Monday, January 18, 2010

How to make wheat tortillas

For several months now I've been making tortillas at home. It takes a little effort and certainly isn't as time friendly as buying them, but it's cheaper. And they're wheat so it's healthier too!

Give it a try!

(Original recipe found at CuisineNie)

Whole Wheat Tortillas

2 Cups whole wheat flour (plus more for dusting)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2  tablespoons olive oil
Approximately 1 cup warm tap water

 In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and olive oil. I like to mix the dry ingredients a bit before I add in the olive oil. It doesn't mix in fully, but rather clumps up in little balls with the flour. That is perfectly fine. Don't be alarmed.

Next add the tap water. I measure out about two cups and then add it one tablespoon at a time. The original recipe only calls for half a cup, but I need way more than that. I think because I use store bought flour and the original uses home ground wheat. But no matter what, don't just dump the water in.
Patience is required here. Stir in each tablespoon of water until it is completely combined. You just want the dough to come together, but not be sticky. Sticky is bad.
Once you have your dough ball take it out of the bowl and knead it on a lightly floured surface about twenty times. Just until it's smooth.  Now cover it and let it rest for 15 minutes. Remember there isn't any yeast, so it doesn't need to rise. You just want all those ingredients to have a minute to meet and greet.
Wash some dishes. Tweet about making tortillas. Do some laundry. Take a potty break (but for heaven's sake wash your hands!). But don't touch that dough for 15 minutes.

Ok, now we're ready to roll them out.

Take out your dough ball and cut it in quarters, like so.
Then cut each quarter into three equal(ish) parts. Like so.This will give you twelve equally sized tortillas. Throw the dough wedges back into the bowl, just to get them out of the way for a bit.
Get your flour back out. I know you put it away while you were cleaning up. It's okay, I did the same thing. You also need a rolling pin, or something like a rolling pin. Once when my rolling pin was dirty and I was desperate I used a cylindrical vase. No one knew the difference.

One more tool and then we're set. Get out your electric griddle and heat it to about 325. If you don't have an electric griddle go out and get one. I'll wait.

Just kidding. If you don't have an electric griddle I'm sure a non-stick pan over medium heat will be just fine.

Flour your work surface and then pick up one of the dough wedges. Roll it into a ball (you might want to flour your hands a bit) and then use your fingers to flatten and stretch it until it's in kind of a circle shape. Put the dough onto the floured work surface.
Sprinkle a little more flour on top and then roll it out. The dough is very elastic and likes to spring back into shape. Just apply pressure and roll from the center to the edge and eventually you'll end up with a nice flat tortilla. You might want to flip it a few times to make sure it doesn't stick to your work surface. Roll it out until you think it's a little thinner than you think a tortilla should be. They plump a bit when you cook them. Also, they don't need to be perfect. If you try to roll out a perfect circle you'll go crazy.

Now throw it on the griddle. No need to spray with cooking oil, it won't stick. I promise.

This is where it's good to have an assistant. You only want to cook it about 30 seconds on each side, but it takes a long time if you stop rolling and cook each tortilla individually. I usually try to multitask; rolling and cooking and flipping at the same time. It's a hair pulling activity. If you have someone around who is handy with a spatula I recommend that you employ their talents.

You know the first side is done when little bubbles form. Flip over the tortilla and cook the other side for a few seconds. It's done!
Repeat this with the remaining eleven dough balls.

Pile on with your favorite toppings and feed to your hungry husband.
 Or eat them all yourself. You've earned it!

(Cooks note: To store leftover tortillas I wrap them in paper towels and then in saran wrap. They'll stay fresh like this in the fridge for several days.)

1 comment:

  1. this is reason 172 as to why i'll never be the domestic goddess you are