Having spent almost 20 years living in or near San Francisco's Mission District, I've never bothered making tortillas at home since there was ample opportunity to buy delicious fresh tortillas made by people who obviously really know what they are doing (La Palma on 24th and Florida, if you're curious). Now I live a little father away and the closest tortillas are Trader Joe's Truly Handmade, which aren't bad but not quite the same either. So I've been curious about trying my hand at making my own from scratch. Do you have any advice?
I was really inspired by Magdalena Martinez Baustista in the video below but I'm almost sure that she's being making tortillas for dozens of years, which allows her to function with a grace and ease that makes it look easier than it really is. Plus, I don't have her amazing set up: the grinding stone, the press and the wood fire comal. Not to mention the nephew with a molino to grind my corn or even a metate for home grinding! Even her children take a short cut these days by purchasing already prepared dough.
Of course, Magdalena is making corn tortillas which requires masa harina (corn treated with lye) and a press to get them really thin and even. Perhaps making flour tortillas is a little easier and can be made with ingredients I usually have one hand such as flour, salt, baking powder, canola oil. Plus, flour tortillas can be rolled out by hand, so a press isn't required. So maybe that would be a good place to start? Sarah Rae makes it seem pretty easy in this recipe from a few years ago.
So please help me out here, Kitchn readers! What advice do you have for making good tortillas at home? Should I just go to Trader Joe's and pick up a package of their Truly Hand Made or is it worth it to make them from scratch? Do you use lard or canola oil in your flour tortillas? Rolling pin or press? Any experience with a wood-fired comal?