DIY tortillas!

Hi there friends! My name is Lisa and I am excited to share something special with you today. Sweet Kersey asked me to do a little tortilla tutorial (say that 5 times fast!). Homemade tortillas are easy and Oh So Tasty! Seriously, once you make fresh, you never go back. Don't be scared by all the steps. Once you get a little practice, the process moves rather quickly. So what do you say? Let's get in the kitchen!
We're going to start by tossing 5 C all-purpose flour with 2-3 tsp coarse salt into a stand mixer. The salt really helps the flavor in these pop, so don't skimp. I prefer kosher salt, but any will do. Whisk the flour and salt together. Next, using the hook attachment, add 1/2 C shortening. Mix until the flour resembles coarse crumbles.
Next, we are going to be adding 2 C hot water. The water should be hot enough to melt the shortening, but not so hot that the mixture turns to goo. If that does happen, just add in a little bit more flour so that it is workable. Mix with the dough hook until the ingredients come together. The dough will be pretty sticky and that's ok!
Flour your hands and grab a handful of dough. Roll it between your hands to form a ball. I prefer mine to be about the size of a golf-ball. Any bigger and it won't fit on the pan. Any smaller and whats the point? After two bites, the tortilla would be gone! Set the dough balls off to the side and cover with a damp kitchen towel.

Now, turn on your stove and begin to heat an iron skillet. (any pan will work, but an iron skillet makes me feel more authentic, ha!) This might be the trickiest part. You want your pan to be hot enough to cook the tortillas quickly, but not so hot that it burns them. If it's too low, then it will take too long for them to cook, which means they will be dry and crack. On my stove, the temperature is medium-low. It takes a good 10-15 minutes for the pan to fully heat up.
Now for the fun part! If you have a press, flour it and begin pressing your tortillas. My press doesn't get the tortillas thin enough so i have to roll them out a little bit more once they've been pressed. Always make sure to flour your work surfaces because taking the time to roll them out, just to have them stick to the counter, totally sucks.

The tortillas should be as thin as possible.  I'm talking, hold-them-to-the-light-and-see-through-em thin. If you accidentally tear a hole, just patch it up. Part of the fun of these tortillas are their rustic appeal. Shake off some of the excess flour from the tortilla.
I find it easiest to roll out one or two tortillas at a time, cook them, and then roll out some more. Of course, the best way to do it is to grab a friend and have them join in on the action. My hubby and I plug in the iPod, listen to something like "ring of fire" by johnny cash and sing as loud as we can while he cooks and I roll. And the kids dance. Between us. In our tiny kitchen. It's so much more fun that way!
Ok, once the pan is plenty hot, its time to toss on a tortilla. Let the tortilla sit for about 1 1/2 minutes or until the tortilla has bubbles across the whole surface, like the picture.  Flip them, either with your fingers or tongs, and cook for about a minute more. I've found that if I wait for darker brown spots to form, then the tortillas are over cooked and aren't quite as flexible when rolling them up for a burrito. Besides, the more tortillas you cook, the more flour is left behind on the pan. That flour then burns a little and adds those light brown spots on the tortillas that are cooked later. Those are the brown spots you want.
 Once you've cooked them all, it's time to eat!
 And eat!

These are awesome for burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and even the base for a salad. Heck, they are great torn and dipped in homemade salsa! I think my all time fave is to put some creamy refried beans down the middle, with a little bit of shredded monterrey jack cheese. That's it! Nice and simple and so so so scrumptious.
Even my little ones love a warm, fresh, homemade tortilla!

All photos by Lisa for Ardor.