How to Use Flour Tortillas for Baking

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Made with flour, water, fat, salt and, sometimes, baking powder, tortillas were called "little cakes" by Spaniards who came to Mexico in the 1500s. The Spaniards began making their little cakes with wheat instead of corn and the change stuck, with flour tortillas typical in northern Mexico in the modern era. Flour tortillas provide wrappings for tacos and burritos that you can whip up in minutes for a quick, midweek dinner, but they give you even more options when you bake them in the oven.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Salt
  • Cookie sheet
  • Meat, cheese and bean fillings
  • Oil
  • Kitchen shears
  • Chili powder or teriyaki sauce
  • Sugar and cinnamon
  • Baking pan
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small gratin dishes or muffin tins
  • Salsa
  • Eggs

Appetizers and Desserts

  • Cut tortillas in eight wedges for tortilla chips, and bake them on a cookie sheet in a 450-degree Fahrenheit oven for eight to 12 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking. Spray the tortillas with oil and sprinkle with salt if you want a more flavorful chip.

  • Place cheese, cooked meat and beans on an open tortilla and top with a second tortilla to make a quesadilla. Brush or spray the tortillas on both sides with a bit of oil and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, turning once. Cut the quesadillas with kitchen shears for easy serving.

  • Cut tortillas into 1/4-inch strips to bake into spicy appetizers or sweet desserts. Brush or spray the strips with oil and sprinkle with salt and chili powder, and drizzle with teriyaki sauce for appetizers; or add sugar and cinnamon drizzled with apple or apricot jelly for dessert. Bake the strips in a 350-degree F oven for 10 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally until they are golden brown.

Main Dishes

  • Bake flour tortillas filled and rolled up with meat, cheese, beans or any combination of vegetables in a baking pan topped with enchilada sauce in a 350-degree F oven for about 45 minutes. Cover the pan with foil for soft enchiladas and remove the foil for the last 10 minutes, if you like enchiladas with crunchy tops.

  • Spoon a few tablespoons of salsa into the bottom of muffin tins or gratin dishes and place baked flour tortilla chips along the sides of the pan to make huevos rancheros, or baked eggs. Crack one or two eggs into each dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, until the eggs are set. Top the eggs with cheese before baking and with chopped cilantro when you remove them from the oven.

  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F to bake tortilla pizzas. Use large flour tortillas, brushed or sprayed with oil on the top and bottom, and top the pizzas with modest-size portions of your favorite pizza toppings. Bake the pizzas on a cookie sheet for eight to 10 minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Serve baked tortilla chips with any sort of salsa, from a shrimp, lemon and red onion mix, to a tomato salsa with pineapple or mango added in.
  • Making quesadillas in the oven allows you to create multiple and varied versions at one time instead of making them one at a time in a skillet.
  • Choose smaller-size flour tortillas to reduce the calorie count for your tortilla dishes.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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