How to Make Flour Tortillas: An Easy Recipe with 1 Surprising Ingredient
- February 2023
- By Michelle Ezratty Murphy
- Recipe from Mexico
Flour tortillas are shockingly easy to make from scratch, Michelle Ezratty Murphy discovered one morning when when she was experimenting in the kitchen. The Arizona-based homecook tells Familia Kitchen she been making them by hand ever since.
“I started making flour tortillas about 15 years ago when I saw a recipe and thought I would try it. But it used lard and I didn’t like it at all. Then I tried a different recipe with butter and then one with oil. Never liked the taste or consistency of either,” says Michelle, one of our favorite homecooks at Familia Kitchen. ”Then I heard someone say that they made their flour tortillas with heavy cream.”
Intrigued, Michelle made a batch using heavy cream and loved the results. She had finally found her go-to recipe for flour tortillas. ”l also loved that the heavy cream recipe requires no measurement. It says to just bring the dough together and eyeball the proportions,” says Michelle. For this version of her recipe, which she’s sharing with Familia Kitchen, she took out her measuring cups and spoons and worked up the exact proportions.
How did the heavy cream version taste compare to the earlier recipes she’d tried? ”Let’s just say that I made eight tortillas, and [my husband] Pat ate all of them except for one. He now says my flour tortillas taste so buttery, and he loves that they have a soft texture with a chewy inside,” says Michelle.
When to Use Flour Vs. Corn Tortillas
”Flour tortillas are soft and pliable and much better for rolling and stuffing. They are awesome with just butter, or sugar and butter, right off the heat,” says Michelle. Alternately, ”I use corn tortillas mainly when I make enchiladas or when I quarter them and fry them for tortilla chips, to eat with salsa.”
If you have an extra hour and the interest to make flour tortillas from scratch, Michelle promises it’s worth the effort to go homemade. ”When you eat a fresh tortilla, it changes the taste of everything you put in it, even if it’s just to make a quesadilla.”
How to Get Both Tortilla Sides Just Right
What is the key to getting the exterior of the flour tortilla golden-brown in spots and still make sure the inside stays chewy? ”Use a wooden spoon or spatula to keep the tortilla moving around in the hot pan, so it doesn’t sit and get too crispy,” says Michelle. ”You want the tortillas to be soft and doughy inside. Cook it for 5 seconds at a time on each side, flipping them four times. I used to wait to see the bubbles puff up as a sign they were done, but I learned that doing it that way just burns the outside and you don’t get a tender tortilla. Now I know to just keep the tortilla moving, and it will bubble just when it’s ready to come off the heat.”
”It’s like the tortilla talks to you and tells you when it’s done!” says Michelle.
We have one last question for Michelle. How long do homemade flour tortillas last, compared to store-bought? The answer is they both last the same amount of time: up to a week in the fridge, but it Michelle admits she has never experienced this personally, because ”there are never any tortillas left over.” That said, she adds, ”I would recommend that tortillas be made fresh and eaten fresh that same day. If we ever have any left over (which is rare), we put butter and sugar on them and eat as a snack or dessert the same day. Trust me, they never go to waste.”
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