Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Other than that one time you had a tortilla pressed in front of you at a Chiptole restaurant, have you ever really had a homemade tortilla?  Ok, maybe you have, but have you made them?  Seriously, they aren't that hard, and if you're afraid of working with yeast, these surely don't have yeast!  Pressed for time?  You can leave out the step for letting the dough rise for an hour after forming it into a large ball.  Have I convinced you enough to how easy these are to make?

Immediately after making these, I quickly assembled a standard lunch of the Outward Bound and Four-Trails trips of my past: a peanut butter and honey wrap roll up.  The best part of this was that because the tortillas were still warm from being hot off the griddle, the peanut butter melted, swirled in with the honey and made me one happy camper.  It also provided me with a nice flashback to eating these of the side of some road with our bikes in Wisconsin with Meg, Allie, Kat and Joan by my side or hurriedly eating while canoeing down a river in Canada, trying to avoid the mosquitos.

A few days later, these were used in bean & corn quesadillas that I made for my sister and I after we organized and cleaned our parents garage.  Seriously.  We're that good.  Now you go be good and make these!!

Whole Wheat Tortillas
Adapted from Rick Bayless

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling the tortillas
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 5 tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • about 3/4 cup very warm tap water 

  1. To make the dough, combine the flours and shortening in a large mixing bowl, working the two ingredients together with a pastry cutter (or your hands… doesn’t matter), until completely incorporated.  This should feel like wet sand.  Dissolve the salt in the water, pour about 2/3 cup of it over the dry ingredients and immediately work it in with a fork… or once again your hands (seriously, hands are the best kitchen gadget…ever).  The dough will be in large lumps at this point, not one big ball o’ dough.  If all the dry ingredients haven't been dampened, add the rest of the liquid (plus a little more, if necessary).  Scoop the dough onto your work surface and knead until smooth.  It should be medium-stiff consistency -- definitely not firm, but not quite as soft as most bread dough either.  Let this rest for about an hour.
  2. Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll each into a ball.  Set them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes (to make the dough less springy, easier to roll).
  3. Roll and griddle-bake the tortillas.  Heat an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough into an even 7-inch circle.  Flatten a ball of dough, flour it, then roll forward and back across it; rotate a sixth of a turn and roll forward and back again; continue rotating and rolling until you reach a 7-inch circle… a very very thin 7-inch circle.
  5. Lay the tortilla on the hot griddle (you should hear a faint sizzle and see an almost immediate bubbling across the surface).  After 30 to 45 seconds, when there are browned splotches underneath, flip it over.  Bake 30 to 45 seconds more, until brown spots appear; don't overbake the tortilla or it will become crisp.  Remove and wrap in a cloth napkin placed in a tortilla warmer.  Roll and griddle-bake the remaining tortillas in the same manner and stacking them one on top of the other.
  6. Fill with something yummy or snack on it plain.

1 comment:

Pari Vasisht said...

Hi Katherine. The tortillas are perfectly made and so well explained too. Thanks so much.
Do drop by at your convenience.


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