Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

I LOVE Mexican food. Literally, I could eat it every day and never get tired of it. I'm a lot like Rick Bayless in that manner I would suppose. I mean, we are both as "gringo" as can be when it comes to our physical appearance and probably our heritage. But we both have fallen in love with the culture and cuisine that is all Mexican. Thus, with the rising cost of whole wheat tortillas (bought not for their authenticity but for their health benefits) I thought I would give my hand at trying to make some at home.

Here is the recipe I went off of to get an idea of what to do. Then, I futzed and came up with my own variation.

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup boiling hot water

Mix together flours and salt. Add oil and mix until the oil is equally mixed throughout the flour. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the hot water. Mix together until a soft dough is formed. If dough is sticky then add a little flour until it is not. Likewise, if dough is too dry and will not pull together, add water teaspoons at a time until the right consistency is reached.

Roll into small balls. This picture is after they have rested for an hour covered.

Roll into tortillas between two sheets of parchment paper.

Or instead of rolling them out, purchase a Tortilla Press and use that. I thought I would be brilliant and use my cast iron skillet to press out the tortillas (very Alton Brown, I would say).

Well, if I had wanted my tortillas to be a 1/4 inch thick than that would have been a great solution. I did use the cast iron skillet to start out my flat disk and then I used a rolling pin to do the rest of the work. So, the result was not perfect round tortillas but maybe that will come with practice. Oh, and at first I tried to use wax paper and found out that it does not hold up very long and it is best to use parchment paper. Then you need to cook the tortillas. Everywhere I have read it seems you need to have one skillet at medium-high and another at high heat. So that's what I did. The pressed tortilla goes first onto the medium-high skillet for about 30 seconds and then onto the high heat to finish cooking.

Store these in an air tight container. I happen to be keeping mine in the fridge. You do need to warm them up to make them pliable again but hey, you need to do that with the store bought ones too! The kids loved them slathered with butter, cinnamon and sugar then rolled into little cigars. They made a good snack! All in all, I would say they were a success. However, I think they would be even better made with lard. I am going to get some masa mix at Aldi's and try that next time to make fresh corn tortillas. I'll report back with the findings.

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