Since I’ve discovered baking lately, I’ve been revisiting some of the simpler pleasures here in the FAB Whitby kitchen to see if we can recreate them ourselves. So far, I’ve been reasonably pleased with the results, so I decided it was time to look for a soft taco/tortilla recipe. My recipe search brought me to the Homesick Texan. This transplanted Texan, currently living in NYC, has been written up in lots of traditional media and has a great looking site. She takes some pretty great photos too, so I thought I’d give her recipe for Flour Tortillas from way back in 2007 a try.
The result? A smash hit that will become a staple in our house! Simple ingredients, simple execution and a great finished product. They also keep well when wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge. I doubled the recipe and the kids are still snacking on the left overs!
Recipe: Adapted from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison by the Homesick Texan.
2 cups of all purpose flour. You could sub in 1 cup of whole wheat, but why would you?
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vegetable oil
3/4 cup warmed milk – that means warm it. Do not let it sit out to warm to room temp. You WILL get sick!
Mix dry ingredients and oil in a large bowl.
Slowly stir in the milk until a soft, sticky ball is formed. My dough was very loose until I began kneading.
Knead dough on a floured surface for a couple of minutes until it is firm but still soft.
Turn dough into a clean bowl and let sit, covered by a damp towel, for 20 minutes.
After it has rested, separate it into 8 balls. Homesick Texan suggests breaking sections off, but I rolled the ball into a cylinder shape and then cut it into 8 to create slightly more even portions.
Roll each of these into a little ball and spread them out on a plate to rest for another 10 minutes. This step is important to allow the dough to lose its elasticity. Otherwise it will be really hard to roll out.
When your little balls have rested, it is time to flour your work area. Pat the first ball out into a 4″ round and then roll into an 8″ round.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Then, keeping the skillet dry, toast each tortilla for about 30 seconds on each side. You may have to try different heat settings to get it right depending on your stove. You will notice that the torts puff up a bit while cooking.
Once they are done, keep them warm by wrapping them in a towel unless you’ve got a nifty dish with a lid like we have. We put this bad boy in the oven under really low heat to keep them warm. The lid keeps the moisture inside and the torts are just perfect.
Because I don’t generally read a recipe all the way through, I rolled and cooked my torts one at a time. Even though they only cook for a minute, this seemed like it took a long time. HT recommends rolling them all at once and then cooking all at once. This would certainly be quicker than the way I did it!
As I mentioned, these tortillas keep quite nicely in the fridge when wrapped properly in plastic wrap. Even if you don’t have 3 hungry kids, I would recommend doubling the recipe and keeping the extras on hand for snacking. They are so much better than the store bought soft tortillas and really are easy.