Flour Tortillas

Homemade flour tortillas are quick and easy to make. I use my mother in-law’s recipe. She used to make them the traditional Mexican way with lard, but later discovered how tasty they are made with butter. That’s how my husband likes them, and he’s right!

Ingredients: Makes 6 tortillas

1 1/2 cups all purpose white flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 Tb softened butter

1/2 cup warm water

extra flour for rolling out the tortillas

Directions:

Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a medium mixing bowl, stirring well to mix. Add softened butter and water and stir well with a large wooden spoon until dough is shaggy.

Use your hands to shape into a smooth ball, adding more flour if needed. The dough should be soft and elastic, neither sticky nor too dry.

Tear off 6 pieces and roll each one into a golf ball-sized ball, then flatten with the palm of your hand. Gather them together and place a damp clean kitchen towel on top of them. Let them rest for 20 minutes so that the gluten can develop.

Roll each tortilla out until it’s very thin with a floured rolling pin on a floured board. Try to make them into a circle shape by rotating the rolling pin in a different direction each time you roll it.

Heat a dry (unoiled) comal, griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the tortilla in the pan for about a minute, until bubbles form

Flip the tortilla and let it cook about 15 seconds. The bottom should be golden brown.

Flip tortilla to a plate to make your burrito. Or if you’re making a stack, put it in a dishtowel-lined tortilla warmer or plate, covering with the towel after each addition to keep them warm. Eat them warm smeared with butter and rolled up – it’s super good!

I made this breakfast burrito with frijoles pintos and scrambled eggs, topped with green onions, cilantro, tomato and avocado slices and salsa.

Buñuelos

My favorite New Year’s Eve memories include one spent with my in-laws in a small country town in South Texas. We went to the Knights of Columbus hall, where we joined couples of all ages dancing in a big circle to Mexican polkas and boleros. The men wore cowboy hats and the women danced in high heels. Most of the songs were about love, but I remember a few about chickens.
When we came back to the house, my mother-in-law, Conchita, fried up delicious buñuelos; orange and cinnamon scented flour tortillas rolled in cinnamon sugar. We’ve made them every New Year’s morning since.

This year I added orange zest to the dough to amp up the flavor and fried them in coconut oil instead of canola oil. They were the best ever!

Makes 15 buñuelos

Cinnamon powder, divided. 1 tsp for dough and 1 Tb for coating

Sugar, divided. 1 tsp for dough and ½ cup for coating

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tb baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 Tb butter at room temperature

½ cup orange juice from one large orange

Finely grated zest from one large orange – approximately 1/2 tsp

1 cup coconut oil for frying

Mix 1 Tb cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow dish for coating the buñuelos and set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp sugar in a large bowl and whisk well. Mix in butter and orange zest. Mix in orange juice and knead until it forms a ball. Place on a floured board and knead for 5 minutes.

Form into small balls, cover with a warm damp dish towel. and let rest for 5 minutes.

Roll out each ball into a round tortilla shape, as thin as you can.

Heat oil in heavy skillet until hot. Place several layers of paper towels on a plate.
Carefully fry buñuelos, one at a time. Fry the first side until it puffs up, or about 8-10 seconds. Turn it over and briefly fry the other side until it stops puffing up. Using tongs, hold the buñuelo at an angle above the pan for a few seconds to drain excess oil.  Place on the paper towels to soak up oil for a few minutes,

then roll in cinnamon sugar. Excellent with coffee or Mexican hot chocolate.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!  Happy New Year!