Monday, July 16, 2012

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Over the past few days, a small, grey-and-white cat has been taking naps in the bare, shaded area of our backyard where Paul and I have been attempting to grow some grass.  The cat has proven to be very skittish, immediately darting to a neighboring lawn should I slide our deck door open.  Despite my best efforts to charm this animal into approaching me (even resorting to opening a can of tuna as a bribe), the cat will not come within 10 feet of me.  Matthew has been fascinated with the cat as well and always announces that he is going outside to "see kitty."  He has also fondly named the kitty "Sassy" after the famed Himalayan star of Walt Disney's Homeward Bound, one of his favorite movies of all time.

The other day, I was finishing up with the breakfast dishes while Matthew sat on the deck eating a Popsicle.  I watched as he climbed down from the deck and headed towards his swing-set.  I temporarily averted my eyes to put away a couple pots and pans and when I looked out the window again, Matthew was nowhere to be found.  I immediately dashed outside and immediately saw Matthew's little blonde head peeking out from over the neighbor's flower bed.  I walked over to him and saw that he was sitting on the ground with the stray cat "Sassy" comfortably perched in his nap, enjoying a lovely back rub.  As soon as she saw me approaching, she took off, but not without first wrapping her tail affectionaley around Matthew's chest as she pranced away.  Since that day, she has come back every morning just to visit Matthew.  She still will not let me come near her, but really enjoys some attention from my little man.  So now Matthew thinks the kitty is his.  Which really takes the pressure off Paul and I to actually get a pet!

Tortillas are one of those items that I never though about making from scratch.  They are relatively inexpensive in the grocery store and I always assumed that you needed a special tortilla press to make them thin enough.  How wrong I was!

Homemade tortillas taste incredible - they are really quite good hot, puffy, and fresh from the skillet.  And they take less than an hour to make, start to finish.  There is no actual rising involved with making them, just some resting times to allow the gluten to relax completely so you can roll/stretch them with ease.  I like to make a huge batch and then freeze whatever is not needed for dinner so we can have them readily available!  

I have an awesome enchilada recipe to share later in the week using these homemade tortillas.  Give them a try!  And make some easy quesadillas for dinner tonight - divine!

Homemade Flour Tortillas
adapted from The Homesick Texan

Two cups of all-purpose flour (may substitute one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.

Slowly add the warm milk and stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.

Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for about 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate, keeping enough space between them to ensure that they are not touching.  Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes.

After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. Once you have a rough circle, you can also gently and carefully pull and stretch the dough into an 8-inch circle.  Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered with a damp towel until ready to cook.
In a dry iron skillet heated on medium-high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.  Do not step away from the stove - they will burn FAST!

As the tortillas are removed from the skillet, stack and wrap them in a kitchen towel.  Serve immediately or let cool and place in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.  You can also freeze them for up to 1 month.

1 comment:

  1. Matthew has excellent taste in movies, I must say. Homeward Bound and Winnie the Pooh = classics.

    Those tortillas look delicious! I can't wait to try them!