The Holy Grail, found.

I’m not a baker.

Therefore, the numerous unsuccessful attempts I’ve made at flour tortillas hasn’t particularly upset me.  I meant, when you need to have crisco or butter to a certain consistency for a recipe to turn out… I’m pretty much out.  I’m the Swedish Chef.  Things are flying in the air, the recipe is mostly ignored, and you know, sift the flours together in a separate bowl.  Are you KIDDING?!  Who does that?  People with live-in maids, that’s who (or people who actually bake well!).

I just cannot make myself cook as EXACT as most baking requires.

I thought I could live with my mean corn tortillas.  I can hammer ’em out.  They are delicious and nutritious.

So, when Valentine’s Day rolled around, Randy and I started discussing dinner options.  Mexican came up and I thought we should have another go at chile rellenos Mattito’s style with raisins and pecans, yum!  The possibility of finding poblanos is always hit-and-miss here in Germany, so our 2nd string option was steak and shrimp fajitas (because I was dreaming of Pappasitos).

Well, poblanos were nowhere to be found and fajitas it was.  We decided to make a go for the flour tortillas.  Why the hell not?  I had decided we weren’t working the dough enough, so we had a new strategy.  As Randy started to roll out the dough, I could tell we had another disaster on our hands and I went on a google search for tortillas.  I found a sea of the same complaints.  We were all in the same boat with the same recipe – flour, shortening and water.

Does not work, folks.  I’m not sure WHO can make these mythical tortillas.

Then I found a blog with the same complaint and a saviour of a recipe.  And let me tell ya, this recipe looks damnable.  It looks wrong.  I mean, MILK?  Come on.  Yes, indeed.  Come on.  Follow the recipe exactly.  You will laugh, you will cry.  They are so beautiful, so soft and pliable, so delicious.  They are everything a flour tortilla should be.

Thank you Homesick Texan.  Don’t even think I won’t be cooking my way through your blog… and I shall start with homemade queso blanco in my kitchen next weekend.  For real, you can make cheese in your own kitchen.  All ya need is a gallon of milk!

Texas Flour Tortillas (adapted from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)

Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.
Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.
Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.
In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.
Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.
Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil.
While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.
Makes eight tortillas.



Filed under Recipes

2 responses to “The Holy Grail, found.

  1. When you [finally] move back, let’s go celebrate with Mexican food. And have texas sheet cake for dessert. Amen.

  2. Evan

    Pappasitos catered my wedding. They grilled fajitas in the church parking lot. Mmmmmmmm.

    I’m going to need your corn tortilla recipe too. 🙂

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