Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Whole Foods Recipe: Whole Wheat Tortillas
I believe it is a truth universally agreed upon that hole-in-the-wall places always have the best food. About 30 minutes from us is a famous Mexican spot with literal holes in the wall as it is in a super sketchy part of town and apparently the occasional stray bullet has found its way into the humble building. The chairs are broken, the tables are ancient and the A/C is pitiful but the food! Oh the food.
The food itself is wonderful but the thing that really elevates the experience is the fresh, homemade tortillas this place is famous for. They have "butter tortilla" on their menu, which is exactly what it sounds like. A huge, fresh, tortilla pulled straight from the pan, slathered in butter, wrapped in foil and slapped directly into your hand. It is divine.
Unfortunately, driving 30 minutes into sketchyville just to get a buttered tortilla isn't high on my to-do list for most days so I decided to learn the art of the tortilla. Pre whole foods I used this recipe from Orangette and was thrilled. The results were exactly as I had hoped.
Nowadays, things like all purpose flour and shortening are off the table. Fortunately, this recipe for whole wheat tortillas came to the rescue (bonus: the dough is actually easier to work with). I've used regular whole wheat, white whole wheat, and once, when at my parents' house and no wheat flour was available, all purpose flour. The results have been consistently good across the board. The nice thing about a fresh homemade tortilla is that it is a fresh homemade tortilla no matter which kind of flour you use. I make them at least once a week and I get faster at it every time.
Also, I've used olive oil successfully in this recipe but the last time I made them they turned out a lot more olive oily tasting than I'd like. Probably better to stick to a more neutral oil like canola. This little tutorial here has some good helps on cooking them just right.
Whole Wheat tortillas
Adapted from here
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (regular or white whole wheat will work)
scant teaspoon salt
1/2 cup neutral tasting oil
3/4 cup warm water
In a medium sized bowl stir together the flour and salt. Drizzle in the oil and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the water. You may not need all of it, you want a cohesive dough that's not too sticky.
Knead the dough for a few minutes to incorporate all the ingredients. At this point you can wrap it in plastic and let it rest for 15-30+ minutes (which makes it a bit easier to work with) or if you're in a hurry you can skip straight to dividing it into 12 equal pieces (if you have a kitchen scale and are crazy OCD about things like this, the dough balls should weigh around 1.7 ounces each. Uh, not that I always weigh them or anything. Ahem).
On a lightly floured surface roll each piece into a 8-10 in circle. I cook them on my big griddle set to 350 degrees for about 45 seconds on the first side (look for big puffy bubbles) and more like 30 seconds on the other size.
Eat immediately or store in the fridge or freezer.