We eat a lot of tortillas around here. The kids love roll up sandwiches, my husband loves wraps in his lunch and quesedillas as an evening snack, and you've seen all my posts about fajitas, enchiladas, and chimichangas. For the first time in a long time, we needed tortillas this week and they weren't on sale. The best regular priced deal in the store was $3.19 for a package of 10. It made me cringe to pay over $3 for just the starch of a meal, so I started googling. One of my first google hits was this recipe, which made it look so simple that I couldn't resist.
I buy a 10 kg bag of flour for around $10, and it contains about 80 cups of flour...so we'll call it $0.13 a cup. A box of vegetable shortening is around $2 and contains 2 1/3 cups...so we'll call it $0.42 for 1/2 C. Water is free, and I'm not so cheap as to do the math on 1 tsp of salt. So we're talking less than $0.60 for 8 hot fresh tortillas?
2 cups flour
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in the mixer until smooth, then turn on to your work surface and knead for about one minute. Divide the dough into eight portions, and form rounded balls.
Heat a frying pan over medium. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface, and roll out each ball of dough into a thin flat circle (about 6 inches in diameter). Place the dough onto the frying pan (I felt like I was almost tossing it). No need to use oil or greasing the pan - they won't stick. When you see bubbles popping up all over the top of the tortilla, it is done...it does not need to be cooked on both sides since it is so thin. Remove it from the pan and wrap it in a clean dishcloth while you cook the remaining tortillas.
There was a learning curve. Some were odd shapes...
And some were too thick...
But eventually I got them round and thin
A cast iron pan is supposed to be ideal for making tortillas. Yet another reason why it's on my "kitchen wants" list (along with a food scale and dutch oven, in case you are curious)!