Cilantro-Scented Flour Tortillas
Tortillas de Harina Perfumadas de Cilantro
Makes 12 tortillas
From Season 8 Mexico - One Plate at a Time
3/4 pound (2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling the tortillas
5 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening, or a mixture of the two, at room temperature
3/4 cup very warm tap water
1 4-inch sprig of rosemary, needles stripped from stem
1 loosely packed cup cilantro leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
3/4 teaspoon salt
1. Make the dough. Combine the flour and fat in a large mixing bowl, working in the fat with your fingers, until completely incorporated. In a blender, combine the water, rosemary, cilantro, garlic and salt. Blend to a smooth puree. Pour about 2/3 cup of the mixture 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). Scoop the dough onto your work surface and knead until smooth. It should have a medium-stiff consistency -- definitely not firm, but not quite as soft as most bread dough either.
2. 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).
3. Roll and griddle-bake the tortillas. Heat an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough with a rolling pin 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.
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. 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 and griddle-bake the remaining tortillas in the same manner and stacking them one on top of the other.