There are several secret ingredients. The first one is not so secret - it's more of a traditional, but underground ingredient. The ingredient that makes these tortillas taste so good is lard. Yep, delicious lard! It's how flour tortillas are made. (Sub out with vegetable shortening if you are vegetarian, of course.)
The second secret ingredient is my No. 2 Deluxe Pastry Flour. It has just the right balance of gluten-free flours for texture, pliability, and flavor. You need flavor in your flour to balance out that fat you're using. You know, the lard. It's delicious, but you want to taste flour with a beautiful enhanced flavor. As much as I like lard, you don't want the lard flavor to take over your tortilla. That's exactly what will happen if you use a flour mix with too much starch in it, and no flavor.
The third secret ingredient is flax seed. You need this for the flexibility. Did you know that xanthan gum does not make your gluten-free flour flexible? Flax seed does, though.
Now that you know the secrets, I'll show you the recipe.
Recipe for Perfect Gluten-free Flour Tortillas
This recipe makes about three 12-inch tortillas. Multiply the recipe as needed.
Whisk together in a bowl:
1 cup (135 g.) No. 2 Deluxe Pastry Flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp flax seed, finely ground
Drop into the bowl:
2 Tbsp Lard
Cut the lard into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or just blend it in with your fingers until it looks like coarse crumbs. Drizzle over the crumbly flour:
6-12 TBSP very warm water
Mix the water into the dough with your hands. Start with 5 or 6 Tbsp, then start kneading when it comes together. If it's still too dry, add more warm water until it feels like proper dough.
Let the dough rest, covered, for at least 15 minutes at room temperature. This helps the dough and the flax absorb the water and become flexible.
Turn on your cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat.
After the dough is done resting, knead it again for a minute and then do this test to see if it's the right texture. Roll a piece of the dough into a ball and press it down into a disk. Then use this guide to see if you need to adjust the water content:
Once it's perfect - and don't go to the next step until it is! - separate the dough into equal sized balls a bit bigger than a golf ball. Roll it out on a piece of wax paper that is liberally floured with potato starch. When it is a disk about 8 inches across, you might start to think it's not going to roll out more.
You would be wrong. Just dust it with starch again, and flip it over onto the piece of wax paper, freshly floured
Roll it out until it's about 12 inches wide, then stick your hand under the wax paper again and peel the tortilla off. (If at any point in this process the tortilla falls apart, just form it into a ball again and start over, adjusting the moisture content if needed.)
Slap the tortilla onto the hot griddle and cook for no longer than 30 seconds.
Flip the tortilla over and cook for no longer than 30 seconds on the other side.
Remove the tortilla to a plate and cover it with a towel. Cook the rest of your batch the same way, stacking the tortillas up under the towel as you go. Serve them right away while they are warm, or within a few hours. These tortillas are flexible enough to wrap around anything, or nothing.