Mexican tortillas are usually made with white, yellow or blue corn. But history tells us that in northern regions, where corn was more difficult to grow, wheat became the staple grain for cooking.
The recipe below is for soft wheat tortillas but you can substitute half of the flour for corn meal if you prefer.
Corn tortillas are made in a similar way, except the flour and salt is sifted in to the bowl, the corn meal is mixed in and then the fat rubbed in finely.
SOFT FLOUR TORTILLAS
300 g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
60 g vegetable fat, lard or margarine
150 – 175 ml warm water
Combine flour and salt in the bowl then rub in the fat with your finger tips until the miture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add sufficient water to mix to a softish, pliable dough. Turn out on to a floured work surface and continue to knead for a minute or two until smooth. Place in a plastic bag to rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough in to 10 equal balls and keerp covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying out.
Take one piece of dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a circle of 18-20 cm.
Heat a griddle pan or heavy-based frying pan until just beginning to smoke. Lower the heat slightly.
Brush off any excess flour from the tortilla and dry fry for 20 – 30 seconds until a few bubbles appear on the uncooked surface and the underneath looks dry with a few pale brown spots. Press down lightly with a spatula occasionally to ensure they cook evenly. Flip over and cook the other side for 20 – 30 seconds more.
Remove from the pan and wrap in a teatowel to prevent drying out.
Wipe out the pan in between tortillas if flour is started to accumulate. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
When cold the tortillas can be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge for several days or frozen for several months.