Week 60: Flour Tortillas

MEXICO: This is very different from most of the tortilla recipes I tried, and on first glance might not seem authentic. It was contributed to Serious Eats by Christian Reynoso, the sous chef at Zuni Cafe, and recipe columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. This is his mother’s family’s method that uses milk instead of water for added richness, a little bit of baking soda to keep them light and airy, and a bit of sugar to balance the savoury lard*. It’s perfect.

Mexican-Style Flour Tortillas | Christian Reynoso, Serious Eats

6 TortillasIngredients12 Tortillas
158g (1-1/4 cups)Flour315g (2-1/2 cups)
4gSalt8g
1 tspBaking Powder 2 tsp
1/2 tspSugar1 tsp
57g (1/4 cup)Lard/Butter/Shortening115g (1/2 cup)
110gMilk220g
22gSpinach*45g

Tips:

  • Lard is actually better for you than butter. It contains no trans fats, and is 60% monounsaturated fat, which is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease. And, it’s better than vegetable shortening as well, unless you’re vegetarian. Easy enough to substitute butter if you prefer; clarified would be better because it removes the milk solids and water.
  • I just used a hand whisk to mix the dry ingredients; didn’t bother with using the stand mixer and whisk attachment.
  • Pay attention to the instructions for rolling out the dough. It really helps to flip it and turn it as you roll it out to the desired size.
  • Don’t use super high heat – they’ll burn before they are cooked all the way
  • You have to mind them the entire time they are cooking, and it only takes a few minutes, so it’s best to just roll one out, then cook it, then roll out the next one. Instead of rolling them all out at once.
  • I store them in a zip lock once they are cooked, instead of under a kitchen towel
  • For spinach tortillas, blend 45g raw spinach leaves with the milk until completely liquefied. Then, use only 110g or 220g milk/spinach liquid – sometimes there a little left over, sometimes none. Depends on the water content of the spinach leaves!

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