Saturday, January 14, 2012

Easy Flour Tortillas WITHOUT Lard or Shortening!


And these are SOOOOOO easy to make. They're ultra-easy if you have a tortilla press, but still very easy if you only have a rolling pin.

Very tasty, nice and flexible, and if you are vegetabletarian or even vegan these will be perfect for you!

The key is, of course, to use olive oil. Lots an lotsa olive oil! These tortillas are so healthy you won't feel at all bad having 5 or 6 homemade burritos in one sitting!

One caveat to add though: These are not Tex-Mex flour tortillas. It seems Texans for some reason like their tortillas slightly "foofy". That means they add a leavening agent, usually a bit of baking powder, to their tortillas. I personally don't like that for tortillas, as I prefer more of a traditional Mexican tortilla but without the lard and without the modern addition of shortening.

So, here's whatcha need and here's whatcha do:

What you need:
2 cups plain, unbleached flour (or 1 wholemeal and 1 plain)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup (Yes, TWO-THIRDS!) extra virgin olive oil
just under 2/3 cup (call it halfway betwixt 1/2 to 2/3 cup) water (H2O)

What you do:
This is pretty simple. Mix everything together in a bowl, knead it for a few minutes till it's a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Divide your dough into 6 pieces. The easiest way to do this is to roll/shape the dough into a tube, slice it in half, then cut each half into thirds. Although I'm sure you could have figured that out on your own, right?

If you have a 12 inch tortilla press, then you just, ummmmm, ahhhhhh, make your tortillas!

If you only have a 6.5 inch tortilla press (like me) then you still press out the tortillas and then finish them to 12 inches with a rolling pin.

If you have neither, then just roll em out to 12 inches in diameter.

When you stack up the uncooked tortillas make sure you put wax paper or a tea towel betwixt each tortilla.

For "cooking" the tortillas the best cooking implement to use is a large, well-seasoned, cast-iron fry pan. A thick-bottomed stainless steel one will work just fine too.

Once your fry pan is heated up on your stovetop then you just "cook" the tortillas for 20 to 40 seconds a side, only flipping once. Pile up all six, then spread them out on a board to cool for a few minutes.

Once they are cool enough to handle easily but still warm you want to put them into a plastic bag for 15 minutes.

Take the tortillas out of the bag to finish cooling completely and you'll find they nice and flexible and won't tear no matter how much good filling you stuff into them and wrap up!

Load em up with whatever you want! Beans, veggies, shredded seasoned meat, souvlaki fixings, etc. I'm sure you can figure out what to do with them.

Don't worry about how long they'll keep in the fridge, they'll all be eaten in one day -possibly two if you are on your own.


Arvay said...

I use bacon fat. I hope I'm not agonna keel over young. :(

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

No worries there Arvay! I use bacon fat sometimes too. It's just I've been getting low on bacon fat since I haven't cooked much bacon lately due to the hot summer weather.

And no, you won't keep over, you are waayyy to active for a bit of bacon fat to cause YOU probs. Heck, in the cold climate you need it!

Arvay said...


JONNI said...

Dave, I just stumbled on your blog, I am totally going to try your tortillas! And now that I've found you I will have to see your other recipes as well. I love to cook, but I try to stay in the healthy foods, etc. You can find my blog two doors to the left,
Jonni's Fit Camp. I try to keep others up on my healthy journey, and teach some things along the way.
I will write back when I have made these. I am so excited!


positivemovment said...

Sounds good I am going to try them out now. We are having burritos tonight so hopefully they are a success!

Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef said...

I can't wait to try these. I do have a tortilla press/cooker thing but I can't seem to make it work without exploding all the tortillas. So I use it as a press and cook them in the skillet.

These look really good!

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Jonni: These tortillas are great, trust me! How did yours turn out? I do have many healthy recipes up, and some not-so-healthy. Feel free to ask about any of them, no worries. I'll need to check in with your blog once I'm caught up from vacation!

Positivemovement: They are very flexible and make great burrito wrappings, hope they turned out great!

Maureen: Whoa! I can't believe that you are going to try a recipe from my little corner. I've been meaning to add your wonderful blog to my blogroll for yonks now. LOVE your pictures and recipes! I didn't even know you can get a combo tortilla press AND cooker. Yeah, I'd just use it as a presser cus nothing beats a cast iron skillet for cooking tortillas! Lemme know how yours turned out.

Anonymous said...

Followed your recipe, and everything came out shit. Somewhere betwixt fucking terrible and god fucking awful. Thanks.

Aileen Rhodes said...

These were great! Made them in Thailand, so I appreciate the lack of shortening or lard since I haven't yet found those here. I had to add a bit more flour, but thats probably because 1) its hot and humid here, and 2) I don't have a tortilla press or really any equipment so I had to press these by hand on a cutting board like pizza dough. Wrote about it on my blog, The Floating Coconut.


Anonymous said...

For a moment, I thought I had already posted a comment when I read, "everything came out shit", because the statement reflects my sentiments exactly.

These were the worst tortillas I have ever choked down because every fiber of my being was screaming "YOU DEVOTED SO MUCH TIME AND SO MANY RESOURCES TO THIS SEMI-CIRCULAR SLICE OF GLASS-LADEN CEMENT! NOW EAT THE FUCKING TORTILLA!!!"

However, after one tortilla (well, nearly one) I found it impossible to continue. My throat was practically bleeding, and I have developed a permanent taste aversion to olive oil.

This recipe has ruined my remaining molecule of confidence in humanity.

Anonymous said...


johnny said...

I'm in the UK and maybe your flour is different and maybe what I call a flour tortilla is different. I made some tonight and had to make some more with a different recipe as the amount of fat in these made them crispy.

For floury soft tortillas this recipe wasn't any good.

However the end result was great puri for Indian snacks like chicken chaat. So I'll file under puri for future ref.

I ended up using 100g flour, 25g beef dripping fat, 2/3 tsp baking powder, 1/2tsp salt and enough water to make a nonsticky dough and they came out perfect. The main thing is to Knead them like bread for 3 mins, otherwise they will crack when rolled.

Lindsey Morrow said...

Tried these last night, used sunflower oil instead of olive oil, just because we were low on olive oil. Turned out great! I have the small tortilla press so we just made small tortillas, I have little patience for rolling pins. We have a huge cast iron skillet so it only took about 15 minutes to make everything from start to finish. The sunflower oil gave the tortillas a completely different flavor, but since we put sunflower seeds in our beans and rice it worked out great. Also, my husband put peanut butter and honey on them later as a snack :D

Erica said...

These were horrible! I used regular veg oil instead of olive oil for flavor reasons and what a mess.... the flour didn't absorb the oil and I was left with a slick glob. Thinking it might still be okay, I pressed one out and cooked it.... nope, still crap. :( very disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Tried these out and they worked out perfectly. took a few tries rolling them out to get the right thickness. too thin and they crack, too thick and they are tough, just right and well -- they are just right.

Anonymous said...

Wow, these turned out really well. Not dry, and great consistency. Loved them! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Well that's probably because you lack the ability to follow directions. Clearly your vegetable oil for ''flavor reasons'' wasn't as good of an idea as you thought, was it, princess? How about try to be less of a critic and follow a recipe if you have to look a recipe up in the internet?

Anonymous said...

Follewed directions exactly.. Turned out AWFUL! :( had no flavor, and were extremely dry and brittle... DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME :(

Joseph Clark Clayton said...

Im making this recipy right now but used 1/3 olive oil, and 1/3 veg oil, and used eveperatecd milk insted of water, alos puting some backen fat in it, i will let u guys know how it turns out

Ed said...

Dingo Dave, my tortillas come out tasting like pastry and really crumbly, any tips??

Anonymous said...

People please don't waste your time or energy. These are not Flour tortillas. Being from New Mexico I should have know better. These are the worst thing I have ever tried to make, and for those of you that commented that you like them, you either lied or do not know what a real flour tortilla is!

Anonymous said...

For all you negative commenters...Didn't your mother teach you any manners? Sounds As with any recipe, a basic understanding of the kitchen is involved, whether it be altitude, ingredient quality etc. I have made these before, varying technique as needed, only to have my boyfriend scarf them up plain. So, from a real foodie, thanks to all you bloggers for your inspiration! For the useless naysayers- "Profanity is the common crutch of the conversational cripple."
--David Keuck