The Tortillas Don’t Ring a Bell

I am really not fair to the Mexican restaurants in the Cleveland, Ohio area where I live. Having grown up in southern California where Mexican food is plentiful, cheap and really, really good, it was tough to move to an area with a much more limited set of choices. I have been known to tell visitors to the area that we should not go out for Mexican as there is a restaurant with โ€œBellโ€ in the name that is on the top 5 list of Mexican restaurants in the area.

To be fair, we have a few decent choices for a good Mexican meal, but it really is nowhere near as prevalent as in the Southwest. I love going into a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Phoenix or San Antonio and having a home-made tortilla with well spiced meat and fresh peppers and onions. I will occasionally make Mexican food at home, but to date had never made tortillas. The other day I decided to rectify that.

The tortillas were pretty good. I used most of them for cooking, but did eat one by itself.

I actually had the lard sitting in my fridge from a previous recipe, so I was glad to use some of it up.

As with many things, tortillas were much easier to make than I would have guessed. I decided to make burrito sized tortillas, so I cut the dough into ten pieces instead of the quantity called for in the original recipe.

One of the keys to making a good tortilla Is getting the thickness right. Ideally you would use a tortilla press or have a set of rollers to put it through, but I had to rely on the old rolling pin.

The tortillas were good and while I wonโ€™t give up buying pre-made ones for much of my cooking, I wonโ€™t hesitate to make my own when I have time, and want to have a taste of the southwest.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 45 min | Makes: 24


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 1 1/2 cups water


1. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the lard with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

2. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side. Place the cooked tortilla in a tortilla warmer; continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough.

Nutritional Info:

NutritionAmount Per Serving (24 total) Calories 86 cal 4% Fat 1.3 g 2% Carbs 16 g 5% Protein 2.2 g 4% Cholesterol 1 mg < 1% Sodium 138 mg 6% See More Based on a 2,000 calorie diet


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Fried, Lunch, Mexican, Recipes, snack

Author:The Ranting Chef

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22 Comments on “The Tortillas Don’t Ring a Bell”

  1. January 2, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Wow, so true! my wife is a native Californian, I am a native Michigander. We went to Mexico for our honeymoon… Real GOOD Mexican food. up here… Nah. Tough to find anything even sort of close. She knows what real Mexican food is, as do you!


  2. January 2, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Will you try whole wheat tortillas as well? Or corn? I’m guessing you’re always up for a new challenge!


  3. January 2, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    A piece of PVC pipe is what many of the local tortilla makers use instead of a rolling pin. Easier to make perfectly round tortillas.


  4. January 2, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Just made mole for the first time for New Year’s Eve dinner–these would have been a delicious addition. On the “to cook” list!


  5. January 2, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Looks delicious I’m going to have to make try it. Nothing goes better with coffee than something sweet.


  6. January 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    I thought the “Bell” place was Mexican food until I moved to Texas…no comparison! Congrats on the tortillas.


  7. January 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Looks yummy! I know what you mean. I’m from CA and my husband is from New Mexico and the Mexican/Southwest food just doesn’t compare anywhere else. We’re always asking family to bring up green/red chili. My mouth waters just thinking about it!


  8. January 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    I love Mexican food. I’ll have to try this recipe out some time. ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. January 2, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Leaving in the Cleveland area definitely has some food draw backs I have sadly found out….Can you help with my Chinese Food black hole Cleveland has thrown me in?


    • January 3, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      I have only found spotty success with much disappointment, but I have to admit I haven’t tried much here. A couple of Thai places aren’t bad (Strongsville, Great Northern). I hear some on the near east side are fairly decent, but have not tried them yet.


  10. Rita Bellinger
    January 3, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    Reblogged this on The Wordy Photographer.


  11. Vibrant Bean
    January 3, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    We are totally spoiled in CA with fantastic Mexican food. It’s my absolute favorite. Most of my favorite spots here all make their own tortillas in front of you. Amazing! Good work on trying your own ๐Ÿ™‚


  12. January 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    from scratch?….totally impressed!


  13. January 3, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Love the pun in the header. I never grew up with mexican food so can’t really appreciate it but homemade anything is always much healthier and tastier!


  14. January 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    The last time we visited my family in So Cal, I had the most amazing chile relleno, in a tiny place in Ontario. I dreamed about it for weeks after we returned to the great white NH. We do have a couple of decent places for Mexican here, but nothing like Southern Calif.
    I made some corn tortillas a while back, it is really easy and fun. I should make some more! Thanks.


  15. January 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    As a So Cal gurl I had never made Mexican or Chinese food, because I had it for lunch at some great hole in the wall every day. Moved to Oregon and was in a wasteland — I have learned that anytime it is Mex or Chinese + Burgers you know that they have no idea what they are doing. Now I have made both for many years, and for me, tortillas are like sliced bread; we eat them every day and the insides are whatever we feel like putting in them, from Mexican items to eggs to curry-full tasty things, leftovers or buttered and fried, or with sliced avocado and blacked hot peppers — yum. And yet, I have never made my own. This is inspiring. Must do!


  16. January 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    Thank you so much for your post. Mark never believed me in regards to how wonderful real Mexican food should be. I too am a native Southern Californian. We never, absolutely never go out for Mexican food here in South West Indiana. Although we have a couple of local restaurants that are actually owned and operated by immigrants from Mexico, they do not prepare the recipes the way they would at home. I once asked an owner why he wouldn’t serve the community authentic Mexican food? He’s reply, the people here don’t like it, they prefer a tomato ketchup based recipe for everything. Needless to say this is why I prepare all of my heart’s desires when it comes to Mexican Food. Thank goodness I’m a Southern California girl who comes to town with traditional family recipes for all my favorites. Had to read your post to Mark as he always tells me I’m to picky about this topic. Thanks again for your post.


  17. January 5, 2013 at 3:29 am #

    What a great job! They look fantastic. I haven’t made tortillas in years. I live in SoCal and really don’t need to though. I kind of relate to your problem. I am of Puerto Rican descent and have a hard time finding certain ingredients I need. If you feel the need to try to cook Mexican again there are a few internet stores I ordered from and work well for me.

    There are 3 sites I use.

    Good Luck.


  18. January 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    I keep telling myself I’m gonna make tortillas one of these days…


  19. January 8, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    I’ve been experimenting with traditional Mexican food recently myself. While I have made tortillas in the distant past, your post has reminded me to try them again. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚



  1. A Real Winner « Rantings of an Amateur Chef - January 3, 2013

    […] The Tortillas Don’t Ring a Bell […]


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