Getting the dough as thin as possible

In my last post, I informed you that I was going to just be buying the staples and making everything from scratch – like bread and soups.  Being a fan of Mexican food, I had to learn how to make flour tortillas.  I’m a quick learner!

This is an easy flour tortilla recipe and only takes thirty minutes from start to finish.  And it only requires flour, oil, water, and salt.  Probably the most difficult part of it is finding a flat space large enough to roll out the tortillas – cooking on a small sailboat has some challenges!

The tortilla mixture with flour, olive oil, water, and salt.

To one cup of all-purpose flour, add about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Mix this until you have a mixture of crumbly chunks.  You can use different kinds of oil, but I’m only carrying olive oil with me.  As long as you don’t use too much, you can barely taste it.

To this mixture add salt, then sprinkle in water and mix until you have a dough the texture of chewed gum.

Sprinkle a pastry mat or other flat surface with flour and proceed to work the dough.  Be generous with the flour.  Flatten it with your palms, fold over itself, and flatten again.  Keep doing this until the dough no longer sticks to your hands.  It should start to “spring”, meaning when you flatten it out it will want to shrink back.


The tortillas are ready as soon as bubbles appear!

Now to make the tortillas, first start by heating up a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Tear off a chunk of dough the size of a golf ball.  Flour a rolling pin or other similar object and flatten out in all directions so the tortilla maintains some sort of circular shape.  However, the shape isn’t as important as getting this dough as thin as you can – it should be translucent.

You can also use something like this cast iron tortilla press.  Cast iron will last longer on a boat than aluminum.

As soon as you have a paper-thin tortilla, immediately throw it on the frying pan before it has a chance to shrink up.  Once on the pan, the dough should start to bubble – it only takes a few seconds – and now it’s time to flip.  Cook the other side for a few seconds and you’re done!

After cooking, I threw the tortillas in a freezer bag so that the moisture would be trapped inside the bag, leaving the tortillas soft enough to roll.


Tortillas with honey and cinnamon

Now for the fun part – food!

For breakfast, you can eat these tortillas with scrambled eggs and sausage, then for lunch & dinner use your stores of rice, black beans, and canned chicken with some other spices for a quasi-burrito.

And for dessert, my favorite, tortillas rolled up with honey and cinnamon.

This recipe makes a half dozen tortillas.  In the future, I’ll probably double this recipe so the tortillas last a little longer – they’re going fast!

Do you have any other simple tortilla recipes to share?


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