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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Easy Ugly Homemade Tortillas

I think the title is descriptive enough, but today I'm going to share you with you one way I like to save money: homemade tortillas.

I'm an ace at math, and I know that I passed Kindergarten (didn't I?), but I cannot make a perfect circle tortilla. But that's ok, because they taste amazing. In fact, I'm going to challenge you. Make tortillas two or three times for your family. Then try buying some...and realize how disgusting store-bought tortillas taste. They taste...processed. That's all there is to it.

The cheapest tortillas at the store are still over $2/10 pack. With the following recipe, you can easily make a dozen tortillas for $0.50 or less. So, huge savings, wonderful taste, and ugly arse tortillas. What else could you ask for?

I have a few recipes that I fall back on to, but this is by far the easiest.

3 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 oil
1 cup water

Put this all into a bowl (I'm not one to mix dry first, and then wet, I just slap it all in there)

Now start mixing, and then kneading on a well-floured surface. This isn't your typical bread, you aren't going to knead for too terrible long, maybe a minute or two. We are going for well-incorporated, non-sticky, smooth dough ball. That's it.

I'm kneading! Did you really "knead" to see that?

Now I take my dough and separate it into 12 relatively similarly sized balls, and cover them with a flour-sack towel. Now, it's time to walk away. Find something else to do, and come back in ten minutes. I'll wait for you.

Has it been ten minutes?

The purpose of this wait is to allow the flour to become more hydrated, it will yield a better result in the end.

Ok, I'm sure it's been ten minutes now. We are going to cheat here, if you have a pancake griddle, turn it on to about 320 degrees, you can adjust it if it's too hot or not hot enough as we go. If you don't, just warm up a pan. Some people add oil...I do not, I just use a hot surface.

Roll a dough ball out into a crazy wonky shape, get it pretty thin. I use a pie rolling sheet that has markings on it, if i can see the markings through the dough, I'm in pretty good shape.

So I tried to roll it out on my counter once, and it just made a bunch of folds because it wanted to stick just on the edges, so I did get my pie sheet out, it's not pictured. Once it's thinned out enough, throw it on the griddle. A little side note, this griddle is only a few months old, it's a ceramic topped griddle, it stained up pretty quickly (second use), so I promise it's not dirty, it's been scrubbed thoroughly. But it works, and that's what matters.

As this is on the griddle, go ahead and thin another out, by the time you have it rolled out, it's probably time to flip the first over. Then put your second on the griddle. Then roll a third, remove the first, flip the second, and add the third. See the pattern? We have an assembly line going!

You can adjust the temperature of the griddle if you don't feel the tortilla has enough brown spots and bubbles, or if it has too much.

And there you have it, ugly-as-can-be but fully-functional, absolutely delicious, cheap, homemade tortillas.

Now, typically after they have cooled I would store these in the fridge because we have not added any preservatives. But we are having tacos tonight, so I am going to slip these into a gallon-sized bag, and I will store them on my counter. To soften fridge-stored tortillas, just lay them on a plate with a paper towel (or in the interest of being more earth-friendly, you can use a cotton towel) over the top and lightly zap them in the microwave. It's that simple.

Want to kick it up a notch? Replace the oil with bacon grease, and add some very finely chopped bacon (3 tablespoons will do it), and remove the salt (bacon is salty enough). This makes a wonderful breakfast tortilla.

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