This is going to be a long one so hang in there or just get the recipe, you choose.
Having grown up in the house I did, by default you had to eat Mexican food. It was a staple of my childhood. We loved it so much that we would go to a place close to where my Dad used to work called Las Cazuelas. From where we lived in Denver the restaurant was a long ways away, but the drive was well worth it. I’ve been told that I would eat it at 3 years old with a cup nestled in the crook of my arm because I would drink the water whenever it got too spicy. Needless to say Mexican food is my favorite food hands down. We would get quarts of their refried beans and quarts of chile verde, bring them home and have Mexican food as our dinner for Christmas Eve. We/I absolutely love Mexican food.
Now having said that my Dad would make tortillas whenever we had Mexican food at home. His tortillas were great. There is a story behind the recipe. I think in their first house they had a separate apartment downstairs and a hispanic lady lived there and she taught him how to make them. Now those tortillas have some baking powder in them so they were a little more puffy, like the ones you would buy at the store but obviously better. We even had a dedicated cast iron tortilla griddle.
They were a little tough to make though, so I haven’t really made them in a long time. Over the course of a few years, I have been looking for an easier recipe. I also wanted them be to more like the tortillas you would get if you traveled to Mexico. Kind of thin, that have that hint of lard when heated up.
Since we live in Arizona, we are by default really close to Mexico. We are only about 4 hours from a place us gringos call Rocky Point. It’s really called Puerto Peñasco. Its a great little place on the west coast of the Mexico right along the Gulf of California. When you drive through the border and get to the Mexico side, depending on the time of day, there will be vendors on the sides of the street selling all sorts of stuff. But the one you are looking for is the lady with a plethora of bags full of tortillas. You will want to stop and buy some, at least 3 bags, I promise it will be worth it.
If you don’t want to go that far for great Mexico style flour tortillas, you don’t have to. You can make them at home and they are SUPER EASY especially if you have a kitchen scale, similar to this one. I don’t know if I could do without it now since I weigh out a ton of ingredients in the kitchen now. So much more accurate and recipes come out perfect every time. I make mine in my Kitchenaid mixer with the paddle attachment, no need for the dough hook here. It makes the process so much faster, seriously, maybe 5 minutes if that. I can’t stress this enough, it makes it so easy.
Mexico Style Tortillas
Adapted from Cook’s Country
Ingredients, weights included (much easier to weigh it out, especially for multiple batches)
- 2 3/4 C. (400g) all purpose flour
- 2 t. (16g) regular table salt
- 6 T. (100g) lard or vegetable shortening – Lard has way better flavor 😉
- 3/4 C. (200g) water at 110 degrees, must be warm, not a typo
- MAKE DOUGH If you are weighing your ingredients you can do this in the same bowl no need to use separate bowls. Combine flour and salt in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix to combine. Add in the lard or shortening (weigh it after you mix the flour and salt in the same bowl) into flour mixture and mix until mixture resembles coarse meal. About 1-2 minutes. Add in water and mix until combined.
- FORM BALLS Turn dough out onto clean surface and knead briefly to form smooth, cohesive ball. Roll 2½ tablespoons or 59grams of dough into balls. Transfer balls to plate or container, and cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Refrigerating them is very necessary. I make a lot and put the ones I don’t make into the fridge until I want to make more a few days later.
- COOK TORTILLAS Working on lightly floured surface, roll balls to 8-inch rounds. Heat oil in large -nonstick -skillet or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat until just smoking. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Lay 1 round in skillet and cook until -surface begins to bubble, . Flip and cook until browned and puffed, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate and cover with kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining rounds. Serve.