Monday, September 2, 2013

Make Your Own Tortillas - Save money and preservatives!

I bought flour tortillas and wraps for the longest time just assuming that there was some magic trick to making them and therefore it would just be too much work to make at home.  Turns out that is so far from the truth it's laughable.  When I finally got around to trying it, while living in Spain where tortillas are available but silly expensive, I goggled a recipe and just went for it.  I had no special equipment, not even a rolling pin, working in a tiny hostel kitchen with thin beat up pans.  So I think it's safe to say that pretty much anyone can do this and once you do it a couple times you'll get into a rhythm and it truly is super fast, like 10-20 minutes fast!  So I'll get right to it shall I?

Flour Tortillas
2 1/2 c all purpose flour*
2 1/2 c whole wheat flour*
1-2 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 c vegetable oil, like canola/rapeseed**
1 1/2 c boiling water**

Combine flours and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add oil and boiling water and mix and knead into a soft, but not sticky, dough.  Be careful of using your hands with the hot water.  Allow the dough to rest about 5 minutes and preheat a griddle or pan(s).  Before I used a griddle I would use 2-3 pans at once.  Heavy bottomed pans (cast iron is great here) is best but thinner pans can be used.  They will not require much preheating.  Once the dough has rested a bit divide into desired number of tortillas.  I usually use these for tacos and would divide the dough into 32 balls.
Sprinkle your work surface with flour and have extra handy as needed.  Roll dough fairly thin but so you can still handle it.  We're not looking for paper thin here.  Place your rolled tortilla onto the hot griddle or pans, pans should be dry, no oil needed.

You may need to increase or decrease the heat on your pans as they come up to temperature.  What you are looking for are small/medium bubbles to start forming on your tortilla within a few seconds.  The first one or two for me always take a bit longer as I usually don't wait for things to preheat properly.  Once you have those bubbles all over your tortilla (or you check and the bottom is starting to lightly brown) then flip and cook the other side for a few more seconds.  Once everything is nicely hot, but not smoking, my tortillas usually take roughly 30 seconds per side.  To steamline the process I am cooking and rolling out dough at the same time.  Once your tortilla is cooked pile them up, they are ready to eat.  If you are storing them allow them to cool fully so as not to trap loads of moisture in with your tortillas.

*You can mix this amount of flour any way you desire.  I have used only all purpose flour and all whole wheat as well.  I prefer a mixture of the two for the best texture.  The resulting tortillas are soft and light but also flavorful and filling.  In general all purpose white flour gives softer fluffier more flexible results, whole wheat will be heavier and make for stiffer cooked tortillas.  You can also directly substitute spelt flour without trouble.
**You can also change the ratios of oil and water within this amount although I have never tried an oil free tortilla.  I have found that this amount of oil really helps in maintaining a soft flexible tortilla once they have cooled in in the following couple days without needing to reheat the breads.

I'm writing out this recipe fast and furious so if something is unclear or you have general questions please feel free to ask and I will try to clarify or modify the recipe :)


Mandee said...

Your tortillas look great! I think I have made some once but I really should do it again :)

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