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Old 03-19-2005, 10:51 PM   #1
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Flour Tortillas

OK- I'm brand new, and I've been working on making some home-made flour tortillas for my girlfriend, because she loves thm, but can't have them being so far away at home while she's at college. I've been experimenting over the last few days, and I think I've got the consistency close to how her mom makes them.

The problem is, they taste like garbage, lol.

The recipe I'me using is pretty simple:

4 cups flour
4 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

Then the kneading, rolling etc.

But how can I give my tortillas some flavor?

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Old 03-19-2005, 11:07 PM   #2
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I hate to say this but it seems to me like you need to add some fat to your recipe. All the recipes that I have seen have shortening or lard as an ingredient. Here is a recipe that I have not tried, but is on my list of recipes to make.



Flour Tortillas

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups of white all purpose flour
  • tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • cup of lard or vegtable shortening
  • 1 cup of hot water
Instructions:

Mix the flour and salt. Mix in the lard by hand until the mixture resembles small peas. Add the water slowly until you have a soft elastic ball. You may need to add a little more or less water, but do it slowly. You may not really need as much water as you think you do. Knead until smooth. Cover with a damp towel and then let rest 15 minutes. Make about 7-9 equal size balls. Flatten and roll each ball into a flat round disk. Cook on a very hot cast iron skillet. No oil is necessary. Flip when bottom side is golden, the top should be bubbling slightly when ready. Use a spatula to lift the edge and check for doneness before flipping completely. Keep the cooked tortillas warm by covering with a damp towel while you continue to cook.
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Old 03-19-2005, 11:32 PM   #3
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yeah, forgot too add that part...

it calls for 2 TBs of lard/shortening

sorry i forgot that before
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:09 AM   #4
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lol College haven't we all done that before???? I know I have!
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Old 03-20-2005, 04:23 PM   #5
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Actually, I used the shortening; I meant that I forgot to type that in the recipe in my previous post. So the things I used were as follows:

4 cups unbleached flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 Tbs shortening
1 1/2 cups warm water

For the shortening, I used crisco, b/c that's all that I had, but I've heard lard is actually better. Also, my g/f says her mother uses another kind of lard for her tortillas...
I think she said it was "manteca"??? Anyone ever heard of it?

But yes I did use lard when I made them, sorry for the misunderstanding.
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Old 03-20-2005, 04:45 PM   #6
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I did a quick search and it appears that "manteca" is simply Spanish for lard or pig fat, which is also the unfortunate name of Manteca, California.
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Old 03-20-2005, 10:10 PM   #7
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It doesn't seem to be anything wrong with your tortilla recipe, taking that you did add the "mateca" (very important ingredient). Maybe it is the way you are cooking them? (you ARE cooking them, right?)...
Tortillas are cooked over a "comal" which is a flat surface, made out of clay, normally but modernised with Teflon versions. Of course I don't expect you to have a comal, but you could use a frying pan. Not a very expensive or personal favourite one, since you have to heat it with nothing on it and when it is really hot, drop de tortillas and flip them when they get slightly brown.
Now, personal advice, use CORN flour to make your tortillas (same recipe). I personally hate wheat flour tortillas, as no matter what you do, they taste like cardboard and they get chewy and disgusting over nothing...
I hope all this yapping helps you a little
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Old 03-20-2005, 10:37 PM   #8
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Forgot to mention, if you decide to go with the wheat flour tortillas, use chicken broth instead of water. That will add some flavour to them. Still, if you make them with corn flour and chicken broth.... YUMMY! may I come over for dinner?
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:24 PM   #9
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Flour tortillas are traditionally made with wheat flour, not corn. They use fat, which makes them chewy. Flour tortillas get a lot of their "traditional" taste from the lard, so using shortening may be the source of the problem.

Corn tortillas (which I also like better) usually don't contain fat, thus they are crispy.

Maybe you could make corn tortillas instead? Or experiment, as Magia suggests?
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:33 PM   #10
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I'll try making them with lard next time. And I think i cooked them for about 30 sec. per side at med-high heat. If i kneaded the dough too much could that affect the taste? It seemed like i may have worked with the dough too much before i cooked them, they were really hard to roll out.

I would like to make corn tortillas, but I have this obsession with being authentic with my mexican food, and I would probably want to to grind my own corn, and the whole nine yards. Maybe I'll try corn over the summer when I have some more time.
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