I have never loved tortillas. As a kid, the only way you could convince me to eat a tortilla was if you microwaved it until it was crunchy. That meant heating the heck out of a corn or flour tortilla, for easily five minutes. Then you had to sprinkle cheese on top of it and give me some sour cream and salsa for the side. Scouts honor, I ate this meal at least 2-3 times per week. My dislike for tortillas is something I carried with me through the years. That is, until my husband decided he was going to make them himself. He had picked up, "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman (a book every person should have in their kitchen - It is kind of the "Joy of Cooking" of the 21st Century) and had found a recipe for homemade tortillas. He whipped up some tortillas one night, and I ate them. I actually even enjoyed them. Skeptical, I had him make them again. Second time around was just as good. You might ask, why would I make tortillas when I can buy them for relatively cheap? Well, I make them because you have not really tasted tortillas until you have tasted homemade tortillas. They are so simple to make. Water, flour and salt. That's it. You can make them whatever size you want and you can count on one hand how many ingredients they have. Again, just three.
In case I haven't convinced you to try making these, let me leave you with one more reason (aside from quick, tasty, and tastier). I was at a conference the other day and the speaker asked the question, "How long does homemade bread last?" The answer, 2-3 days, 4 if you are lucky. He then responded, "So what exactly is it that we are eating from the stores. It comes in a yellow bag and lasts for weeks at a time. It can be rolled into a marble and flicked across the kitchen counter. It cannot possibly be bread." Oh but it is. It is what we commonly refer to as bread. Isn't that problematic to you? The same goes for tortillas. In it's natural form, tortillas and bread shouldnt last a full work week. So why are we buying products that have so much in them that they last for weeks on end. While I may not be able to convince you that you can make homemade bread (though I promise you, you can!), maybe I can convince you to try these tortillas. Because they really do taste good.
Whole-What Flour Tortillas
Adapted from Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything
Servings: 6-8 medium tortillas
- 1.5 cups whole-wheat flour (or all-purpose), roughly 7 ounces
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2-3/4 cup warm water
- There are two ways to make these and both work equally well. One involves a food processor and the other a stand mixer with a dough hook.
- If you are using a food processor, place the flour and salt in the processor and pulse for 2-3 seconds. While it is running, slowly add the canola oil and 1/2 cup of water. Let the food processor runs until the dough forms into a ball. Add additional water 1 tbsp at a time to help flour congeal and form into the ball. Stop when everything is combined.
- If you are using a stand mixer, make sure you have the dough hook attachment. Add all of the ingredients, starting with a 1/2 cup of water. Let the mixer do the work, adding 1 tbsp of water at a time until all of the flour is incorporated. You don't want the dough to be too sticky.
- Break the ball of dough into 6-8 individual smaller pieces.
- Lightly flour a surface and roll each piece as thin as possible. The thinner the better. You want the tortillas to be 6-8 inches in diameter.
- Heat a medium to large skillet. Spray with canola oil non-stick cooking spray. Add the first tortilla to the pot and cook. Brown spots will begin to form or bubbles will rise in the tortilla (you can stop these by pushing down lightly on them with the back end of a spatula). When this happens, flip the tortilla. It should take 3-4 minutes per side in the beginning when the skillet isn't as hot. Towards the end of the batch, the tortillas should only take 1-2 minutes per side.
- One more perk - you can freeze the remaining dough and pull it out for later use. Sometimes I double the recipe and freeze what I don't want. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then seal it in a ziploc bag. When you are ready to use it again, set it at room temperature and let it defrost for 30 minutes to an hour. Then get rolling.