Note: I referenced this recipe for use in my Loaded Belizean Fry Jack post. I have recently learned that the term “Fry Jack” refers to a fried bread, NOT a Belizean Tortilla. To see how to make your own, please check out this video for an excellent tutorial!
I think it is amazing how so many cultures have their own version of tortillas. I feel like in Japan, it was gyoza wrappers. In Belize, it is a fluffier version used to make Fry Jacks. Kind of a cross between Indian Naan and a Mexican flour tortilla. I knew I needed these in my life after my first bite into a Belizean Fry Jack. There are a few recipes (this one was my favorite and the one I closely based my recipe on) out there for Belizean tortillas, but none of them really gave me the results I wanted (most likely a result of dry Colorado air and altitude, more than anything). So I worked on developing a recipe that stayed true to the Belizean method and gave me a nice, fluffy Fry Jack at altitude.
The beauty of making your own fry jacks is that you don’t need anything super fancy. Order a tortilla press from Amazon immediately. They’re not expensive and you can thank me later for all the things you can do with it! Otherwise, you just need flour, water, baking powder, butter…the end. Isn’t that amazing? Such humble ingredients come together to make something that nourishes and acts as the perfect vessel for sopping up soup or holding melty cheese.
What would you do with a pile of these fresh off the press? (See what I did there…? #momjokes)
3 cups white bread flour (if you don’t have bread flour, run your all-purpose flour through a food processor until ultra fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups warm milk (right around 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit works well)
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a couple of times to mix, then add the butter and pulse until just combined. You want your mixture to be slightly crumbly.
Add 1 cup of the warm milk and pulse again, 3-4 times. Add the remaining milk, pulsing a bit with each addition, until the dough comes together enough that you can dump it out and knead it by hand without a lot of dry flour flying everywhere. You may not need all the milk. You may need all of it plus a tad extra. The dough should be soft but not sticky. (Super technical here, I know. This is a good time to remind you that making a good dough, for any purpose, is done mostly by feel. Many factors can change how dough turns out and you have to listen to it, in a sense, to figure out what it needs more or less of.)
Once the dough is kneaded and smooth, divide it into about 12 equal pieces. Form them into smooth balls and place them on your work surface under a slightly damp, clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Near the end of the resting time, preheat a skillet over medium heat.
When the dough has finished resting, line your tortilla press with wax paper or parchment paper. Place a ball of dough in the center of the press, and flatten it. Repeat with the remaining dough. Transfer one of the flattened balls of dough to the heated skillet and cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until it begins to bubble. Flip and repeat on the second side. (Note: it is possible to overcook these, making them tough. It may take a couple tries to get it right, so taste as you go with the first couple tortillas to perfect your timing.)
As you cook your tortillas, transfer them to a bowl or basket lined with a clean dish towel. Wrap them to keep them warm until you are ready to eat!