Last Updated on June 28, 2023 by My Back Kitchen
There’s something magical about the aroma of freshly made tortillas wafting through the kitchen. The warm, pillowy texture and delicate flavor make them an irresistible staple in many households. Growing up, I was fortunate to have strong, passionate women in my life who passed down the tradition of homemade tortillas. They taught me that there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of rolling out a batch of tortillas de harina and serving them hot off the comal.
One of the most influential figures in my culinary journey was my beloved grandmother, Ula. Whenever we visited her she would greet us with open arms and a table set with her light blue Fiestaware dinner plates. Her kitchen was a hub of activity, and the centerpiece of her culinary repertoire was her homemade tortillas. I remember watching in awe as she effortlessly mixed the ingredients, kneaded the dough, and skillfully rolled out each tortilla. The process seemed like magic to my young eyes.
As I grew older, I began to appreciate the love and dedication that went into creating those tortillas. My grandmother’s hands, weathered by years of culinary craftsmanship, held the secret to the perfect texture and taste. She used simple ingredients: flour, salt, and shortening. Each tortilla was meticulously shaped and cooked on a hot comal, resulting in a soft, slightly toasted exterior and a tender interior.
Today, with the convenience of store-bought tortillas, it’s easy to overlook the art of making them from scratch. However, I believe that the true essence of a tortilla lies in its homemade nature. The process may seem intimidating at first, but with practice and a little patience, you’ll soon find yourself effortlessly rolling out fresh tortillas.
Freshly made tortillas are incredibly versatile. They can be used as a vehicle for your favorite fillings, such as savory meats, cheeses, and salsas, or enjoyed simply with a pat of butter. They’re the perfect accompaniment to any meal, adding a touch of authenticity and homemade goodness.
Embrace the tradition of homemade tortillas de harina, and you’ll be rewarded with a culinary experience that surpasses any store-bought alternative. The process may take a little extra time and effort, but the result is well worth it. So, grab your rolling pin, dust off your comal, and let the aroma of freshly made tortillas fill your kitchen. Enjoy!
Tortillas de Harina
- 16 ounces all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces pork lard or shortening
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tsp. salt
- In a large bowl add flour and shortening. Using your hands or a pastry blender, work the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Bring to boil a cup of water. Remove from heat and add salt, stir until the salt dissolves.
- Stir in hot water to the dry ingredients until just combined. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until a smooth ball forms. About three minutes. Wrap dough in plastic a set aside to rest for a minimum of two hours. Do not refrigerate.
- Separate the dough into small round balls. Roughly 1.5 ounces makes a nice size tortilla. Flatten the ball on a lightly floured surface and roll once, turn 1/4 turn and roll again, repeat a few more times and continue to roll out until paper thin. Roll out all the dough.
- Heat a cast iron comal or griddle to medium heat. Splash a bit of water to check if the comal is at the proper temp. The water will sizzle and quickly evaporate when ready. Place a tortilla on the comal and cook until it just begins to bubble, flip and cook until light golden, flip to finish cooking.
- Lay out the hot tortillas onto a clean kitchen cloth to cool flat. Stack the tortillas and store in a plastic bag. They will keep refrigerated for several days or frozen.