Due to some health issues in our family, we have been eating low-sodium foods for a while now. I searched for recipes to make homemade tortillas because 13-15% of the daily value of sodium per tortilla bought at the store seemed like a lot.
I found this recipe somewhere, jotted it down, and have loved it ever since. I can't tell you where I first found it, so if someone recognizes it, please let me know and I'll be sure to give proper credit for the recipe.
I will tell you that it took some practice for me - probably six batches - before they started turning out the way I wanted them to. I'm going to pass along some tips that will hopefully help you to make a batch that is just right the first time. :-)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt *
6 tablespoons coconut oil (or you can use lard or vegetable shortening)
1 1/4 cups warm water
* I eliminate salt altogether when I make these and they turn out great
In a large bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the coconut oil (or alternative). If you have a pastry cutter/blender, then use that. Otherwise, you can do what I do and use your hands. Mix it all really well - you're going to eventually make it so the ingredients cling together a bit and hold a slight form when squeezed in your hand.
If it crumbles, you do not have the shortening mixed in well. If it turns into a hard clump, you need more flour. With the amounts above, I've not had trouble with either, though.
Add the water all at once and mix the dough quickly by hand until the dough forms a mass. It starts out really sticky. Work the dough in the bowl, moving it around the sides to pick up any flour remaining in the bowl.
Knead the dough by folding it in half, pushing it down, and folding again. If it stays too sticky, you can sprinkle some extra flour on it. It usually takes about a dozen folds or so to form a soft dough that is no longer sticky.
Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle flour liberally on the surface you plan to use. I choose a large cutting board so I can move it around just because it makes things easier. Divide the dough into fourths. Then divide each of those into three pieces. Form them into a ball and place on the floured surfaced, creating a total of twelve dough balls.
Cover them with plastic wrap and let them sit for 15 minutes. The original recipe did not call for that and I found them very difficult to roll out. They would spring back and it was frustrating. If you let them sit for 15 minutes, they are a breeze to work with.
Put a skillet on your stove and set the heat for medium. While that's heating up, you can roll out your first tortilla. Yes - that rolling pin you see in the picture is from a Play-Doh set. I love it and have yet to find another I like better for tortillas, even with one of the handles broken off. LOL
Now, you're making these by hand so you can't expect perfectly round tortillas. But if you start rolling from the center out in each direction, you can get pretty close. And trust me, you'll want to sprinkle flour liberally on the surface beneath your tortilla before you roll these out or you'll have a really hard time picking them up.
Once you have it rolled out, go ahead and pick it up. If you've used enough flour underneath, you shouldn't have too hard of a time. The faster you pick it up, the less time it has for the shape to change as it's stretched. Lay it in the skillet.
At this point, go ahead and roll out another tortilla while the first side is cooking.
You'll know it's time to flip the tortilla when you see large bubbles starting to form on the side facing you. When that happens, flip the tortilla (they don't stick, except for maybe the first one, and that's rare). Cook on the other side just as long (and feel free take peeks at the underside to make sure it isn't overcooking). When you feel like it's done, place it on a plate and toss the next tortilla in the skillet.
That's all there is to it! You'll get faster and more confident as you make them. And don't worry - occasionally one will get burned. It happens to me. With two dogs and two kids running around, I almost always have one tortilla that gets left on the skillet way too long. The dogs usually get to eat it, and I'm starting to wonder if they conspire to distract me to make sure that's the case every time. LOL
Feel free to post any questions you might have. Once you make these, you won't want to buy them from the store again. These are, by far, our favorite tortillas and even the kids look forward to eating them.