Today feels fluffy. It’s been raining nonstop this past week and I do love the rain. We certainly needed it. The world felt like it was shriveling under the sun these past few weeks. I could lay in bed all day listening to rain on the roof, or sit on the porch watching the lightening. But after a few days, even the flowers are asking for some sun. Everything in moderation please. Today is not blindingly bright or blazing hot. The clouds from all the wet weather are still rolling through the sky and masking the heat and light. It’s like standing under a parasol and being bathed in warmth. My kitchen window faces the west, so I love to cook in the afternoons. All that beautiful, muted light fills the room and makes me feel…well…fluffy.
Flour Tortillas (I feel) should be the epitome of fluffy. I always wondered why the flour tortillas you buy in the store are so much more dense than the tortillas you get at good mexican restaurants. After finding this recipe – it didn’t matter anymore. I haven’t purchased flour tortillas in at least 2 years, simply because I love these. I could stack them all up and make a big fluffy bed out of them. Ok perhaps that was excessive…but seriously….fluffy. This is another easy recipe too. I have always been terrified of anything involving the word dough (except for cookies). But this dough is even easier than cookie dough. With a grand total of 5 ingredients, I could slowly whip these up in the warmth of my kitchen window in a state of utter relaxation. You’ll want to pay attention to the textures and consistencies the first few go-rounds. But once you know what this dough should feel like, you can use this tortilla making time like meditation.
Fluffy Flour Tortillas
Recipe adapted from www.smells-like-home.com -the ever talented Tara. Click here to see her version!
Prep Time – 20 min
Cook Time – 15 min
Yield – 14 small, soft taco shells or 7 large tortillas
*1.5 cups unbleached white whole wheat flour
*1.5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/8 tsp salt
5 tbsp shortening
1 cup warm water
*you can use all purpose flour for all 3 cups of flour, or white whole wheat for all 3 cups. This part is up for negotiation. However if you choose white whole wheat for all 3 cups, you can expect these tortillas to be a little less fluffy and a little more dense – still tasty! – but not so fluffy. Happy choosing!
Pulse flour, baking powder, and salt in your food processor (using the dough blade – you can also make this dough by hand if you don’t have a food processor – just use a pastry cutter or two forks to cut in the ingredients). Add in the shortening and, by intermittently pulsing the food processor, watch for the mixture to become consistently crumbly. Then, with the food processor running, pour in 3/4 cup warm water. The dough should form a ball and travel together around the walls of the food processor. If the dough is looking dry or inconsistent, I add in the last 1/4 cup of water. Some days you’ll need it, some you won’t!
Leave the food processor on for 30 seconds to fully incorporate all ingredients. The dough should collect up everything from the sides of the food processor and be traveling in a neat ball around the walls of the processor. It should be soft and moist but not so sticky that you can’t easily handle it.
Pour the dough onto a well floured surface and divide the dough into the desired number of pieces. If you want small, soft taco shells, you’ll want to divide the dough into about 14 equal pieces. If you want large, burrito style tortillas, divide the dough into about 7 sections. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let sit for 10 minutes.
Heat a large pan on medium heat (NO oil).
Roll one of your sections of dough out into a thin round circle. Don’t over-do the flour here. A light dusting is plenty to prevent the rolling pin from sticking. Lay the tortilla in the heated skillet and leave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You’ll know when the tortilla is ready to be flipped, because the dough will start to bubble and lift. Flip to the other side and leave for the same amount of time. You want little browned areas and a fluffy tortilla, but don’t let it get burned or stay very doughy. Place on a large plate and cover with your kitchen towel to keep warm.
Repeat with each section of dough. Don’t roll all sections out at once, because you’ll dry out your dough before your ready to toss it in the pan. Cool any leftover tortillas and store in a ziplock bag in the fridge for one week.