When my grandma passed away in 2004, my mom asked me if I wanted something that reminded me of my grandma. I remember thinking; all I want is one of the two rolling pins she used to make her legendary flour tortillas. I called my mom a few weeks after her passing and asked if anyone had asked for them. It turned out my sister had asked for one of her rolling pins too and my uncle Carlos had the other one. However, he was more than happy to give it to me. I took that as a sign that her rolling pin was meant to be mine. It’s that beautiful, old wooden rolling pin that is displayed on my permanent home altar—that same rolling pin that sparked the idea to gather our family’s recipes and stories for my children.
Her rolling pin continues to inspire me to cook and write down recipes handed down from my mother and grandma, and encourages me to create some of my own recipes.
Making this video with my mom of her making homemade flour tortillas using the same rolling pin transported me to my childhood. I felt like a little girl again and couldn’t resist sneaking a fresh warm tortilla when my mom wasn’t looking just like I used to do when my grandma would make them.
My favorite way to eat a fresh warm tortilla is with a roasted chile, lightly salted, and rolled into one perfect spicy burrito.
Homemade Flour Tortillas
Yield: Makes 13 to 14 (7 to 8 inch) tortillas
This flour tortilla recipe is very easy, and if you've never tasted homemade flour tortillas before, you should really give this a try. When you compare these light and delicious tortillas to store-bought, there really is no comparison.
My grandma made the best homemade flour tortillas. It was a way to nourish her family and continue a tradition.
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1⁄8 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon lard or shortening
1 1/4 cups warm water
Place a comal (griddle or cast-iron skillet) over medium heat and allow it to heat up.
In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Add the lard or shortening and combine until you have the consistency of small crumbs.
Add the warm water and mix well with your hand. The mixture may be a little sticky. Knead on a cutting board or smooth counter until dough is pliable and springy. Sprinkle with flour if dough is too sticky.
Form 2 to 2½-inch dough balls. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough balls to form 7 to 8-inch disks. If dough is sticky, sprinkle board and rolling pin with flour to make it easier to roll out the dough.
As you roll out each disk, place on the hot comal to cook, it will take 1 minute or less on each side. After cooking the first side, turn tortilla over and let it cook on the opposite side; when tortilla starts to form air pockets press down gently on it with a wooden tortilla press or rolled up kitchen towel (like Grandma did) to release the air. Don’t press too much, or it will make tough tortillas.
Keep the tortillas warm in a tortilla warmer or under a clean dish towel while you make the rest. Leftover tortillas can be refrigerated in a plastic bag.
More recipes available at www.muybuenocookbook.com