Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tortilla Tutorial with String Cheese

12 years ago I went to a church activity where a Mexican mother was teaching how to make tortillas. I absorbed it totally into my life. She was named Alba. It was a great class. See, I'm not above learning something new. I try to learn something new everyday...which usually means I actually do it about once a week.

Several months ago, my loving and adorable mother asked me to do a tutorial on tortillas. I am not totally all together perfect yet. I just remembered it today. So, as it is Tuesday and my cousin "String Cheese" who goes to ASU comes over just to hang out with me (yea, I know...she must REALLY like me)...on Tuesdays...we made tortillas together. This is the official tutorial for the rest of you who don't love me enough to drop everything and come over on Tuesdays. Or, just have other things in your life right now and have recently added a little bit of guilt to that list...I love you! Don't worry. I love the one on one with String Cheese. She plays a string instrument...and loves cheese. String Cheese... She's the coolest cousin.

I think she really loved seeing the blogging process first hand. She was laughing at me a lot...and that was just before we started cooking...then she was rolling!

She also loved her tortilla with extra, extra, extra cheese...go figure.

We used a tortilla mix... but you can also make your own!

Tess' Homemade Tortilla Mix:

5 cups flour
1T salt
1T baking powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder,optional
1/2 tsp ground cumin, optional
1/2 tsp ground oregano, optional
1 cup butter (or shortening or lard-- I use butter)

Cut butter into flour, baking powder, salt, and seasoning with the paddle in an electric mixer, (with a food processor, cut the recipe in half and proceed, with 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup butter.. use the blade attachment, are you getting this?) Mix until the butter is in fine pieces smaller than peas. Totally okay to use the mix! This is store bought. I used it today with String Cheese...
If you use the store bought mix, use the water to mix ratio suggested on the bag. For mine...In a separate container BOIL 2 cups water (full recipe) or 1cup cuisinart. Dump boiling water into the flour mixture and combine with paddle about 1 minute on medium speed (food processor, 25-30 seconds). remove dough from the bowl and form into 12-18 balls, depending on the size of the tortillas you want. 12 will make 8-10 inch tortillas, 18 will make 4-6 inch tortillas.

Roll the tortillas into rounds...starting with an oval seems to work pretty well...I don't know why. String Cheese did an exceptional job!

Hold up that uncooked tortilla so the folks at home can see how cool you are!

No need to use flour on the board. Just roll out into a 6-8 inch tortilla and cook on a moderate skillet (medium heat) until done (about 2 minutes on each side). It should bubble up like this...and look this artsy too...

Cover with moist dishcloth to keep tender. I usually roll one out while one is cooking, and enlist the help of my two sons who adore the tortilla project! They don't make super round ones just yet, but it is so cute to see them getting all freaked out about their little tortillas! I think adults do a lot better...and String Cheese totally proved me right (as usual).

Serve warm with fresh salsa and lots of cheese...double that for any cool cousins who love cheese. Enjoy!

There you go. Thanks for the fun String Cheese!


Emily Ruth said...

I love homemade tortillas! Thank you for this blog. I haven't commented enough, but I always enjoy your recipes (the ones I am brave enough to try, since I'm kind of a newbie; )

Chef Tess said...

Emily! That just made my day! Thank you!!

Heffalump said...

Can you make these with whole wheat flour?

Chef Tess said...

Yes. Great question. These can definitely be made with whole wheat flour. I would use a whole wheat pastry flour if you have it or use hard wheat flour using 1/2 cup corn meal or barley flour in place of of 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour. This will allow for a more tender tortilla. You will also need to increase the liquid by as much as 1/2 cup depending on how dry your flour is.