Bread & Cookies > Mexico > Flour Tortillas >
Tortillas de Harina
3 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C shortening
1 C warm water
Combine the flour, salt and shortening in a large bowl and mix together until crumbly, similar to pie dough. Add water and mix; gather the dough into a ball. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about five minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for at least thirty minutes, or up to two hours.
To form tortillas, divide the dough into twelve equal portions. Roll each portion between the palms of your hands to make a ball. On a floured surface, roll out each ball into an 8-inch circle. Layer the circles between the sheets of plastic wrap, or cook as you go.
To cook the tortillas, heat a skillet, griddle or "comal" over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan and cook for up to one minute. Turn and cook on the other side until slightly puffed and spotted brown on the underside, but still soft enough to fold (another thirty seconds). Remove and continue until all tortillas are cooked, stacking them as you finish. Serve right away, or cooled. You can also wrap tortillas in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. However, the best method for keeping the tortillas fresh is to put them in a covered storage container, wrapped in a kitchen towel.
*About the Comal: A comal is a griddle or grill typically used for cooking foods based on a tortilla, including quesadillas, a folded tortilla filled with cheese and/or meat heated on the comal. The comal is generally a black-tempered heavy cast iron flat round griddle pan with a handle with a hole in it for hanging, and approximately 11-1/2 inches in diameter. In many Hispanic cultures, the comal is handed down from grandmother to mother to daughter, the idea being that a comal tempered over many years of usage will heat faster, and cook cleaner. A flattop grill is also related to comal, and can be used in a similar fashion for cooking Hispanic foods as well as many other grilled foods. [Data Source: Wikipedia].
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