Last week while visiting my mom, we decided to make soft tacos for dinner. Since she doesn't quiet stock her house the way we do our, doing soft tacos for me, my two girls and her involved an $18 stop at Safeway. One of the things that gave me a nasty bit of sticker shock were flour tortillas...I want to say the CHEAPEST, SMALLEST package of flour tortillas was in the $3.75 range. I'm not sure what we pay for the packages of ours in the freezer, but I know it's not that much. My wife buys them on sale, with coupons at Win-Co, and if I had to hazard a guess I would think we are paying 50% of what safeway was asking.
Dinner today was supposed to be chili(what it really turned out to be was some pinto beans and chicken dish that NO ONE from Texas would mistake for chili...not one of my better efforts in the kitchen). Usually when we are having chili, our default accompaniment is cornbread. Based on my sticker shock last weekend, I decided to give tortillas another shot at home. Three previous attempts at making homemade tortillas had had variable results...none were really bad, none were really good, but then, how good does something need to be if you are putting cheese, refried beans, meat, cheese and sour cream on it?
Today...I think I found a winner of a recipe. My wife actually said the result was good. No pictures, because they got eaten too fast. They are best when warm, and that how we ate them.
1 Cup of A.P. Flour
1 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour
1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt.
Mix up the dry goods, then add your fat. I have seen some recipes call for lard, some for shortening, and some for oil. Today, I took a flier on my secret ingredient from the fridge...Bacon Grease! Yup, melted up about a 1.5 TABLESPOONS of bacon grease, and then mixed it into the dry good until it started to get a little 'mealy' feeling, then added 3/4's of a cup of warm water, and proceeded to mix and knead. It starts pretty sticky, but as you get all the flour worked in, it get a little easier to work with. I'm lazy, so instead of flouring the counter to knead, I just worked it in the bowl. Form it into a ball, and cover the bowl with a damp cloth for about 20 minutes.
Once again, since I hate clean-up, I placed paraffin paper on the counter, and cut the ball of dough into 8 pieces. Each piece is rolled into a smaller ball, and then using a combination of a 9 inch pie tin and a rolling pin, each piece of dough was worked out to about a 6-8 inch circle...I'm just not patient enough to get them much thinner. Cook each disk on your handy presto skillet for about 2-3 minutes aside(if you want, you can butter them a bit just before they come off)....and you are done. Mine are not nearly as thin as what you get in the store, but the flavor(because of the bacon grease AND the whole whole wheat flour(and butter)) was FANTASTIC. Much more of a soft-taco/gordita use than a full burrito/enchilada wrap.
And noticeably cheaper than what things are selling for at the store, now. I just curious how much thinner I could get them with an actually tortilla press...