The UK is locked down and I’ve decided to learn how to make tortillas. Quite early on in the ol’ lockdown situation I saw a Tweet which read:
“If you don’t come out of lockdown with a new skill, new knowledge or a new business then you never lacked the time, only the dedication.”
It’s a touch eye-rolling; you can imagine some tight-shirted individual trying to make you feel bad for spending even an iota of time in front of Netflix… which I do not feel bad about for one second. But whilst I hate the “look-how-busy-I-am being” badge of honour, I do believe in working towards goals; perhaps just in a more humble fashion.
Goals shouldn’t all be be serious and gargantuan, however. Self improvement comes in pocket sizes as well, and for me lockdown has become a wonderful opportunity to work on those smaller, more fun goals and further improve my culinary skills.
I have never had time on my hands like this before; I can honestly say that working from home has changed my life for the better. Waking up an hour later each day with no commute means I have more energy for my day. That teamed with no hour-long drive back home each evening means that I am finding myself full of beans and with extra time to do more… more of what I fancy which (you guessed it) means cooking!
It began with the lack of food available at the supermarkets, followed by instruction to go out less, and in turn by our own desire to avoid places where we might be at risk of catching illness. But it’s all come together to mean that I have become ever more resourceful and curious about what I can make with the things in my cupboards. The biggest thing we seem to keep running out of is bread. Figures, given it’s the kind of food we’d have popped out to get freshly baked (it’s only been a few weeks yet it really feels like old times huh?)
And this is where my journey into making tortillas sprang from. I have no yeast in my cupboards for baking loaves, nor am I quite hipster enough to own a sourdough starter. Enter the flat bread.
Beginner Flat Breads
So my first attempt at a recipe for flatbread came when I needed something to soak up the lovely sauce of Q’s Aunty’s pepperpot, but we had no bread and neither did the shops. I found a super quick flatbread recipe on BBC Food which quite literally took 5 minutes to make. No eggs, no dairy, no yeast. The great thing about flatbread recipes is that (unless your cupboards really are bare) you will have all the ingredients ready to go.
Making Homemade Tortillas
These flatbreads did the job of filling a bread-shaped hole in my heart (stomach) but they were far from pretty or perfect. Instead they just sparked my curiosity for trying my hand at something a little more pro. A few days later, like anyone with an abundance of freshly made guacamole in their fridge, my mind turned to tacos. Once again BBC Food sorted me out as I searched for a tortilla recipe.
Unbelievably all you need is:
- 0.25 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 5 tbsp Warm water
- 125g Plain flour
It’s a case of mix up everything in a bowl until you get a dough, then once combined, tip out onto a floured surface and knead that dough for 5 minutes until lovely and smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
My favourite thing about homemade tortillas is that you can make the size custom to what you’re cooking. I find supermarket ones can be far too big or small for what I need, especially when it comes to tacos.
This dough was so lovely to work with, it has a beautiful smooth consistency! I was surprised at how easy it is to roll out. It rolls very thin with no great effort.
The final step is to dry fry them in a pan on medium heat for 20-30 seconds each side. The result is lovely, soft and pliable tortillas.
Tortillas for Tacos
So this tortilla recipe was created with tacos in mind. And oh wow did they serve their purpose beautifully. I was so pleased with how they turned out!
What’s in my Tacos:
- Beef burgers – Barbecued then sliced into thin strips (you’ve gotta make do and use foods unconventionally in lockdown!)
- Guacamole – 2 mashed avocados with finely diced onion, 1 handful of chopped plum tomatoes, zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 minced garlic clove, lots of freshly chopped coriander.
- Slaw – 2 carrots grated, 1 apple grated, 1 inch of ginger minced, 3 tbsp natural yoghurt
- Charred oranges – segments tossed in oil and honey, and grilled on the BBQ
- Fresh rocket and a squeeze of lime.
I’m so impressed with how these turned out, the tortillas were perfect and my fillings were full of fresh Summer flavours. We enjoyed these in the garden with a cold rum and ginger.
- Frying Pan
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling Pin
- Cling Film
- 125 grams plain flour
- 5 tbsp warm water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 0.25 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Mix until a dough is formed.
- Tip dough on to a well-floured counter top.
- Knead for 5 minutes until dough is smooth.
- Wrap dough in cling film and chill in fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cut chilled dough in to 8 sections of equal size.
- Keeping dough well floured, shape sections in to round pieces with your hands.
- Roll out round pieces with a rolling pin until they're thin.
- Cook each flattened tortilla in a hot, dry frying pan for 20 to 30 seconds on each side.
Lock down is really resetting my mindset on food; I always thought I was imaginative with food, and I am, but the circumstances are forcing me to go one step further. And with that I’m learning so much! I have never made tortillas before, nor have I ever looked at how to make tortillas. Why I’m now asking myself? It’s amazing that even as someone who does a lot of cooking from scratch I’ve still been brainwashed into buying mass-produced products when I really do not need to.
I’m now wondering if I will ever buy read-made tortillas ever again, because making them myself was so damn easy. Not to mention significantly cheaper and great fun! It’s not technical at all, and in my head bread making can be just that. Flat breads are where it’s at for speed and consistency.
Amazing what you can create from things kicking about your kitchen 🙂
Can I reheat tortillas?
Homemade tortillas are easy to reheat. Simply put a few on a plate, cover with a slightly dampened paper towel or cloth, and heat for around 30 seconds, or until they’re warmed through. You can also reheat them in a similar way to how you cooked them, in a dry frying pan on medium heat.
How long do tortillas last?
If you seal up your tortillas in an airtight plastic bag whilst they’re fresh and first starting to cool down, they should last 5 to 7 days. Store them at room temperature, and try to squeeze all of the air out of the bag when first storing.
Can I refrigerate tortillas?
You can put tortillas in the fridge if you’d like to extend their shelf life, but they can become soggy and stick together, so I don’t recommend this.
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It makes my day when someone cooks after visiting Girl Eats World. If you feel inspired to try your own hand at some tortillas please tag me in your pics I would love to see! My handle is @jogirleatsworld. Happy eating!