Street Tacos Part 2 – Tortillas!

You’re going to need a vehicle to get all of that barbacoa beef and topping yum into your street taco loving mouth….let’s make tortillas!  If you know us, you know that we often quote or reference Mark Bittman (we lovingly refer to him as “Bittman”).  Hang out at our house while we’re cooking or ask us about cooking and you’ll most likely hear the likes of ‘Bittman said to do this’, ‘Bittman uses this’, ‘Oh, Bittman has an excellent recipe for that’.  Well, our tortilla recipe is adapted from Bittman’s Wheat Flour Tortillas recipe from his cookbook How to Cook Everything.  I’m posting with the changes we’ve made and as a double batch, which will yield 12-15 tortillas.

Wheat Flour Tortillas

 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour (can substitute whole wheat flour for half or more of recipe, but you will need to increase butter and/or water)

1 tsp Salt

6 Tbsp Butter cut into pieces

1 – 1 1/2 Cups Warm Water, plus more as needed

Combine the flour and salt in food processor.

Pulse in the butter until it reaches a coarse corn meal-ish consistency.  Add water slowly while the machine is running and just until the dough forms a ball.

At this point you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temp for a few hours (develops a little more flavor), wrap and refrigerate, or start making tortillas.  This time around, we jumped right into tortilla making.

Heat a cast iron skillet (or other large skillet) over medium heat.  Divide dough into 12 pieces (or more/less depending on the size of tortilla you want).

Lightly flour your working surface.  Press pieces of dough into a disk, and roll out as thin as possible.

Throw it on the cast iron and cook on first side until brown spots appear, then flip and do the same on the other side.

We’ve made this recipe several times using differing amounts of butter/water/whole wheat flour/white flour.  This was the best batch we’ve made (great flavor and remained pliable).

A couple of tips:

– Resist the urge to spin the tortilla while you’re cooking it.  The excess flour remaining on the tortilla from rolling will start to brown/blacken, and if you spin you’ll end up with a bunch of dark brown flour specks.

– Don’t be afraid to use medium (or a bit higher) heat.  The sooner the brown spots appear, the quicker you can remove the tortilla off the skillet, and then the more pliable/flexible your tortillas will remain.  Just make sure you’re working quickly.  We’ve had a few batches that have been quite crisp, and difficult to roll.

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