Every Sunday, I fry up a pound of bacon that I pick up from my local butcher. And like many Southerners, I pour off the excess grease and reserve it for a flavor booster to veggies.
But instead of Southern American food, I was in the mood to go South of the border. I was reminiscing about my time in Costa Maya when we were offered fresh, hot tortillas in a small village. I wanted to relive that moment, but I’ve never made tortillas before. As I researched recipes for flour tortillas, they called for lard, shortening or vegetable oil. I immediately thought, “There’s a better fat than that trio…bacon grease!”
Let the experimenting begin. As I gathered the ingredients, I quickly realized that I was making dough. Shoot, I bake bread all the time, why hadn’t I realized this before. As with any dough I make, I chose to weigh my flour, so that I will get the perfect consistency every time I make these tortillas. I recommend you do the same.
I used a tortilla press to flatten the dough, but you can use a heavy pan or rolling pin. The only problem I ran into was that the dough wanted to shrink on me, so the tortillas were a little smaller and thicker than I wanted. I’ll do more experimenting to see how I can overcome that…but all-in-all the flavor was great. They have a hint of smokiness and a nice amount of salt.
I filled them with grilled portabella mushrooms, grilled poblano peppers and shredded pepper jack cheese. But since they have that hint of bacon, they would also be excellent for breakfast tacos filled with scrambled eggs, cheese and salsa. Let your imagination run wild. Bon appétit!
- 230 grams (2 cups) King Arthur’s All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons bacon grease
- 2/3 cup water
Pour flour and salt into a food processor fitted with the dough blade. Pulse the mixture four or five times, so it blends and becomes a little more fine.
Place the bacon grease and water in a small bowl and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until melted.
Turn the food processor back on and slowly pour the grease and water into the processor. In about 30 seconds, the dough will form into a nice ball. If you measured your ingredients accurately, the dough should be smooth and silky.
Remove the ball and place it onto the counter. Knead it a few times to ensure everything is well blended. Place it in a bowl and cover. Let it rest for one hour.
After it has rested, divide the dough into 12 golf-ball-size balls. Let them rest on a plate covered with a damp paper towel for 10-15 minutes.
Just before cooking, press a ball into a tortilla using a heavy pan, rolling pin or tortilla press.
Heat an empty skillet over medium-high heat. When a drop of water beads in the pan, it’s ready. Place the tortilla in the pan and cook for about 30 seconds. Flip and cook another 30 seconds.
Place the baked tortilla in a tortilla warmer or a plate covered with a towel or in a round cake pan topped with another cake pan turned upside down. Adjust the heat of the skillet, as needed as you continue to cook the rest.
Fill with your favorite ingredients.