Monday, February 22, 2010

Flour Tortillas

I fell in love with homemade tortillas after a class with Chef Brad 8 years ago. There is really nothing like them in the stores. When people hear I make my own tortillas, some can't even fathom it. They think it takes strange ingredients or equipment or an elaborate process. The number one comment made in tortilla making classes is on the note of how surprisingly easy it is all around. The fact is that they only take a handful of common ingredients, you need only a rolling pin and a hot pan and depending on your level of practice (and how many you are making) they take from 15-30 minutes from start to finish.

How great is it to be so self reliant that you can make something so fabulous from staples in your own home even if you can't get to the store, the store is out/closed or you can't afford to buy them?

My recipe is a compromise. I always make sure people know that whole grain is an option, but the results are sub par. They still taste great, it is just that they can't hold up to a moist filling and will crack and crumble. Whole grain tortillas work great for quesadillas, but not burritos, unless you like to eat them with a fork. So to get a nice pliable tortilla that will hold in all the beans and salsa, a cup of unbleached white flour does the trick.

Here is my old recipe with a few updated ingredients that increase the nutrition amid the white flour.

1 cup white flour
1 1/2 cups sprouted flour
1/3 cup coconut oil or palm shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder or cumin (opt.)
1 cup hot water

Place flours, oil and seasoning(s) into mixing bowl. Cut in coconut oil with wire whips. Change to dough hook, start mixer and add water until dough pulls together. Add more white flour if dough is too wet. Let dough rest for 15 minutes. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into rounds. Roll out each round with plenty of flour or press in a tortilla press.
Cook 45 seconds each side on high heat (450 degrees). Use a nice pan that holds heat so that you don't have to wait for it to come back up to temperature between cooking each one. Wrap in towel to keep warm and moist. Of coarse you can make any size you'd like, just make sure your pan is the right size to accommodate.
links; Whole Foods for the Holiday's


  1. "Cut in shortening with wire whip." What shortening? Am I missing it in your recipe?

  2. Sorry, that was from the old recipe. You could use palm shortening, which is refined, but not hydrogenated like Crisco.

  3. Why do use coconut oil in this recipe instead of olive oil?

  4. Coconut oil is a more stable oil to be using for high temperatures. Also because it is higher in saturated fat makes a more pliable, less crispy tortilla.

  5. Kara - Looks like a great recipe! I like your explanation for how the whole grain affects the texture.

    I do usually do all whole-grain tortillas - and a quick warm up in a dry skillet gets them soft, but if we don't eat fast, they crack.

  6. I love making homeade tortillas too. Your class looks like a lot of fun. :)

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  8. Sounds very good as all your recipes Kara! Will have to try this one too! and hmm see if your tortillas can actually be as good as my "abuelita's" (grandma's). I would use my tortilla presser when making them, saves so much time!!!! :)

  9. But hand-rolling is very therapeutic! You will have to let me know how they measure up ;)

  10. Hi,
    Can you soak the flour/dough as you did for the multigrain pizza crust?

  11. Do you think it could work with all sprouted flour, or is the plain white flour necessary to achieve the right texture?

  12. For sure they work with all sprouted flour, but it does effect the texture, they will be more likely to split and will need to be eaten right after cooking otherwise they really crumble.

  13. I made flour tortillas with your spelt sourdough pizza recipe! I wanted flour tortillas but didn't want to go through all the work of sprouting and dehydrating spelt. I reduced the honey a bit and added extra oil. Although they were a little thick (I couldn't seem to get them thin enough), they were delicious. Next time, I will reduce the honey even more as you could detect a hint of it.

    That recipe made a ton of tortillas and as I ran out of time, I refrigerated the remaining dough and made the rest this morning. It worked fine. They were just as good as they were last night. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  14. That is great news, Veronica! The gluten is what is making them difficult to roll out. It gets worked as it is soaking.

    Thanks for sharing your variation and I am glad you found something that works well for you.

  15. Hi Kara! Since I finally sprouted successfully I have switched to this recipe, and I'm so excited about it! Made this recipe as follows except added a tsp of baking powder because I was nervous to go without since my other recipes used it and they came out perfect! But, why no baking powder? I will definitely try without next time if you say so :)

  16. I have done it both ways and couldn't tell the difference

  17. Made these last night with all whole wheat flour and they were perfect! I divided the dough into balls and let it rest in the bowl on my counter, covered with a wet dish towel, for several hours. The soaking period softened up the wheat and the tortillas weren't stiff at all.


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