Friday, November 12, 2010

Fluffy Whole Wheat Tortillas

After my last post on macarons which required tons of time and special equipment, I thought I'd better do an easy utilitarian recipe.  Homemade tortillas fits the bill.  They are simple because they require ingredients I always have in the cupboard and they are super tasty.  I like to use them for homemade fajitas, but it's also a nice recipe to have in case you are at home find yourself out of tortillas!   I like them with whole wheat flour, but you can easily use all purpose flour and have something that resembles the Texas flour tortillas I miss from El Chilito in Austin.

Nomsy steak fajitas!  No recipe for the fajitas, we just piled broiled steak, vegetables and cheese onto the homemade tortillas.
Fluffy Whole Wheat Tortillas Recipe
adapted from The Homesick Texan and The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

There are only 5 ingredients for these tortillas:
  • 2 cups of flour  (if you are making white tortillas, use 2 cups all purpose flour, if you are making whole wheat tortillas, use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup warm milk

First, add your flour, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl.  Slowly add your warm milk to the flour mixture until it becomes a loose dough.

Pull the ball of dough out and drop it on a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes.  I honestly don't look at a clock to see if 2 minutes has passed, I just knead it 100 times.  It makes me feel like a Zen bread baker like Edward Espe Brown

Put the bread in a clean bowl and cover it with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.  I left mine in there for about an hour while I went for a walk, and I didn't notice any difference.

Next, divide your dough into how many tortillas you want to make.  I wanted to make 8 tortilla size, but you can make them larger by doing 4 or even 2 if you want an enormous burrito.  Just make sure you have a skillet large enough to cook the tortilla!  Leave the tortillas dough balls covered for 10 minutes.

Press out your tortillas into circles with your fingers, then roll them out with a rolling pin wine bottle.

Cook the tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side in a dry, hot skillet.  I prefer my cast iron for this task (and basically every task).   They will puff up, which causes the little charred bits on each side that taste so good. Every once in a while you might need to take a dry rag and clean out the charred flour in the skillet so it doesn't get too smokey in your kitchen. 

When they are done cooking on each side, put them on a plate and cover them with plastic wrap.  This will make them really soft, even if you overcooked them slightly.  Not that I ever do that.