From the fridge to the skillet to the calentador de tortillas hecho en MéxicoI make these flour tortillas quite often enough that I have the recipe memorized, and I know just how the masa or dough should feel. It should be very warm from the hot water, moist but not too wet that it leaves remnants of dough on your hands, and it should not feel dry anywhere on the dough. If it is, keep fiddling with the dough ball until it is all moist. Click here for more...
(tortilla warmer made in Mexico)!
(tortilla warmer made in Mexico)!
When I add too much water to the dough, which can happen due to weather changes, I usually have to add a bit more flour to get it to the right consistency. If I add too much flour, however, I have to adjust the rest of the ingredients as well. Fortunately, this doesn't happen often, and when it does, it isn't a big deal since there are only 4-5 ingredients.
The only part of making tortillas that causes me to want to buy them instead is the time it takes to flatten out the balls of dough and cook them. I usually set up my rolling pin, Silpat mat, and mixer bowl of masa in front of the television or laptop and get them ready for the skillet. Doing it this way as opposed to standing up for a long time next to the hot stove, has made the process a bit more desirable but increases the time to make them since I have more distractions.
However, I have found a way to make the tortilla-making process a bit less daunting. Instead of rolling the tortillas out for the skillet on the same day, I now prep them out for the next day (or you could do it a few hours before you need them!). That way, on the next day, I usually forget about all the work I did the day before and just plop the uncooked, moist tortillas on the hot skillet or comal for a few minutes. They still come out just as perfectly as when you cook the tortilla right after you roll out the dough ball.
I've only done this process twice (including for this post), so this is all an experiment in progress. I know that you can store raw, rolled-out tortillas for one day, and I will find out if they are still good after a 2-day rest. I will update this post with that information later.
*UPDATE AS PROMISED*
I took the rest of the tortillas out today, and they looked a bit different than the previous day but I forged on. Fortunately, they yielded delicious tortillas, but the texture was slightly different (a bit more grainy?) than the very first (I made some on the day I made these but didn't post photos of them) and next day (the ones posted) tortillas. Here are the photos of the 2-day tortillas. I would not recommend going beyond 2 days to cook your tortillas.Lastly, two commenters asked me about using a tortilla press or tortilladora to facilitate the process. I have a tortilladora, but based on my experience, I am unable to get a thin, flour tortilla when using one. Tortilladoras are good for flattening out and shaping corn tortillas and to make gorditas (fatter flour tortillas), but not for thin, flour tortillas. Also, even when I use the tortilladora for my corn tortillas, it can at times be a bit daunting as well, so the press is not a huge time-saver; however, it does shape the tortillas much better.
So, the next time you want to make homemade tortillas, weigh them, roll them, and shape them the day before. Use wax paper (or something more economically-friendly) to keep the tortillas separate. I accidentally found out that you can stack two tortillas on top of each other, and they will not stick together, but I wouldn't put too many of them like that.
I aimed for separating each tortilla with a sheet of wax paper. I made the wax paper sections bigger than I would have liked for the purposes of this blog, but after taking photos of the first few, I made the papers much smaller (closer to the size of the tortilla). REUSE these wax papers; it will be fine. Just let them sit out to dry, and use them again for the next time. Store the covered, raw tortillas in a clear, Ziploc bag, and leave them in the refrigerator for the next day.
Process of stacking the uncooked tortillas. The last two photos show them fresh out of the refrigerator. The tortillas are a bit moist but come out just fine in the skillet.
On the day you cook the tortillas, you do not need to let them warm to room temperature. Just take the cold tortillas out, remove the wax paper as you go, and place them on a pre-heated comal or skillet. As soon as you see a few bubbles, turn them over with your hand if you dare (the way many Mexican households and I do it.) or with a spatula (I recommend the latter if you're new at this). Then once the other side bubbles up (the bubbles will be bigger), turn it over one more time for a few seconds, and then place the cooked tortilla in a covered container.
I bought this calentador de tortillas for fewer than 5 dollars (and the $1 pasta plate for the carbonara) at Fiesta Mart, a store that caters to Latin-American foods and products, but you can buy one online here.
Many use paper towels in addition to the container, but I'm trying to lower my use of paper products (hence the reason I reuse the wax paper).
For the recipe for my go-to flour tortillas, go here. I hope you find this post helpful!Dear Mom,
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!! I thank you for being the best role model a daughter could have. I love you so much. You're my best friend and my best mom. I hope you enjoy the 60-minute massage and the rest of your gifts hehe!
-Love your FAVORITE and ONLY child :D
Happy Mother's Day to all the female, parental-figured readers out there! :D Have a fantastic day; you deserve it!