When people ask me what I miss the most from California, my answers always includes “the ocean” and “burritos.” Granted, there are a few burrito places here in Berlin that tastes authentic enough (if Chipotle is your idea of authentic), so you take what you can get.
However, as Mexican food isn’t really much of a forte in these parts, it makes sense that tortillas aren’t terribly outstanding here either. You can buy them at grocery stores, but they are average, and typically branded with a silly “ethnic-y” name, and most of them are pretty expensive–we’re talking a couple euros for four or six average-sized tortillas. The best bargain I’ve found is 12 giant ones at the Indian/Asian shop around the corner for €3-4.
Anyway, I decided to try making tortillas on my own. I did once, back in the fall, but the recipe I used called for frying them in oil, and I ended up burning my hand. Plus, I like to cook with oil in things (for baking) but a not a huge fan of frying things in it. So when I came across this tortilla recipe at Tasty Kitchen that not only didn’t require oil, but also had super simple ingredients and no shortening (which is a pain to work with), I knew I had to try it.
The result? The dough is super easy to make and work with, and the tortillas are delicious. People rave about them all the time. See for yourself.
-Mix 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder with a whisk.
-Add 1/3 cup vegetable oil and mix with fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
-Pour in 1 cup hot water and mix until the dough forms a ball.
-Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for at least 15-30 minutes, but you can store it in the refrigerator for a few days if need be. Important: make certain you let it rest in the refrigerator. This helps when rolling them out later, as room temperature produces tortillas that are too sticky to work with.
-When ready, divide the dough into 12 balls and roll them out on a generously floured surface (and keep flour at hand because you will need it regularly).
-Rather than doing them all at once, I found that while one is cooking, I can roll out the next, and by the time it’s ready, the tortilla in the pan should be done.
-Cook in a dry, ungreased frying pan over low heat. When the tortilla begins to form bubbles, flip it, and cook until both sides are slightly browned.
-Stack the finished tortillas on a plate. Serve them warm–as they are best when fresh–or store in a cool, dry place.