Why It Works
- Lard offers these tortillas a subtle porky taste, nonetheless vegetable shortening would possibly perhaps likely even be substituted if wished.
- Baking powder creates the bready, chewy texture.
- Cooking the tortillas on a truly hot skillet finally ends up in most tenderness.
I’ve spent a range of time in Texas, and it has left me with a deep indulge in for flour tortillas. I am very bid about them: I make not factual need the very handiest flour tortillas, I need the true ones for the job. In my eyes, there are two overarching categories, and which one you make employ of is determined by what they’re being served with. For instance, when ingesting the tortillas with grilled meats and seafood, I need the skinny and extremely-refined ones that are so elephantine-laden that you would possibly perhaps likely perhaps perhaps practically uncover about through them, indulge in oil-stained paper (for that kind of tortilla, investigate cross-test my recipe right here). On the different hand, when ingesting the tortillas with melted cheese or fluffy eggs, I purchase thicker, softer, chewier ones. That’s the recipe I sure to great on this mosey-spherical.
In my expertise, this style of tortilla—thick, refined, and with a bready chew—is the most long-established correct through Texas, served at practically the full quick-food taco joints. Or not it’s practically continually the tortilla of resolution for breakfast tacos, quesadillas, and more. When put next to the skinny, lard-enriched ones I’ve written about before, this style of chewy tortillas is more just just like the flour tortillas provided at most supermarkets, with the exception of that is selling them skill too quick, since most supermarket ones are horrible variations of the bid deal.
To commence my making an strive out, I began by taking a gape at a a recipe from Lisa Fain’s Homesick Texan, which has continually been a tall source of Tex-Mex recipes. Hers is racy in that she trades the previous lard for vegetable oil, water for milk, and uses baking powder for leavening. To study her innovations, I whipped up a batch of her tortillas alongside a batch that historical the more long-established lard and water, and no baking powder.
The come is the identical in both conditions, despite the different substances: mix dry substances, rub in elephantine for a rude texture, add warm liquid.
Then I kneaded both doughs until they was refined and semi-elastic. After a ten-minute leisure, I divided them up into itsy-bitsy balls, rested these 15 minutes longer, and never straight away rolled them out to eight-lumber discs.
I cooked the total tortillas in a hot 10-lumber forged iron skillet, the place apart they mercurial puffed and developed brown spots. As every tortilla was carried out, I transferred it to a plate lined with a desirable dish towel. This lined leisure time is severe—the steam helps soften the tortillas and withhold them warm.
The Homesick Texan recipe (with milk, vegetable oil, and baking powder) had the most bready, chewy texture, nonetheless it with out a doubt was a little bit of bland and likewise not as refined as I was hoping. The tortillas made within the more former manner (with lard, water, and no baking powder) had the handiest taste and tenderness, nonetheless lacked the thickness and chewiness I was taking a glimpse.
Placing It All Collectively
Seeing the advantages and downsides of both recipes facet-by-facet, I was in a win 22 situation to commence to win 22 situation a singular recipe that captured the handiest of every. I selected lard as my elephantine, since I knew it would lift the taste I needed, and I saved the baking powder for its leavening capacity.
I mild wasn’t entirely sure whether to employ water or milk, so I whipped up two unique batches the place apart all the pieces else was equal, and positioned that these made with water had been factual a hair more refined and not noticeably different in taste from the milk ones, so I settled on water. After all, it’s free and continually on hand.
As I was cooking my final batch, I stumbled correct through one different fundamental say: I factual took place apart of residing to seem at that the first tortilla I cooked wasn’t close to as proper as the 2nd one, even though they had been the identical true dough. The handiest distinction I’d mediate of was the warmth of my forged iron skillet, since it could likely even admire gotten hotter by the level the 2nd tortilla hit it.
“At 500°F, the tortillas will admire to bubble, puff, and brown in precisely Forty five seconds per facet.”
To uncover, I grabbed my infrared thermometer and measured the temperature of the skillet whereas cooking the final tortillas. And certainly, what I found was the handiest tortillas came out of a 500°F (260°C) skillet; one thing else much less, and the tortillas had been a good deal much less refined and chewy. I was dazzling insecure by what a gargantuan distinction the skillet temperature made—thoughts you, I wasn’t making an strive to cook any tortillas on a warm skillet, it was hot the entire time, and but differences in its temperature mild had a gargantuan impact. While you happen to’re making not admire an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of your skillet, you would possibly perhaps likely perhaps perhaps strive to imagine the warmth by the cooking time: At 500°F, the tortillas will admire to bubble, puff, and brown in precisely Forty five seconds per facet.
After a short leisure beneath a kitchen towel, they had been all place to mosey, and man, had been they savory—fat of taste, refined, and factual begging for a skillet of queso fundido to dip into.
So I did what any sane individual would attain, and whipped up a batch of queso fundido, then tore into my pile of tortillas. Would you deem me if told you I was more pondering them than the gobs of melted cheese I was the usage of them to scoop up? Well, will admire to you make not, then you definately’re making not realize factual how fundamental I indulge in my flour tortillas.
May well likely well well 2015
2 cups all-cause flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
3/4 cups warm water (roughly 110°F/43°C)
Creep together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Rub lard into flour combination the usage of your fingertips until combination resembles rude crumbs. Add warm water and work dough with fingers until entirely combined and no dry flour is left in bowl.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until refined, about 1 minute. Cover with a moist cloth or plastic wrap and let leisure for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces; roll every portion of dough into a ball. Cover dough balls with a moist cloth or plastic wrap and let leisure a further 15 minutes.
Preheat forged iron skillet, griddle, or comal to 500°F (260°C). Station one ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and pat down into a flat disc. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to an 8-lumber spherical. Station dough in skillet and cook until bubbles rep on high facet and bottom facet has brown spots, 30-60 seconds. Flip tortilla and cook until 2nd facet develops brown spots, 30-60 seconds longer. Transfer tortilla to a plate and conceal with desirable dish cloth. Repeat with final balls of dough. Lend a hand with out extend whereas mild warm.
The tortillas are handiest eaten whereas unique and mild warm. They’ll even be kept within the refrigerator and reheated individually in a hot skillet or wrapped together in foil and positioned in a warm oven for reuse, even supposing they would possibly perhaps likely perhaps perhaps not be as proper as when unique.
Rolling pin, forged iron skillet