How To: Make Bacon (or Vegan) Tortillas


Every time that Mr. Fits, Tater and I are all home, lucky enough to wake up with no place to go, I make breakfast. I love this ritual, and I hope that it continues well into my old, old age (I do plan on living past 100, cooking the entire way, aided by a Rascal Scooter if necessary). Most of these breakfast involve bacon. For the past few months I have been saving the rendered bacon fat by pouring it through a mesh strainer into a small container and storing it in the fridge, waiting for brilliance to strike. I found the homemade tortilla recipe of the fabulous Rick Bayless (who is on my “Culinary Crush” list) and the bacon finally had a grand purpose.  If you are kosher, vegetarian or watching your saturated fat intake, or just crazy enough not to like bacon, you can use vegetable shortening, Smart Balance Light (it’s actually vegan), butter or oil.  Although the flavor won’t be the same if you use another fat and you will have to watch the ratios since these fats all behave differently. But if you can, save bacon drippings and try the bacon flavored tortillas, so incredible.

Bacon Fat Flour Tortillas

(Adapted From Rick Bayless)

Makes 12 tortillas

INGREDIENTS

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling the tortillas

5 tablespoons of fat (bacon fat, vegetable shortening, etc)

3/4 teaspoon salt

about 3/4 cup very warm tap water

DIRECTIONS

As I mentioned previously, save your bacon grease by pouring it through a fine mesh strainer into a container with a tight lid (just pour the next round on the top of the previous) and keeping it in the fridge. This stuff is liquid gold, don’t pour it down the drain.

1.   Combine the flour and fat (I used 5 tbs bacon fat) in a large mixing bowl, working in the fat with your fingers, until completely incorporated.

2. Dissolve the salt in the water, pour about 2/3 cup of it over the dry ingredients and immediately work it in with a fork.

The dough will be in large clumps rather than a homogeneous mass.

If all the dry ingredients haven’t been dampened, add the rest of the liquid (plus a little more, if necessary).

3. Scoop the dough onto your floured work surface

and knead until smooth.

It should be medium-stiff consistency — definitely not firm, but not quite as soft as most bread dough either. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

4.   Rest the dough.  Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll each into a ball.  Set them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes (to make the dough less springy, easier to roll).

5.  You can either press your tortillas using a tortilla press lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking, which I used

or you can roll them with a rolling pin using this method:

On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough into an even 7-inch circle:  Flatten a ball of dough, flour it, 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 7-inch circle, lightly flouring the tortilla and work surface from time to time.

Make sure the tortillas are very thin, almost thinner than you think they should be.

6. Heat an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat.  

Lay the tortilla on the hot griddle (you should hear a faint sizzle and see an almost immediate bubbling across the surface).

After 30 to 45 seconds, when there are browned splotches underneath, flip it over. You will know it is time to flip when the edges look dry and lighter in color.  Bake 30 to 45 seconds more, until the other side is browned; don’t overbake the tortilla or it will become crisp.  Remove and wrap in a cloth napkin placed in a tortilla warmer.  Roll or press and then griddle-bake the remaining tortillas in the same manner and stacking them one on top of the other.

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25 Responses to How To: Make Bacon (or Vegan) Tortillas

  1. Tina@flourtrader October 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    I used to make homemade tortillas some time ago, but I got away from it since I worked for a manufacturer. Anyhow, this post does inspire with the added bacon flavor. I may just dig out that tortilla press! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jaxie October 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

      I’m trying to get away from processed foods as much as possible and I was surprised at how easy it was to make these! It may just be the way I do things now :)

  2. claire @ the realistic nutritionist October 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    OMG I bet the flavor is SO GOOD!!!

    • Jaxie October 24, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

      Thank you. Bacon is pretty much a guaranteed win!

  3. sarah October 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    You had me at bacon fat…can’t wait to try these!

  4. Christine October 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    I have never made my own tortillas before, but I have been thinking about making my own.

    • Jaxie October 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

      You should! It isn’t as hard as most people think, give it a try =)

  5. Shawnda October 24, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    I’m totally intrigued. I’ve used butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, shortening, lard from the carneceria near our old house… but never bacon fat. What an interesting idea!

    • Jaxie October 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

      Thank you Shawnda!

  6. Steve @ the black peppercorn October 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    Oh My Word! This looks amazing. I have a tortilla press as well. I think I know what I am making this week! Thanks for this! Buzzed!

    • Jaxie October 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

      Enjoy! Next time, I’m going to make a half batch so I don’t stuff myself with tortillas all day!

  7. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. October 24, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    Ohh, I love that you used the bacon fat! I bet it gives these a lot of flavor!

  8. Eva Toneva October 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    Jackie, Thanks for the shared recipe! Very useful, delicious and beautiful! :)

  9. Baker Street October 25, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    Ooh. I’m sure these tasted yummm!

  10. Rhonda October 25, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    I always save my bacon fat, I should try it in tortillas!

  11. Anna October 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    What a great idea!! We go through so many tortillas and I keep meaning to make my own…I think you’ve finally convinced me to do it :)

    • Jaxie October 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

      YAY!! I think you’ll really like them, and it give a use for that bacon grease that would otherwise go to waste!

  12. Sara December 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Can you cool these and reheat like packaged tortillas? Also, when you use salt in recipes are you using table or kosher salt?

    Love your blog!

    • Jackie December 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

      Thank you Sara! I always use either Kosher or Sea salt. Either will work. I ate these over about three days, and just heated them like packaged tortillas.

  13. Becky January 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    I just made these tonight…I had tried one other tortilla recipe before and it was just okay. Then I found this recipe, and as soon as I saw the name “Rick Bayless” I knew this would be good. :) I used duck fat in place of the bacon fat, as I had a small dish of duck fat left over from the Christmas duck. OHMYNOM, so good!!! These were perfect, perfect, perfect. Never buying store-bought tortillas again. When I run out of duck fat I will try the bacon fat version and maybe some with a neutral-flavored fat as well. Thanks so much for sharing! This recipe is great and will become a staple in my kitchen. :)

    • Jackie January 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      Duck fat?! That sounds perfect! I’ll have to try it :)

  14. Woozie August 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Can you suggest how to modify this recipe to make corn tortillas? (…corn & bacon = <3…)

    • Jackie August 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

      I’m not sure. Most of the time corn tortillas are make with just masa harina and water, no fat. It would be interesting to try it with bacon fat!

  15. becca606 April 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    i just made these and they’re soo much better than the ones i usually make with vegetable oil. thanks for sharing the recipe!

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