forms. Take the dough and turn it over, then do the same. Do this until you get the size and thickness that you want. Don't worry if they don't come out perfectly round!

Immediately place the rolled out dough on top of the griddle or whatever you're using, then flip the tortilla over after a minute or so when it puffs up a little and when brown marks start appearing on the bottom (there may be some bubbles on the top). After flipping the tortilla (my grandma uses her fingers but I use tongs haha), continue to cook for another minute or so until it is cooked through.

Once cooked, place tortilla underneath a towel. It keeps them warm and I'm convinced it helps them stay nice and soft!

Continue rolling out the dough and cooking the tortillas until you've finished with all the dough. Don't roll all the tortillas out at once because they'll dry out and shrink, so you'll have to do this one at a time. Sounds like a hassle, but it becomes easier as you do it more often.

If not eaten right away, store cooled tortillas in the refrigerator in a ziplock bag or in the freezer in a ziplock bag between two paper towels.

Makes about 1.5-2 dozen tortillas, depending on size.


35 comments:

  1. i've never made homemade tortillas but i definitely need to - yours look so so good!

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  2. These look stunning - I would love to try them :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  3. Making homemade tortillas is on my list of things I want to do. Yours looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing your grandmothers recipe. I would totally eat it with peanut butter and bacon... I make my fluffernutter sandwiches with bacon, marshmallow cream and peanut butter, seems like that would taste awesome on your tortillas!

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    1. Oh that sounds like a devilish combination, I love it! :-) And with a drizzle of honey!!

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  4. Homemade tortillas! You are melting my heart!!

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  5. Mmmmmmm. I love homemade tortillas. Mine are thin and wimpy, though. I need to make mine thick!!

    I wish I had some of these now! I like mine with a bit of butter. That's it!

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    1. Yes, a good tortilla doesn't need much! :-) But on the other hand, a good tortilla also makes all other food taste better too. ;-)

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  6. What a great recipe and a great story! Your grandma sounds like such a warm, comforting person. I love that snack.
    I have to make these. Do you think it would work if I cut the amounts in half? I'm sure they are best eaten fresh, but I don't think we would eat the whole batch because there is only three of us!

    thanks for sharing. :)

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  7. Hmmmm, I tried to post a long comment, but it didn't work!

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful recipe and story about your grandmother. You are so lucky to have her!

    I'd love to try making these, but do you think it would work with the amounts cut in half?

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  8. I confess I am a corn tortilla girl, but your story (I adore family recipes) and descriptions really make me want to try these! Question: if you use lard (I probably would for the added flavor), do you melt it or mix it in softened?

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  9. There's nothing better than homemade tortillas! :)

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  10. homemade tortillas are my weakness. I love them. Thanks for sharing. I'm new to your blog and enjoyed looking around I'm sure I'll be back. Cheers -Kimberly

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  11. oh wow - those fresh homemade tortillas look awesome. Love that it is a family recipe!

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  12. These look and sound great. I will definitely be giving these a try.

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  13. Thanks so much for the reply!
    I'll try it and let you know!

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  14. Grandma always knows best! Great recipe, these look delicious! :)

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  15. I used to work for a tortilla manufacturer, however, nothing beats making them at home! It has been awhile since I have done that, so that may be a weekend project. Yours do look delicious and so fluffy. I am sure your Grandmother had a real knack for making these and you obviously have that same talent.

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  16. Oh, these look fantastic! Our grocery store's bakery has stopped making their homestyle flour torilla which we've grown to love. I'm sure your grandmother's are much, much better...I need to give them a try :)

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  17. What wonderful memories! My daughter loves tortillas better than bread for a sandwich so she'll love getting to make her own!

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  18. Such a cute story! I can never get enough peanut butter, so I can't believe I've never had a tortilla, honey, and peanut butter sandwich - that has to change soon! :)

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  19. Your Grandmas tortillas sounds amazing! And must taste so good with peanut butter and honey (and bacon!)

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  20. I love PB and honey on tortillas. These look fantastic...now I"m craving them!

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  21. Yummmmmmm! I love store bought tortillas, I actually can sit there and just eat them plain...I can only imagine how good homemade tortillas are, especially with pb & honey on them! (and maybe some bacon
    Great recipe, they look awesome!

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  22. I love this story, Renee! So straight from the heart. These tortillas look perfect - I love the brown spots too! It's like a proof that they are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  23. Are we sisters or cousins? Your recipe is so incredibly close to my Abuela's! :)

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  24. How should the dough be wen its ready should it still b a little sticky or not sticky at all

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    1. The dough should not be sticky-- if it is, that means you've added too much water. Gradually add water just until the dough comes together and you're able to work with it. Hope this helps.

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  25. My 90 year old grandmother is from Southern Colorado/Northern New Mexico, and she always told me her mother's tortillas that she grew up with were different than what we have here in California (in fact she said her mom actually used a starter). Now I am seeing the difference with your recipe and a few other 'New Mexico' style flour tortilla recipes. New Mexico flour tortillas seem a bit thicker and are slightly leavened. I am looking forward to trying to make these for my grandmother and my family, they look much superior to store bought :)

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  26. I have a huge pot of posole on the stove right now. I think I will make some of these to go with it tonight!

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  27. If you are familiar with chamorro culture (Guam) we make flour tortillas that is similar to this recipe and are soft and thick. It's a cross between biscuit and flatbread. My mom makes the best that I know around. Every time she goes to parties she gets request to make her tortillas. She makes it a little sweet sometimes and its all so good with butter alone or along with breakfast sausage or bacon and eggs. Growing up in Guam my mother would get a can of spam and slice thin enough and bake in oven and we eat it with the warm tortillas it was so yummy! Now there's no right or wrong. Chamorro tortillas are made like the size of a medium pizza and then cut into slices . Thanks for sharing.

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  28. We made these at home and they're amazing! My whole family loves them and it's a great success. Thank you! <3 <3 <3

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