Saturday, August 18, 2012

Simple Flour Tortillas ($0.03 each)

































$0.03 each     89% savings     save $97.30 yearly

Saying that my family eats a lot of tortillas is a HUGE understatement.

We love our enchiladas, burritos, soft tacos, quesadillas, and wraps... the girls will even eat tortillas plain-jane for a snack. They can be baked into a healthier version of the store-bought tortilla chips, or buttered, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and baked into a whole new realm of deliciousness, and the list goes on... 


Homemade tortillas? Can't beat 'em. They are absolutely delicious! (Even substituting shortening for lard which would up their YUM-factor ten-fold... yes, LARD.) If you go through even a fraction of the tortillas my family does, this recipe will definitely save you a pretty penny and no where on the list of ingredients will you find any kind of "dextrose," or "amylase" or "cellulose gum," like you would in the pre-packaged variety... although you could try replacing the shortening with lard... yes, LARD.

After doing my comparison of homemade vs. store-bought, I came up with a hypothesis: The tortilla-making factories are adding gold flecks to their mix along with the "cellulose gum," because currently, a package of 10 soft taco-sized tortillas costs about 90% more than what it would cost YOU to make them at home.


I'm telling you. 

Gold flecks.

You could put your kids through college... or eat store-bought tortillas. (Okay, I'm kidding... but seriously...)

This recipe puts the packaged tortillas to shame.


Simple Flour Tortillas
Printable Version


*yields approx. 40 soft taco-sized tortillas

(Note: This recipe is easily doubled or halved.  I usually mix together all the dry ingredients, then make about 2 cups worth of the dry mixture into tortillas, and save the other half of the dry ingredients in a gallon ziplock bag to use another day.  As with many of my recipes, I added some of my own home-ground whole wheat to to the mix to make the tortillas pictured above.)

INGREDIENTS
8 cups flour (up to half whole wheat)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups HOT water (not boiling, but hot enough to melt the shortening)

DIRECTIONS
Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands. (I use my hands)
Make a well in the center of the mix, and slowly add the hot water, mixing until you have a soft dough that pulls away from the edges of the bowl when you knead it, and is only very slightly sticky.

Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. (A couple minutes should do it)

Cover and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.

Pre-heat a griddle or skillet on medium-high heat. Temperature might take some time to get right... not hot enough = crispy, un-pliable tortillas. Too hot, and the middle won't get cooked before your tortilla turns black. Medium-high is about right on my griddle for the first couple tortillas, then I end up turning it down closer to medium heat.
 

Pinch off golf ball-sized balls of dough, place on a clean, very lightly floured surface, and roll them as thin as you can... cardstock paper thin. It takes a few tries to make them evenly round, so don't get frustrated. They taste amazing no matter the shape.

Place the thin tortilla dough on the pre-heated griddle. Watch it shrink up and thicken up and cook till multiple bubbles appear on the surface, and a little browning occurs underneath. It will depend on the temperature of your griddle, but 10 seconds is about right. Flip it over and cook the other side. Avoid over-cooking them, or they'll become dry, and brittle particularly around the edges. There is a learning curve to this, so don't be dismayed if a couple of your tortillas have black spots. Adjust the heat/cook time as necessary.


Place cooked tortillas on a plate and cover with a dish towel to keep the moisture locked in.

Serve warm. Store cooled tortillas wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator or freezer for longer keeping.


~ The Savings ~

Cost Breakdown:
25 lb all-purpose flour - $6.78 = 94.5 cups = $0.071/cup = $0.568 
12 oz baking powder – $1.69 = 70.875tsp = $0.024/tsp = $0.144 
26 oz. salt – $.42 = 122.75 tsp = $0.003/tsp = $0.009 
48 oz. vegetable shortening - $4.28 = 227 T = $0.019/T = $0.304
Total recipe cost = $1.03
Per tortilla = $0.03
The Contender: 
10 ct. Mission Soft Taco Flour Tortillas$2.69 
Per tortilla = $0.27
Savings:  89%
"Over a Year" Scenario: 
Simple Flour Tortilla recipe 10 times = $10.30
buy equivalent Mission Soft Taco Flour Tortillas = $107.60 
*Money saved annually: $97.30

37 comments:

  1. I really enjoy your "Over a Year" scenarios. It makes more of an impact than just a few cents difference!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tiffany! I agree with you 100%. It helps me keep the big picture in mind financially for sure. I hope you and your family are doing well!

      Delete
    2. I agree. The cost break downs are super helpful! Thanks Andrea!

      Delete
  2. I am excited to try these!! Do you think it would work with wheat flour?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could tell you for sure one way or the other. I've actually never tried it with all wheat flour. I've done half and half, and it worked just fine! I'll have to try out a small batch with all wheat flour and let you know how it goes... I'd imagine a little more water/shortening might be needed to keep them pliable and help them from drying out easily.

      Delete
    2. DeAnne - I tried it with home-ground wheat flour and had SUCCESS!! I added about a Tablespoon of extra water and shortening, and they turned out just fine. :) Good luck!

      Delete
  3. How much is it with the Lard? Your blog is EXACTLY what I have been looking for. Thank you for this blog. I have a tortilla press...will this make it easier to roll them out instead of the press? I've not been able to get them to peel off the press when they are very thin...do you have tips for using my tortilla press?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi james222studios! They end up costing the same with the lard. I've never used a tortilla press, so unfortunately I can't help you with that...

      Delete
    2. James222, if you use saran wrap to press them out they will do just fine. Cut a piece big enough to fold over the golf ball size dough then press away. I use this method when making corn tortillas with masa flour. Hope this helps.

      Delete
  4. I also have a tortilla press. I put the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to press and they come right out. Parchment paper would work too and I have also put the dough balls in a large gallon ziploc type bag and then pressed the dough into tortillas. It works great but my tortilla press makes too small of tortillas for my taste. Sometimes I put the dough balls in a ziploc bag to roll out (but make sure to shake a little flour in the bag first to help with the sticking problem.) Just roll out on the plastic. Definitely getting them round isn't easy. But yummy they are! I love that they are cheap and taste so wonderful. A double win!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I found your blog the other day and love it! Thanks for putting the break down on everything.My fourteen year old son and I made these today. They were so easy and he had fun trying to get them all rounded. Needless to say we have several that are oblong,but that is okay it all eats the same and we had fun making them. Thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am making these right now! I halved the recipe, used half whole wheat and half all purpose flour. They are turning out beautifully!!! Also, to make them perfectly round....i used a bowl, upside down, like a cookie cutter, cut off the excess dough, and voila! perfect circles!! Thanks so much for this site!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Using a bowl to make perfectly circular/uniform tortillas = genius. :)

      Delete
  7. Do you know if you can substitute olive oil for the shortening?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never done it, personally, but I did a little digging for you and it appears that other people have had success subbing olive oil for the shortening/lard. They used the same amount of oil as they would have used shortening. If you try it out, PLEASE let me know how it goes. I'd love to know! Here's a recipe from Taste of Home that might be more up your alley: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Homemade-Tortillas

      Delete
  8. Hey, Andrea. Just found your site, it's fantastic! We've recently gone down to a one income in our family, and I've been spending a lot of time looking at ways to cut costs.

    For this recipe, you mention that you often make up the whole batch and then only use a couple cups of the dry mix at a time, but you don't talk about the wet ingredients you add to that. If you're using 2c of the dry mix in one go, what amounts of water and shortening do you add to that? My guess would be about 1/4c shortening and roughly 3/4c of water, but I'm curious as to how you do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Thanks for your kind words, and welcome to the site!

      I actually add the shortening to the "dry ingredients" and store whatever I don't use for later. When making 2 cups worth of the dry mix at a time, I add just under 2/3 of a cup of water, and go from there... sometimes adding a bit more water, and sometimes not. Depends on the weather, and if I use whole wheat flour or not. But the 2/3 cup is just about right. :)

      Hope this helps!

      Delete
  9. I do not own a griddle, but was wondering if there is anyway to make these without one? I would love to make my own tortillas! We love mexican food and I think they sound so much better than store bought ones. Please let me know. Thank you. :)
    Tiffany C.
    Tiffany_and_evan@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I found your blog a couple months ago and I love it!

    I'm going to try these tortillas today to go with the crockpot refried beans recipe that I'm cooking up right now.
    Thanks for sharing your recipes and knowledge. :)
    I plan on cooking them in my cast iron skillet.

    Have you ever tried cooking a big batch and freezing them?

    ReplyDelete
  11. OK - here is a question challenge for you - we found these tortillas at Price Rite that are supposed to be somewhat healthy for you - called spinach tortillas - so do you know if there would be a way to make them with this recipe? I would love to save that money - because I think they are up to something like $4.39 per pack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmmm... homemade spinach tortillas sound delicious! I've had the store-bought version before, but never made my own. So, the honest answer is... I don't know. However, I did find another recipe for you for making spinach tortillas: http://www.tammysrecipes.com/spinach_tortillas

      If you try them, let me know how it goes!! I'd love to hear about it. :)

      Delete
  12. Any tips about how to make them thin enough when rolling them out by hand? I've tried doing these, but they always end up too thick to use for burritos/enchiladas/the like. I THINK I'm rolling them out thin enough, but apparently am not. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Saturne. Making tortillas can be tricky at first, and it definitely takes a lot of elbow grease to get them cardstock paper-thin before cooking. One thing I used to do to get the dough from shrinking back after rolling it out, was to place the ball of dough between two layers of saran wrap. That way, they couldn't shrink up as I rolled them out. Also, be sure not to over cook them. They don't need long, because they are super thin. They first few will take several seconds longer than the following ones. When they are cooked, immediately place them between two clean dishtowel. This helps them maintain moisture and pliability. I hope this helps!

      Delete
  13. I was looking for a recipe on Pinterest (can't remember what now as I got so absorbed in your site.)What an easy, tasty, amazing recipe this is. Who would have thought it cost so little to make these disks of gold and the taste is so good. Living in Canada these cost more to buy in the stores and so do the ingredients, however, in comparison it cost about 0.05 cents per tortilla which is just amazing. Thank you for these recipes and breakdowns. I am an avid follower of your blog now and look forward to trying several of your recipes.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Has anyone tried freezing batches of these??

    ReplyDelete
  15. I really enjoy your blog, have made at least half your recipes and they are all delicious! I posted a version of your tortilla recipe on my blog today at morelikemomma.com. Keep up the good work, I look forward to your posts!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Tried these today. They're great! Confession: I melted butter over the first one and ate it right off the griddle. That's how I know they're great. :) Thanks for the recipe and I'm glad I found your blog. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi! I was wondering what you did with the dry ingredients after you take out the two cups. Do you freeze, refrigerate or store on a shelf? Thanks, Shan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I store it on a shelf, because I use it frequently. If you're not going to use it for a month or so, I'd put it in the fridge just to help the flour maintain some level of freshness. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  18. I made a small batch of these today and my family loves them! I am so glad I found your blog. I haven't been let down by a single recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I made half a batch with the "help" of my five and three year-olds. They turned out great. My first attempt at tortillas was a big failure. They were so hard. It was a different recipe, but I think your cooking instructions helped me the most. Thank you!
    -Amie

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just made these with 1/2 WW flour and oil instead of shortening. YUMMY! and EASY PEASY! I'll be making my own tortillas from now on! Thanks for the recipe! :) My only difficulty was trying to roll and cook at the same time. I ended up rolling them all out then stacking them inbetween paper towels so they didnt get soggy/stick together. Then cooked them all at once.

    I'll definitely be checking out more of your recipes!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have never been one to want to try and make something that I can buy for $1.99 but I'm a new stay at home mom so I'm finding ways to cut costs and this was one of them this week. The recipe you gave was so easy to follow and the tortillas turned out great!
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just tried these. They turned out great! Mine were no where near round, but tasty. I paired them with the refried beans on your site, scallions, and cheese. The 3 kids playing in the next room loved them and so did we. Making more tomorrow and practicing on my shapes. Thanks for a great site! I have been trying a new recipe of yours each day this week and each one is better than the other.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I live in San Antonio and at the grocery store you can get freshly made, hot, delicious tortillas. I was hoping this would end up like the ones I am used to. They ended up tasting like a fresh version of the packaged on the shelf kind. I kept looking for the right recipe and I found. it. It isn't really the recipe that is the problem, but it appears there is a special technique that I recommend you try out. It will literally blow your socks off that is how good it is. I cooked them on my lefse grill set to 500 degrees. Then I just followed all the directions as is. They came out perfect and didn't even last a day.
    http://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/2012/12/how-to-make-flour-tortillascomo-hacer.html

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...