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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Flour Fajita/Taco/Gordita Tortilla Recipe: Store versus Homemade


Our family was feeling like some tacos and decided to take my first attempt at making these from scratch, but figured it would be a good opportunity to going a little more homemade.

The Contender – Store Bought

The competition: Mission 6 inch Flour Tortilla, $3.39 for 8 tortillas

Untitled-2 copy

Ingredients: Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Vegetable Shortening (Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Contains 2% or Less of: Sugar, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate and/or Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Calcium Sulfate), Calcium Propionate and Sorbic Acid and/or Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Distilled Monoglycerides, Wheat Starch, Amylase, Tricalcium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Dough Conditioners (Fumaric Acid, Sodium Metabisulfite and/or Mono- and Diglycerides).

The Challenger – Homemade

I had a failed attempt at making burrito sized tortilla so went with what seemed be a recipe that required much of the skills I appear to be lacking.

Soft Chewy Flour Tortilla (Fajita/Taco/Gordita) Recipe
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Directions: Add dry ingredients to mixer and set to low speed.  Add wet ingredients to separate bowl, whish briefly and slowly add wet ingredients to mixer.  If the dough is still sticky when you touch it add about a teaspoon of flour at a time until it no longer sticks to your fingers.


    Knead the dough for about 2-3 minutes and place ball of dough on a plate and cover with mixing bowl and let it “rest” for 10 minutes.


    After the dough “rests” cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.  I did what seemed easiest to me:

    • Cut dough in half: 2 pieces
    • Cut those two pieces in half: 4 pieces
    • Cut those 4 pieces in half: 8 pieces.

    Below you can see my 5 year old demonstrating this technique.


    Next roll the pieces into balls and let them “rest” on that same plate for 20 more minutes.


    Use a rolling pin (or 3/4 wooden dowel if you happen to have one) as thin as you can make them.  Don’t worry they will thicken up when you cook them


    The recommended method is to use a quality dry cast iron skilled on gas heat.  Not having either of those, I went with my pancake griddle.  Which from my first try I have a recommendation set the griddle to its highest setting.  Otherwise by the time it starts to brown you will have some baked tortilla chips instead of tortilla shells.  Though my daughters loved “my mistake” with a little butter.


    Once they lightly browned, flip over and cook until the second side is brown.  If you skilled is pretty warm this should take less than 30 seconds.  Overall the cooking time was about 10 minutes.

    Ingredient Amount Cost
    Flour 2 cups $ 0.249
    Baking Powder 1.5 teaspoons $ 0.048
    Milk 3/4 cup $ 0.140
    Salt 1 teaspoons $ 0.007
    Vegetable Oil 2 teaspoons $ 0.017
    Electricity 510 watts $0.030
    Total Cost   $ 0.492
    The Decision…


    Store Bought


    Low Price image  image  image  image  image 
    Great Taste image  image image  image  image
    Low Prep Time   image  image

    So just over $0.49 to make the same number of tortillas as the $3.39 store bought, that is over 6 times more.  To date this is definitely the best cost savings and I must say the taste between the two is not even comparable to the nice warm tortillas off the griddle.  Homemade is the hands down winner!


    Daphne said...

    I've been making my tortillas for a while now. I make spelt/whole wheat ones. I do love them and you can't beat the simple ingredients versus all those things you can't pronounce.

    Going Homemade said...

    If you have any recipes to share I definitely would like to try them out. Also if you have a secrets or techniques to successfully make burrito sized tortillas that would be much appreciated.

    Kitchenlady said...

    Just discovered your blog - very nice! I had hoped to write a blog much like this myself, but never have the time to blog much.

    Anyway, I have recently started making tortillas myself (with quite exactly your recipe.) I hate the "rolling out" part, but found out that if you don't mind the unusual shape, then using a pasta maker works *excellently*. They come out nice and evenly thin.

    I also find it vital to cook them as briefly as possible, otherwise they don't stay soft.

    Going Homemade said...

    Kitchenlady, I agree I think overcooking was my downfall on the larger tortillas (alternate recipes) hot skillet minimal cooking seems to be the right strategy. I actually like the irregular shapes no one will doubt they are homemade :)

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Nice blog. I have to say your tortillas are nicely round considering it was your first time. I have been making homemade tortilla/roti for few years now, it took me almost 2 years to make them in round shape :)

    I use whole wheat flour from Mayuri (Bellevue), it produces soft warm rotis.

    you are right, making it at home beats store price anytime.

    Going Homemade said...

    Glad I am doing something right. Theyt definately tatsed like they were supposed to. Well much better than store bought so guess that statement is relative :)

    Hiptobeme said...

    This is so much lighter than my recipe which uses a lot of shortening. I will try this for sure!