Thursday, June 23, 2011

{Going Old School - I Made My Own Tortillas! }

Making homemade tortillas was my second accomplishment off of my {Going Old School - Laura Ingalls Style } list of things to try. I really can't believe how simple and how yummy it was to make my own whole wheat tortillas. You really have to try this at least once. The only way I can see going back to store bought tortillas is if I need corn tortillas (because I don't have a recipe for those, yet) or if I need them in a pinch; because while these tortillas are easy to make, you have to let the dough sit for 4-24 hours.

I found this recipe for making tortillas on the Kitchen Stewardship site when I was linked there by my girlfriend Sarah for their yogurt cheese tutorial (Click here to read my post on my experience making it). You can make your tortillas using the whey from your yogurt cheese according to Katie the author of the site, I didn't this time but I may try it in the future. So if you're at all interested in my experience making Katie's 100% Whole Wheat Homemade Tortillas, which I gather you are since you're still reading, here we go!

Here are the ingredients you'll need:

white whole wheat flour (I got mine at Trader Joe's), butter, salt and water. That's right, only four ingredients!

As for tools you'll want a big bowl, a pastry cutter (you can use two knives but if you have five bucks, I highly recommend just picking up a pastry cutter - you use them for pie crusts, scones and other pastries too), a rolling pin and a skillet or griddle. And, just in case you haven't seen a pastry cutter - I hadn't until somewhat recently- here's what they look like:

Now on with the show! Put the 2 cups of flour and 1 tsp salt into your bowl and cut the butter into the flour and salt with the pastry cutter (or knives) until it looks like consistently sized crumbs (see the picture below).

Now you add the water. Mix with a fork until you have to knead with your hands (I didn't try this with my mixer, but I might try it next time with my dough hook... hmmm... we'll see.)

The recipe calls for a 1/2 cup of water, I had to use more. I don't know if it's our soft water here in Washington or our climate, but I recommend starting with the 1/2 cup of water and then adding a teaspoon or so at a time until you reach a smooth and moist dough ball like this:

Make sure that your dough is consistently moist throughout, not just on the outside (yes, I just used the word moist which I know made a few of you giggle or squirm). Because I kept having to add water, my kneading time was more than indicated in the original recipe. When my dough was ready, I wrapped it in plastic wrap and threw it in the fridge to sit for 4 hours.

Next, about twenty minutes before I wanted to cook the tortillas for dinner, I took the dough out of the fridge. You're supposed to let the dough warm back up to room temp, but I had a late start and could only give my dough 20 minutes to warm up. Then I rolled it into 9 small balls (the recipe recommends 8-11 balls depending on how big you want your tortillas). Because the dough warms up when you do this, I didn't find it crucial to wait until the big ball was at room temp. Also, this is a great time to let your toddler or kid get involved. They can use their play dough skills to help you roll balls.

Once you have your balls, I'd turn on your skillet or griddle to preheat since you want it really hot (Katie says that it should be at 400 degrees fahrenheit, to me that just means really hot).

Now that you have balls and your skillet is preheating, you'll want to lightly flour your rolling surface and rolling pin and roll out each ball as thin as you can. I was surprised at how easy it was to roll these out thin. They didn't fall apart or anything!

Next you cook 'em. The recipe says to cook them for about 20 seconds on each side, I just watched mine and they would start to puff up when they were ready to be flipped. Here's how they turned out:

Delicious! We were having cheese quesadillas with lime pesto from the Six O'clock Scramble, so then we filled the tortillas with the filling and cooked again for a yummy and satisfying dinner.

If you have the time, I highly recommend making your own wheat flour tortillas. I can't wait to do this again. If you work, I'd recommend making your dough the night before but if you stay at home, or it's the weekend, the morning or early afternoon will be fine for making the dough too.

I'm totally sold on "Going Old School" with my tortillas from now on. I hope that you try it out and enjoy the process and product as much as we did. Even Phoebe thought that the tortillas were delicious too and she had quit eating the store bought ones (she used to eat quesadillas all the time but then quit a while back so this was a big step forward in our choosy eater project).



Paige said...

Those look delish! I haven't made my own yet. Stephen has though. Oh, and if you are interested in saving more time with the rolling out process, the mexican grocery store over there on the Westside sells a tortilla press for under $10. You put your ball in, push down on the handle and voila!

jacquelyn said...

those sound so easy!! I am totally going to make them this week! I will let you know how they turn out. I am so incredibly tired of forking over so much money for tortillas and flatbread! yumm! thanks jessica!

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