In future Kootenay Spice blog posts, we will have many tasty recipes that use soft tortilla shells. Some will wrap, some will layer and some will get chopped up.
You have likely anticipated that we prefer to make our own tortillas for our meals and snacks. You’re right! This very simple recipe will make 24 tortillas and we will explain later the best way to freeze your leftover dough.
As with most of our doughs, we use a stand mixer for kneading. The camera was charging while we were kneading the dough, but was ready in time to cut the dough and roll out the shells. For best results, we put our shortening and water in the freezer for 15 minutes before mixing into the recipe. We also use a well seasoned cast iron pan for frying.
For these flour tortilla shells, you will need:
4 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp cold shortening
1.5 cups very cold water
In your mixing bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda. Using a cold knife or pasta cutter, mix in the shortening to an even consistency. Slowly stir in the cold water until a dough forms. Continue kneading for 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic and doesn’t stick to the bowl or your fingers. Wrap the dough tightly in saran wrap and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Generously flour your working surface. A great way do this is to use a small sifter to sprinkle the flour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut the dough in 24 pieces. The easiest way to do this is cut it in half to get two, cut each of those in half to get 4, cut each of those in half to get 8 and cut each of those in thirds to get 24.
Coat each ball in flour and set aside. If you aren’t going to make all 24 tortillas, read ahead for instructions on freezing the unused dough balls.
Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 10-12” (25-30 cm) circle, about 1/8” (2 mm) thick. As you make them, pile the shells onto a plate, flouring between each.
Heat your frying pan on medium-high heat. No oil is required. Cook each tortilla for 1-2 minutes on each side, until bubbly and lightly browning. Pile on a plate once cooked.
Use the tortilla shells immediately or store them in one of the following ways:
Once dough is rolled into balls, freeze the ones you know you are not going to need. Place the balls on a floured cookie sheet and put in the freezer overnight. Once frozen, transfer into a zippered bag and return them to the freezer. To reuse, thaw balls at room temperature for 12 hours and follow the above directions. Coat in flour while thawing to prevent sticking.
freezing tortilla shells
If you’ve made too many tortilla shells you can keep them in the fridge for a week or so. If you don’t think you’ll use them in that much time, you can also freeze them. Separate portions of the noodles with parchment paper and seal them in a bag. To use them later, soften in microwave or let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
If you are apprehensive about making your own tortillas, give it a whirl! It’s simple, delicious and a fraction the cost of buying them at the store.
Try to save some shells for our next blog recipe, we will be making a 3 layer grilled tortilla clubhouse sandwich! Mmmm… Delicious!