If you are buying packaged tortillas for burritos, soft tacos etc, stop. Stop now. Same with those nasty vacuum-packed naan to go with your curries. Making them yourself is easy and awesome and you will thank me.
The torilla recipe I’ve used for ages comes from The Homesick Texan – apt, since my love of tortillas comes from being raised by a former Texan.
(NB: skillet = frying pan. I use my Scanpan crepe pan, which I am insanely in love with, but any decent frying pan is fine)
Texas Flour Tortillas (adapted from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)
Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder (NB I use 1 tsp)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.
Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.
Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.
In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.
Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.
Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil.
While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.
Makes eight tortillas.
Naan, on the other hand, are something I originally learned to make from Manjula (great source of Indian noms, esp if you like video tuts). And they were brilliant, but were yeasted which means proving time which means Sarah needs to be way more organised about deciding what to have for dinner and I’m not. It occurred to me one day, though, that the above tortilla recipe could be bastardised pretty well into naan bread. That day, my friends, was a very good day.
Cheaty naan bread
Use the tortilla recipe above, but add 2 heaping tbsp greek/natural yogurt and reduce the milk to around 1/2 cup. Optionally, you can add a crushed garlic clove or two (totally recommended). Follow the method for the tortillas.