I know it’s not cool to like flour tortillas. I don’t care, I love them. I would go so far as to say I prefer them to their corny siblings. Lump it into the pile of uncool things I enjoy, like early dinners, certain One Direction
songs, and thinking about what foods are or are not cool.
I guess flour tortillas are perceived to be less authentic. I don’t know if that’s true. I don’t know much about the origins or history of tortillas (or the origins or history of their cool status), but I know what I like. I like the more neutral flavor of a good flour tortilla, and its soft and comforting texture.
At Christmas, my brother-in-law sent me a box of grains from Anson Mills—a truly great gift. I ended up on the Anson Mills website which has a pretty stellar collection of recipes, including one for flour tortillas. Ironically, I have only ever made corn tortillas. Less ironically, I am terrible at making them. Like, I am a very, very bad tortilla maker. If I had an abuela, she would not be proud. So it was a gutsy move to tackle another tortilla recipe. But this one taught me that there may be a lot of reasons to love flour tortillas.
The tortillas in question (which were easy to make!) are used in a delicious quesadilla recipe on the Anson Mills site, which is also worth trying. The quesadillas are filled with roasted shallots and tomatoes and pickled jalapenos (they’re especially good). It is the kind of thing we eat for dinner regularly. That plate of food at the top of this post is a very typical weeknight meal at our house. Food bloggers are just like us.
I recognize that one or two of you might not have a bag of Anson Mills Trigo Fuerte Flat Bread Flour
on hand, but I still think there are things to learn from the recipe. Avocado oil is a nice fat to use in place of the more traditional lard. I am sure you could get this same technique to work with some all-purpose flour, though likely in different proportions. The recipe suggests you cook the tortillas pale, since they will be fried again when cooking the quesadillas, which I thought was a great suggestion and something I would not have thought of on my own. File it away.
I’m now deep into my box of grains and am a serious Anson Mills convert. The toasted oats are unbelievably delicious, I get excited when I remember they are waiting for me each morning. The farro piccolo is superb, and all of the wheat flours have great flavor. It has been a good reminder of the importance of quality ingredients.
January 27th, 2015 at 9:09 pm
This looks amazing! I love flour tortillas too. :)
January 27th, 2015 at 9:27 pm
Authenticity depends on where you’re standing! My family came to the US from Mexico in the 1920s and quickly adopted bleached wheat flour, white rice, and macaroni pasta because that’s what Americans ate. Probably back in Mexico that was what the upper classes were eating, too. Decades later, I grew up making white-as-white flour tortillas with Crisco, which I still make (except instead of Crisco I buy the fancy-pants organic veggie shortening). To me flour tortillas are authentically Mexican-American and make me think of home, family, and tradition way more than grinding corn with a metate ever would.
January 27th, 2015 at 9:35 pm
Good point, Gabrielle! Thanks.
Amber - Loves Food, Loves to Eat says:
January 27th, 2015 at 10:12 pm
Wait… Flour tortillas aren’t cool!? They’re one of my all time favorite things to eat! Especially homemade… Love the idea of using avocado oil!
Dena@Gathering Flavors says:
January 28th, 2015 at 5:04 am
I’m with you about the flour tortillas. They have a nicer texture than any of the others and I prefer the flavor.
Thank you for this delicious recipe.
January 28th, 2015 at 7:54 am
Freaking out over the concept of roasted shallot, tomato and pickled jalapeno quesadillas for dinner right now.
January 28th, 2015 at 7:54 am
Uh, in a good way, obviously!
January 28th, 2015 at 8:32 am
Flour tortillas? They don’t know they’re BEAU-TI-FUL!!! :o)
January 28th, 2015 at 10:14 am
Mmm, now I want these again! Maybe once Zayn’s done feeding me spaghetti?
Kristin @ Tasty Joy says:
January 28th, 2015 at 11:18 am
Avocado oil! Now I have to experiment with that. Thanks for the tip :-)
Katrina @ WVS says:
January 28th, 2015 at 11:20 am
I’ve always wanted to make my own tortillas! These sound lovely!
January 28th, 2015 at 12:16 pm
Bryan- Did you have to look up how to spell his name?
January 28th, 2015 at 12:24 pm
flour tortillas are the bomb i don’t care what anyone thinks
January 28th, 2015 at 12:33 pm
Yes! That’s the reason I was googling his name…
January 28th, 2015 at 2:32 pm
I have just been given a traditional tortilla press by my Mexican friend so I am making these definitely!
January 28th, 2015 at 3:40 pm
I’ve read Lottie and Doof for years now and you never fail to make me excited about new recipes (I can’t even count how many recipes I’ve tried and loved from your archives. But this one just hit all the right spots, and arrived just as I was considering writing about the tortillas I grew up eating and helping my mother to make, usually as chief tortilla flipper, peering into the cast-iron skillet to wait for the bubbles to begin dotting the dough. They were always flour tortillas, sometimes half whole wheat, and always made in an extra-large batch so we could take them to school slathered with peanut butter and jelly or toasted for breakfast and spread with salted butter, cinnamon and sugar. Thank you for the beautiful post and for validating my love of home-made flour tortillas.
January 28th, 2015 at 5:02 pm
Yessss. I got really into making the lard version a few years ago after I realized how amazing and easy they are. I love the idea of avocado oil!
J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats says:
January 28th, 2015 at 6:56 pm
Corn tortillas for carnitas tacos and flour tortillas for seafood tacos. Every time.
Dani | theloveofvanilla says:
January 28th, 2015 at 7:57 pm
I’ve never made tortillas before, this is something I’ve always wanted to try and make. It looks so delicious and fresh… yum! Going to print this one :)
Traci Dziatkowicz says:
January 29th, 2015 at 2:29 pm
I am a flour tortilla fan, too. A burrito made with a flour tortilla is my kind of comfort food. :)
I have also purchased grains from Anson Mills and can attest to how great they are. The grits are fantastic, and I agree with you on the farro piccolo. It is some of the best farro I have had. I can also vouch for the carolina rice, buckwheat flour, and cornmeal. They are a great company, everything is shipped to you fresh, and the website does have great recipes to help you figure out what to do with all that bounty. I will have to try the wheat flours with my next order.
Carilyn Johnson (@CarilynJohnson) says:
January 30th, 2015 at 9:37 am
I grew up on the border of Mexico, so we ate tortillas with everything. While the rest of the country was making homemade bread or travelling to France to find the perfect baguette, we we eating flour tortillas (or corn) with caldillo, quesadillas instead of grilled cheese, and various incarnations of tacos. We were so out of the loop we didn’t even realize there was a loop! Today, as much as I love a piece of good, toothsome bread, I still crave a hot, buttered flour tortilla. In fact, this yogurt I’m eating is going back in the fridge and it’s time for a quesadilla. I’m with you, Tim – I’ll take yummy and uncool any day :)
January 30th, 2015 at 1:52 pm
That IS a great gift. We just got a box of Anson Mills flours and grains today, actually, and I have a batch of buckwheat cookies in the oven right now. We’ve been serving the Sea Island Red Peas, Carolina Gold rice and the Farro at our restaurant here in Tallahassee for a few months, but this is the first time I’ve tried their grains. I’m quite smitten already.
January 30th, 2015 at 8:55 pm
Nothing beats a handmade freshly made tortilla except one with ghee or butter on it of course! Happy feasting.
February 1st, 2015 at 9:56 am
Thanks so much for sharing! Try as I might, I can’t seem to get the hang of corn tortillas either. Really looking forward to getting my hands on some Anson Mills flour and trying the flour tortilla recipe.
February 1st, 2015 at 11:51 am
Why are you so cool?
February 2nd, 2015 at 4:56 pm
I haven’t even read the rest of the entry, but needed to comment immediately and say – wait, what? flour tortillas aren’t cool? Hahahahaha. It’s always refreshing to learn that you were uncool in a way you didn’t even realize. Shows how pointless the concept of cool is. Tim, you’re awesome.
February 3rd, 2015 at 10:35 am
If loving flour tacos is uncool and wrong, I never want to be cool and right. Anson Mills has long been on my radar as David Chang has praised their products to the skies, but maybe I’ll have to finally break down and order some of their grains. Have you tried any of the corn products?
February 5th, 2015 at 10:06 am
learning how easy it is to make flour tortillas was a game-changer for me. Shiv loves to help me flip them–and then he loves to eat them warm. confession: I often use lard instead of oil, because I have somehow become one of those people who renders her own lard (we get pork fat in our monthly meat share from time to time). those tortillas are extra flaky and wow; I recommend.
also, have you read The Third Plate? I haven’t yet–it’s on my list–but I know that Glenn Roberts, the founder of Anson Mills, is profiled in the book. I have only ever bought their grits–it’s hard to find their products in stores down here–but those were superb. once my current pantry grain stores run out, maybe I need to treat myself to an online order?
February 7th, 2015 at 6:32 pm
That first paragraph is really funny!!!!
Sarah|Pickled Capers says:
February 10th, 2015 at 7:42 am
Tim, you can come sit at the glue sniffer’s table with me and we’ll eat our flour tortillas and leave the corn ones for the more hip. Great recipes and really love the way it’s plated.
February 15th, 2015 at 10:50 am
That first paragraph — just amazing and so on point.
I lived in Honduras for a year where the traditional Honduran dish was a flour tortilla filled with beans, eggs, cheese and avocado (called a baleada). Why Honduras only had baleadas, I’m not quite sure since it seems like a concept that many Central American countries would take on. But regardless, Hondurans are all about the flour tortilla. I would eat baleadas for breakfast and lunch and dinner and just the mention of a flour tortilla has me drooling. I still make them all the time but usually only when I have nothing in the pantry and spot some flour and realize I can whip up tortillas in 15 minutes. That being said, your recipe seems like a nice treat. Seems I’ll have to spice up my tortilla game soon.
March 5th, 2016 at 12:14 am
I am Mexican and I can tell you they’re authentic as the corn tortillas, they’re the staple food of northern México, but they’re used all over the country