A Homemade Kitchen: Whole Grain Tortillas
A Homemade Kitchen series includes recipes that feature homemade versions of your favorite store-bought meals, snacks, treats, condiments and more. Homemade is better for your budget, body, and taste buds.
Store-bought, packaged tortillas are a sad fare. They’re flavorless, practically textureless, and often times don’t add anything to the dish unless they’re fried. Once you’ve had homemade tortillas, it’s hard to go back to the bland store-bought variety. Homemade tortillas actually taste like something on your tongue. They have a remarkable texture which makes you want to get down on your knees and thank our ancestors who first invented flatbreads.
You might also want to thank our ancestors who first utilized spelt as a flour. Although tortillas have been traditionally made with maize, spelt makes these tortillas a health food. Spelt flour is easier to digest than wheat and is a fabulous source of fiber, protein, vitamin B12 and also of manganese, niacin, thiamin, and copper. Spelt actually has four times the fiber of whole wheat flour. It also has a lovely mild, sweet, nutty flavor and can be used in place of wheat flour in many recipes. It can be found at natural food and health food stores such as Whole Foods or wherever you buy your grains in bulk.
Have I sold you on spelt yet? Now, before you think you can’t make this recipe, think again. It can be made with white whole wheat flour which might be easier to find. But if you can find spelt, I highly recommend trying it out! Your body will thank you.
Taste: Nutty, slightly sweet, and so much more flavorful than the white, store-bought kind.
Texture: Slightly thicker than the store-bought kind, chewy, soft.
Ease: This recipe is a bit more hands-on but none of the steps are difficult. It would be a fun recipe to make with children.
Appearance: Rustically beautiful.
Pros: Healthy, tastier than store-bought, can be refrigerated or frozen.
Cons: You really have to keep an eye on the tortilla as it baked and monitor the temperature if you have a finicky cooktop.
Would I make this again? Yes. I’ve got a batch in the freezer!
Whole Grain Tortillas
Makes 10-12 tortillas
From King Arthur Whole Grain Baking
- 2 cups (8 ounces) whole spelt flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup warm water is using spelt flour, 2/3 cup warm water if using whole wheat flour
Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl or food processor and mix together. Add the oil and mix into the flour thoroughly. Mix in the warm water (with the machine running, if using food processor). You’ll want a dough that’s soft, the spelt or whole grain flour will absorb liquid as it sits. Once the dough is mixed, let sit, covered, for 20 minutes.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead it a couple of times, and pat into an even disk. Cut the dough into 10-12 pieces, and roll each piece into a ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let them rest for 20 minutes. If you have a tortilla press, use it to flatten each ball. If you’re rolling the tortillas by hand, take one of the balls and flatten into a small disk. Using a floured rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface, roll the tortillas into a very thin, flat round about 6-8 inches in diameter.
Heat a heavy, ungreased griddle over medium-high heat. Toss a tortilla onto the griddle and let it heat on one side for about 1 minute, until it begins to brown in spots, then use tongs to lift and flip the tortilla to bake it on other side, about 1 minute. While the first tortilla is baking, roll the second one out. Transfer the baked tortilla to a plate and toss the next tortilla onto griddle. Repeat until all tortillas are rolled and baked. You may stack the tortillas and cover them with a towel to keep them soft and warm until you’re ready to use. You may also refrigerate tortillas for up to 1 week or freeze tortillas in an airtight container for up to 2 months.