Homemade Tortillas

4 Posted by - April 26, 2013 - Food & Drink

Some days, like Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, it’s really all I can do to film a stupid video about my stupid hair and then rot in front of Dutch dramas on Netflix for the rest of the day. I barely move from the couch, getting up only to stuff my face with Rolos occasionally. I also write some, but you know. Writing involves sitting and moving only the muscles in your fingers. I do not do anything of worth, like cleaning or laundry or cooking or going for a run (ha!) or playing with the dog (like she’d be interested anyway, let’s be honest).

But some days, like today, I am just a freaking badass right down to my little awesome core.

Part of the reason for that is that I did not fail at today’s pin test. When you’re finished making your dying-of-shock noises, come back and I shall tell you the story of badassery.

I decided to try homemade tortillas.

Tortillas have always been on a mental list of things that I would never try to make or do myself, along with sushi, plumbing, and Brazilian waxes. It just seemed like it would be too hard, and plus tortillas from the grocery store are cheap.

But that’s why this blog is awesome. It convinces me to try versions of leg sugaring and DIY self tanner and even making my own scarves… and it usually doesn’t work, but sometimes a happy accident occurs, and I discover a new and wonderful thing.

(Ok, that’s happened like once, but still.)

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Tortilla-making.

Tortilla-making ingredients are exceptionally easy. I didn’t even have to go to the grocery store for any of this stuff.

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If you’re me, the instructions are less than simple, but apparently still doable. First you combine the shortening and the flour.

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You do this with your fingers until the shortening is “incorporated.” I don’t actually know what that means unless we’re talking entrepreneurship, but I figured just mushing it all around until everything looked approximately the same was good enough.

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Next step called for dissolving some salt in water and then adding that saltwater until the dough looked right. Uhh, yeah. I have no idea. My first mixing yielded this:

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And since there was still dry stuff on the bottom of the bowl, I added the rest of the water, which gave me this:

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I haven’t a damn clue if that’s actually what it’s supposed to look like, but I went with it.

I actually don’t really know how to knead dough either.

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I’m pretty sure my mom tried to teach me these skills at some point. I was probably not listening. I was probably making up love stories in my head. Because that’s what I do. (To anyone I’ve ever inadvertently not listened to, I’m really sorry. Sometimes the voices in my head are louder than you and I can’t help it.)

So I pretended like I was massaging something, only then I thought about what would actually react this way if you massaged it, and I concluded probably an alien. Or a piece of an alien anyway. Maybe you have to knead baby aliens. Maybe that’s how they gestate. What? You don’t know.

I was supposed to knead until smooth, but it never really looked all that smooth to me, so I just stopped when I got bored.

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The hardest part of this whole thing was probably dividing the dough into 12 little balls because I was freaking out about trying to make them all the same size. I nearly brought out the bathroom scale. I probably would have if I thought it would actually help. But I guess I got them close enough. (Look at all the cute widdle baby aliens!)

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The instructions were then to let them sit for 30 minutes, which was just enough time for me to get through a little seshy-sesh with my Jillian Michaels DVD. (“Seshy-sesh” sounds cuter than 30-day-shred-of-TORTURE, so let’s stick with that.)

Do you see why I’m feeling like such a badass today? I worked out, y’all. Only for 20 minutes, true, but that’s 20 minutes longer than Tuesday or Wednesday, unless you count weeping as working out. (The Dutch movie was sad.)

I came back and prepared myself for battle, because the best battles always involve rolling pins and frying pans. (Dudes, I have a Pinterest board of that shit.)

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I will admit that I had some trouble getting started. It is deceptively difficult to roll a ball of dough into something resembling a circle.

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Most of mine resembled Mediterranean islands. One of them had a Florida.

And at first I didn’t have the heat turned up high enough on the skillet, so a couple of the first ones turned out sort of crusty and stale-ish.

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But, luckily, it turns out that once you get the heat set right, tortillas are really fun and pretty simple to cook. And they are much easier to flip than pancakes.

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I was pretty fucking proud of myself before I even ate one of these because they looked so awesome and because I didn’t phenomenally fail right from the get-go.

I figured I better eat one, though, just to make sure I didn’t somehow cause them to taste like butt or something. I looked around for tortilla stuffing and all I found was cheese, so quesadilla it is.

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And I pretty much died and went to heaven… or hell, I guess, because God doesn’t let people in to heaven who use the phrase “motherfucking delicious.

But they were. Motherfucking delicious, that is.

tortillas

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  • Elizabeth Wedward

    Can I hire you to make them for me? I’m HATE to cook and I’m all about NOT incorporating shortening into flour. How much an hour do you charge? :-)

  • http://profiles.google.com/scrapendipity Sharron M Hoff

    That is awesome!!! I think I might even try this. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/AlohaDuchess Samantha Fink

    Dammitt…I’m stuck at work and now I WANT fresh made tortillas….WTF

  • Ashley

    We have a tortilla press…never used…maybe I will try this recipe soon. Almost like a proud parent that you got this one right!!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.herweckandrus Sarah Andrus

      i’ve never tried it because i dont have a press!

  • pamelagold

    The whole idea of having to clean up a floured mess is completely unappealing. Also? Yesterday I read your book–Whiskey-Pissing Unicorns: How to Lose or Quit Your Job and Become a Badass Writer (Badass Writing)–and today I pounded out 3,500 words (um, at work) of a book that’s been rolling around in my head. So, yeah. Thanks for that!! It really is a great read.

    • http://pintester.com/ Pintester

      Thanks so much for reading the book and congrats on all those words!

      Also, clean-up I did in the 30 seconds the last tortilla was cooking, seriously. Wet washcloth, wipe, done. It wasn’t sticky or anything.

  • Amanda

    Well, now I feel like a dumb-ass because I totally failed at this. I mixed it all great, but disaster hit when it was time to flatten the little bastards. Mine were all elastic-y and wouldn’t stay big. I eventually said, “to hell with this” and cooked them anyways. Yeah…I ended up with palm-sized, thick, chewy bread cracker things. Maybe I’ll try again….but most likely I’ll just buy some. They’re easier and involve less cursing.

  • Emily

    What? No massaging alien balls jokes??

  • mndhild

    I made these last week because it seemed easier than making myself presentable to go to the store. I was also just as shocked as you when they turned out to be amazing (and pretty simple as well!) I think I texted my parents and my in-laws of my success in the kitchen since it so rarely happens. My husband even declared they were better tyan store bought. Overall it was pretty fucking amazing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joy.l.vasquez Joy Lu Vasquez

    hmm may have to try this, that way I can please my Mexican Inlaws that refer to me as “Princesa” In spanish behind my back and in front of it…. apologies my bitter is showing!

  • Megan DeForest

    I used to make my own tortillas all the time, then I got a job >:( Now I hardly make anything, ’cause who has the energy for that? But yeah, homemade tortillas are awesome, I knew this was going to be a win when I saw it :)

  • DaisyDesigner

    It must be a relief to know that you can have a successful career as a baby alien kneader should the whole writing thing fall through. Congrats!

  • http://twitter.com/kittnen Quincy

    I have an aunt who is Mexican and she taught my mom how to make tortillas. They are completely amazingballs, but the carbs and shortening (blech) totally turns me off from learning to make them on my own. I’ll stick with my overpriced Carb Balance tortillas that taste almost as good but don’t make me bloat up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nataliemra Natalie Arredondo

    The 30 day shred may only be 20 minutes but its no joke that it its 20 minutes of pure torture. Kudos for being able to get up and make tortillas for F’s sake! :D

  • Sandi Boyd

    Are these not just amazing??? I finally tried a couple weeks ago – mine were all elastic-y and chewy and more chalupa than tortilla, but we loved them! And, super props to you, because not ONE of mine turned into a fucking circle – every last one was a damn square! Or, parallelagram is more like it…

  • Sue

    I have a press that makes them round!!! I make corn ones also. They are all so amazing. My kids eat them faster than I can make them! Great job!!!!

  • L. Nicol Cabe

    I have made “(To anyone I’ve ever inadvertently not listened to, I’m really sorry. Sometimes the voices in my head are louder than you and I can’t help it.)” my new Gchat away message because it is my life n two sentences.

  • Breenah

    You always inspire me so much.

    • turtle

      I need this on a shirt….this is my life story…except it should maybe say always…

    • Katykersh

      I love it! I want one!

  • Jaime Thomas

    I grew up on homemade tortillas! They are fantastic! Although mine still don’t taste like my mother’s tortillas. Here’s my post about them from a couple of years ago:

    http://jaimalaya.blogspot.com/2011/09/homemade-friday-tortillas-few-days-late.html

  • Mallory

    I love homemade tortillas! I don’t like to eat the storebought ones at all! You can also use vegetable oil instead of shortening. My recipe is 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, a pinch of salt, and 2/3 cup of water (I usually end up using closer to a cup because I live in a very dry place!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebeccahosullivan Rebecca Henderson O’Sullivan

    The Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred was my exercise DVD of choice in college and I agree that it is pretty much just voluntarily participating in torture for a half hour.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.horejsi.1 Katherine Horejsi

    You’ve managed to combine cooking and theology again…well done! Look, I’m sure if there is a God…and if she ever takes a look down at what we’re up to…I’m pretty sure the word “motherfucker” would be uttered…a lot. So I wouldn’t worry too much about getting in to heaven!!! Aaaaaand cue the indignant religious nutters…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasi.lee.7 Jasi Lee

    love this! explain badassedness again please?
    and me too on the making up stories in my head. sometimes i can’t get through reading a blog post because i’ve already imagined something more interesting. but this was pretty.. pretty badassed. i think it’s my dream to find friends that like to go to the same places as i do and just show up, sit around with me and ignore me while i ignore them. and then we smile and leave at the same time and promise to do this again soon. and we do. unfortunately my friends require phone calls and presents all appropriately timed (whatever that is). oh well.

  • Kathleen

    Damn it! I never re-pinned this because I was all “This looks too hard, can’t do it” but now that you’ve proven that it’s not that hard I have no excuse.

  • Llama spit

    “(To anyone I’ve ever inadvertently not listened to, I’m really sorry. Sometimes the voices in my head are louder than you and I can’t help it.)” will be my new apology to people, because I space off and think about what smurf porn would look like, or something. (Don’t judge, it’s not like I can help where my brain takes me.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.herweckandrus Sarah Andrus

      now smurf porn will be in my head all day, like the last song you hear before turning the radio off.

      • Llama spit

        YAY! My work here is done. “Oh yeah, baby! Smurf me in my smurfing smurfhole!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/wee.villarreal Angela Villarreal

    seriously?? this was AWESOME! so inspirational!! my mother-in-law is one of those annoying people who grind their own corn to make corn tortillas and i have, once in my life attempted to make flour tortillas (the easier kind) and….dude? NO. WAY too much hassle for me, the little old lady who can barely see and cant unfold her fingers can keep makin them for me…thank you for makin me smile every time you post :)

  • Julie

    Oh nicely done. I made some last night, and then just now, I linked this post to my latest. Well done!
    (But I’m sure yours are better than mine. Not being polite, mine actually never turn out great. We eat them anyway.)

    http://urthalun.com/

  • Nicole

    I am so proud of you! And incredibly encouraged, because tortillas are a huge part of my diet, and you made this one sound do-able. “One of them had a Florida.” Awesome.

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  • Guest

    If you can do it, so can I!

    Did you do away with the forums?

    • http://pintester.com/ Pintester

      Yeah, I’ve killed them. It wasn’t getting much use, and doesn’t fit in the new design (which will roll out soon!).

  • http://www.facebook.com/a1rose Adrienne Smith

    Verdict: Motherfucking Delicious. That is all!

  • Heather Blamires

    I’m glad I didn’t think of them as baby aliens when I attempted this. Knowing me I would have named them and then felt bad for destroying the next generation of this alien breed. Not so bad I wouldn’t eat them, but bad enough that each time I burped I would have to have a moment of silence for their sacrifice before they even got a chance to try at life.
    I also avoid eating gummie bears for this reason. Over active imagination.

  • http://profiles.google.com/veggiecrocker Athena Holter-Mehren

    Your inner Mexican must be so proud!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.herweckandrus Sarah Andrus

    i had to double check the website to make sure it was you, i was so shocked that you succeeded in something other than cocknails! congrats! big fan!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lbhitchcock Lauren Hitchcock

    Awesome. I’m gonna have to make these now that they’ve been officially tested. :D

  • DigitalChick

    I love making my own tortillas. I was surprised at how easy they were to make, too. I made croissants once and I never could eat them again (once I knew how much butter was in them… it was gross!). And I’ve made bagels in the bread machine. Those are easy, too. Love me my carbs.

  • Obsidian Butterfly

    Hey! You did pretty fucking great for the first time! I grew up with homemade tortillas and they still come out square when I make them

  • http://twitter.com/melissannavarro Melissa Ann Navarro

    My recipe is white wings tortilla flour and hot water. How about that for badassery?

  • Renate van Dijk

    You watch Dutch drama’s?! I’m Dutch myself I’m dying to know which Dutch drama’s you watch (most Dutch drama sucks but I’m very VERY curious anyway). The link only leads me to some subscribe page of Netflix (because of course I’m in the Netherlands and we don’t have Netflix over here).

    • http://pintester.com/ Pintester

      I watched De Tweeling. It was my first Dutch drama, to be honest. ;)

      • Renate van Dijk

        O well, that one is sort of allright to be honest. If you liked it, you’ll probably like Zwartboek (Blackbook) as well. It’s also about the second world war (about a jewish girl (player by Carice van Houten, if that’s at all a name you’ve heard of) in the resistance), but then with more violence and sex in it.
        If you didn’t like it, I’d give up on Dutch drama if I were you ;)

  • jmr

    you’re the best! thanks for making me laugh while i am confined to my house while my lobster red skin heals and i can once again walk the streets without people starring and whispering. dear sun, you suck!

  • CoreyJ

    The font that you wrote the word, “Motherfucking” in makes my life complete.
    Also, in the sake making Mexican food, ¡Que motherfucking fancy eres tú!

  • Dixie Lynn Deal

    Are you spending too much time at home and becoming domesticated?

  • http://twitter.com/RicciOlson Ricci Olson

    Your homemade tortillas came out waaaayyy better than mine, which were so fucked up I was too embarassed to put them on my blog..even as an epic fail. Kudos!

  • Tabitha

    I made these today, and they turned out awesome. I would also like to share the fact that I felt very pintester-esque while making them when I realized that I don’t own a rolling pin and improvised with a wine bottle :)

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