Monday, March 2, 2009

Bake It -- Don't Buy It!: Homemade Tortillas

I'm so excited to start my Bake It -- Don't Buy It series this morning. One of the main ways I have been saving money for the last few months is by cooking and baking more and more items from scratch. In most cases, it is quicker and easier than one would think, and the effort is rewarded by significant savings. Join me each day this week as I take you through making a different item homemade!

Homemade Tortillas
I have made these homemade tortillas twice now, and I have been generally pleased with the result. You don't need any special ingredients or equipment to make them. You mix a simple dough of flour, salt, and water. I used half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour to try to make them healthy without being too dense.

Then you divide the dough into balls to roll out.

The trickiest part of this recipe is probably rolling the dough out as thinly as you can. I rolled it in between two pieces of waxed paper, so I wouldn't have to worry about a really thin sheet of dough sticking to the rolling pin.

After the tortillas are rolled out, you simply cook them for a minute or two on each side on a dry skillet (I used a non-stick one). That's it! No fat or anything involved for cooking!

I used the tip from the recipe which advised putting the tortillas in a plastic bag while still warm, so that the steam will soften them. Even so, these tortillas are thicker and less pliable than their store bought counterparts. I'd even go so far as to say the texture is reminiscent of pita bread. They would probably work best for a dish like fajitas, rather than for a burrito that needs to be tightly folded up.

To sum up: This recipe is quite quick and easy, with it being only slightly tedious to roll out and cook each tortilla. The results are wholesome and fresh-tasting. The finished product is definitely different from store bought, but the savings may be great enough to make them from scratch at least some of the time.

Approximate costs:

Store bought - (not whole wheat) $2.59 for 20 ($.13/tortilla); (whole wheat) $3.29 for 8 ($.41/tortilla)

Homemade - $.46 for 12 tortillas ($.04/tortilla)

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,
    My husband is Mexican, and he and his brother go through tortillas(corn, however) like crazy. If you are serious about making tortillas by hand more often, may I suggest a very helpful tool that will make the job much easier. I use a tortilla press like this one:
    and you just place the ball of dough in between two rounds of parchment paper(I use pieces of plastic grocery bags) and press for a perfect round!


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