Monday, April 30, 2012

Homemade Tortillas

I love the convenience of tortillas. You can roll up veggies and cheese for quick snacks or make easy quesadillas. Peanut butter and jelly spread onto a tortilla, then rolled up and sliced into spirals make wonderful afternoon snacks. And of course, you can't forget tacos, burritos, and enchiladas! Tortillas are fantastic!

But the ingredients in store-bought tortillas are not fantastic. They are loaded with preservatives and unhealthy ingredients. So I decided to try my hand at making my own. And I loved how they turned out. I adapted a recipe from Beautiful 2 God.

Let me just admit right off that I'm circle-impaired. Meaning I can't roll out a tortilla in a perfect circle to save my life! Maybe I'll get better with more practice, but right now my tortillas generally turn out egg-shaped. Not to worry, though. When you wrap them around yummy ingredients, the shape really isn't that important. To me, knowing that I've used better ingredients makes up for it!

Here's what you need:

3 cups flour (I use white wheat)
1 cup warm water (if you use any kind of wheat flour, you may need a little more)
1/4 teas baking powder
1 teas salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix the water, oil, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. If you don't have a mixer, just do this by hand. It's not hard at all. Using the paddle attachment, slowly add the flour. Mix on low speed until everything is incorporated. Switch to the dough hook and knead until the dough forms a smooth ball. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, or a little more water if it is too dry.

Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape into balls. Allow to rest for another 10 minutes.

When resting time is over, use a rolling pin to roll the dough balls into 10-inch circles. Make sure you do this on a floured surface so your circles come up easily. You want them to be very thin, but if they're too thin, they'll tear easily.

On a hot griddle, cook the tortillas on one side for a couple of minutes, then flip over. Both sides should be lightly browned.

Continue with the process until all tortillas are cooked. Please note - if you want smaller tortillas for tacos or such, simply divide the dough up into smaller balls.

To freeze the tortillas for future use, stack them with waxed paper or parchment paper between each one. Slide into a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing. To thaw, place as many tortillas as you will need in the fridge overnight. If you forget to thaw them in the fridge, you can reheat them on the stove in a skillet. Be careful that they don't dry out, though.

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