We love tacos. I can’t tell you how many posts we have here that have that sentence in it. You know what makes tacos lousy? Store-bought tortillas. You know what makes tacos great? Homemade flour tortillas.
Why Do You Love Lard, Stephanie?
Homemade flour tortillas are great, but you know what makes them super great? Lard. LARD! How many of you cook with lard?! It’s the secret to flaky biscuits, tender pie crusts, and you guessed it, the best homemade flour tortillas. Lard’s fat crystals are larger than shortening and butter’s, so that’s why it’s able to produce larger flakes in your pies and biscuits! I know lard has a bad rap, but it really doesn’t deserve one. I have all sorts of beef with the food industry, so I’ll save my rant for another day, but I found this article super interesting!
What Is Lard?
So there are two types of lard: The better is naturally-occuring (high quality) lard that is directly rendered from pig fat and must be refrigerated, and then there is industrially-produced lard, which is a mixture of varying qualities of lard and is hydrogenated to make it shelf-stable. I’m a firm believer in naturally-ocurring fats, such as butter, coconut oil, and yes, lard. While they are high in saturated fats, it is natural fat. Give me natural fat over factory-produced fat any day.
Where Do I Find Lard?
Unfortunately, legit lard can be difficult to find. You can find it at some stores (but not all), butcher shops, farmers’ markets, or ethnic grocery stores can be a great place to look. I picked up what you are most-likely to use, snow cap lard off the shelf in the baking aisle. This is less than $2, looks like shortening, is a lot softer, but works magic. As I was recipe testing, I used shortening until I found the proportions of ingredients I liked. Once I got what I wanted, I traded in the shortening for lard, and HELLO. HELL. O. They were softer, and they actually had flavor. I love you, lard.
You’re going to make your dough and it’s going to be really soft and really wet. This is good. DON’T QUESTION ME.
(I wish this worked on my kids) And then you’ll wrap it up and let it rest. This will let the flour really absorb all of the liquid and let the gluten relax. You know how you sometimes roll out pie crust or other doughs and it kinda shrinks back? That’s because the gluten needs to relax. Just let it rest. If when you do start working with it and it is doing that, you need to let it rest a little longer. When it’s time to roll the tortilla dough out, you want to roll it as thin as you possibly can! I like to separate the dough into little balls and begin to push them out into little rounds, then begin rolling each one out. Cover them with a slightly damp towel while you’re waiting to cook them so they don’t dry out.
Make your grill HOT. After you lay the tortilla on the griddle, it should start to bubble up tiny bubbles and then larger bubbles within 20-30 seconds. If not, it’s not hot enough. The tortillas should only cook about 90-120 seconds each side. After they’re done, remove from griddle and keep stacked and wrapped in a clean dish towel.
We have ALLLL of the taco recipes!!! Shredded pork with mango salsa, tacos al pastor, chorizo and fried avocado, breakfast tacos, chili lime chicken tacos, Caribbean shrimp tacos with pineapple relish, roasted sweet potato and black bean tacos…while some of those should be made with corn tortillas, lets just all agree that tacos are king.
- 3 c flour
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 2 t salt
- 1/2 c lard
- 1 c hot water
- Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Cut lard into dry ingredients using fingers, pastry cutter, or criss-crossing two knives, until you have coarse lumps throughout, no larger than pea-sized. When you grab a handful of the mixture and squeeze in your hand, it should stick together, then crumble easily.
- Pour hot water into mixture and stir with a fork or spoon or your hands until cohesive dough has formed. It will be wet and very soft. Knead for about 3 minutes. Cover ball in plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes-1 hour.
- Heat griddle to HOT. If using skillet on stove, keep heat at medium-high. Unwrap and knead dough for another couple of minutes. Pinch off golfball-sized balls and spread out with your fingers until several inches across. Then, take each dough round and roll out with rolling pin about as thin as you can. Keep discs covered with slightly damp towel until ready to grill.
- Lay each disc on griddle and it should begin to bubble within 20-30 seconds. If it doesn't, pan is not hot enough. Once bubbling has stopped and first side has cooked, flip over. It should only take 1 1/2-2 minutes each side. Keep cooked tortillas stacked and wrapped in a clean towel.