Beer Tortillas

 

Tortillas are one of those glorious foods that I have found myself continuing to make from scratch. It wasn’t an epiphany that wakened me from my supermarket tortilla grabbing slumber, it was a gradual process. Tortillas are easy, and you probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already. And the end product will finally convince you that you no longer need that plastic bag full or pre-made taco vessels.

So why the beer? Beer is a leavening agent, mild in a way that is the perfect strength to lightly leaven a tortilla. And a beer with bread, wheat of notes of crackers will add a fuller flavor then the typical baking powder that is called for in most homemade tortilla recipes.

You only need a few ingredients to make these, so you need to choose carefully. Most people use lard, and this tends to give the best results. After I cook bacon (a weekly occurrence) I pour the rendered fat into an air tight container and store it in the fridge. Once it cools and solidifies, I use this to make tortillas with. If you are vegetarian or vegan, vegetable shorting makes a great stand in.

The beer you choose needs to be carefully considers as well. Because it has a slight cracker like taste, I use Hair Of The Dog’s Ruth. Choose a beer that has notes of yeast, bread or crackers. A wheat beer would also work well.

Beer Tortillas 

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup fat (lard, vegetable shortening, rendered and cooled bacon fat)

3/4 cup warm beer ( Plus 3 additional tbs)

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the fat and rub it into the flour with your hands until it forms course crumbs and all the fat has been distributed.

Run the bottle of beer under a hot tap water until warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Slowly pour 3/4 of a cup into the flour mixture, mixing with a fork until all of the flour has been moistened (adding the additional 3 tbs if needed). Knead for about 3-5 minutes or until the dough becomes shiny and slightly stiff but not firm. Return to the bowl and cover with a towel, allow to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

Pull off pieces of the dough just smaller than a golf ball. Roll into balls and place on a plate, continue for the remaining dough. Cover the plate with a towel and allow to rest for an additional 30 minutes.

Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

Roll the tortillas out until they are thin enough to see through. In my experience a rolling pin gets better results than a tortilla press. On a lightly floured surface, flatten a ball of dough with the rolling pin, then roll forward and back across it; rotate a sixth of a turn and roll forward and back again; continue rotating and rolling until you reach a very thin consistency.

Throw onto the griddle and allow to cook until lightly brown, about 1 minute per side. Don’t over cook or your tortillas will be crispy.

Make a batch of Chipotle Stout Braised Beef and make Tacos.

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21 Responses to Beer Tortillas

  1. brandi / branappetit June 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    love these! i just started making my own tortillas earlier this year and am addicted. but i haven’t tried adding beer – yet.

  2. Oh My Veggies (@ohmyveggies) June 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    I am most definitely making these. I’m gonna have to buy some vegetable shortening, but it will be worth it. I love flour tortillas, but the ones you buy at the store are awful!

  3. Savory Simple June 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    I have always wanted to try making homemade tortillas. I think this is the recipe for me!

  4. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious June 22, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    Great recipe and super easy! I also love the tip about keeping the bacon fat :)

  5. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet June 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Absolutely brilliant! My Hubs will flip over these :) Thank you!

  6. Riley June 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Homemade tortillas are sooo good! Great recipe.

  7. hairbowsandbutter June 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Wow those look so amazing! I must try these, however I’m not a fan of lard/shortening, could butter work?

    • The Beeroness June 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      Yes. Pretty much any fat will work, but the ratio of fat to flour might be a bit different. I’ve also heard of people using oil or margarine.

  8. Amber the Baker August 17, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    I just found your blog and am in love! I have made homemade tortillas for St. Patrick’s day and just loved them and now I must adapt my recipe to add beer because I think that it is a fantastic idea!

  9. Jason August 22, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Have you ever tried using duck fat? We are thinking of making duck confit tacos at work and were wondering if duck fat would work in the tortillas?

    • Jackie August 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      I haven’t tried it for tortillas, but I think it would work great. It’s much less viscous at room temperature than butter or bacon fat, so you would probably need to adjust the fat & water ratios, but I think it would be a great option.

  10. Wendy January 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    I love this idea. I’m not a beer drinker, but I do use it in recipes. I understand your recommendation of beer type, but since I’d only be buying a single can of beer, would any basic (not dark ale) work halfway decently?

    • Jackie January 2, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

      Yes. A pale ale or pale lager of any kind should work fine.

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