Every other day, grandma used to make her famous homemade flour
tortillas. As soon as I entered grandma’s kitchen, I could smell that special
aroma that only comes from freshly made tortillas. If you’ve ever had the
luxury of being in a kitchen when tortillas are cooking on the comal (cast iron skillet), you know what
I’m talking about. I remember rubbing a stick of butter on my warm tortilla and
watching the butter melt. I’d quickly roll the tortilla and eat it; sometimes
the butter would run down my arm which was okay because I would just lick it
I remember running to grandma’s house after school, knowing that she
would be rolling and cooking tortillas. She would give me a small ball of dough, and I’d roll out my own tortilla. Mine was always shaped like an oval, never
perfectly round like grandma’s. My favorite way to eat a fresh warm tortilla is
with a dollop of salsa casera, lightly salted, and rolled into one
perfect spicy burrito.
1. Place a comal (griddle or cast-iron skillet) over medium heat and allow
it to heat up.
2. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the lard or shortening, and combine until you have the consistency of small crumbs.
3. Add the warm water and mix well with your hand. The mixture may be a
little sticky. Knead on a cutting board or smooth counter until dough is
pliable and springy. Sprinkle with flour if dough is too sticky.
4. Form 2- to 2 1/2-inch dough balls. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough
balls to form 7- to 8-inch disks. If dough is sticky, sprinkle board and rolling
pin with flour to make it easier to roll out the dough.
5. As you roll out each disk, place on the hot comal to cook, it will take
1 minute or less on each side. After cooking the first side, turn tortilla over
and let it cook on the opposite side; when tortilla starts to form air pockets
press down gently on it with a wooden tortilla press or rolled up kitchen towel
(like grandma did) to release the air. Don’t press too much, or it will make
6. Keep the tortillas warm in a tortilla warmer or under a clean dish
towel. Leftover tortillas can be refrigerated in a plastic bag.