Teach Eat Love

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Tortillas are one of those things that I never really want to make but that I’m always glad I did. They’re easy – and get easier after you make them a few times.

tortilla recipe

But they’re also normal, unlike their store-bought counterparts. I scoured the shelves at my local grocery store for tortillas that weren’t filled with a litany of science-project sounding ingredients to no avail.

Then I realized that the scary ingredients in conventional tortillas are necessary to keep them “fresh” for so long; bread products by nature will get stale within days (or hours, in the case of fat-free breads like baguettes). It takes crazy food engineering to keep bread soft, pliable, and mold-free for months.

I do keep some frozen Ezekiel brand tortillas on hand for quick meals, but they’re kind of pricey, so I like to make my own when I can. These are hearty and stand up to the messiest fillings. Don’t let the idea of pulling a rolling pin out scare you away – they’re really simple. If you make the dough and let it rest while you’re preparing the taco filling, these come together in very little time.

Adapted from Jennifer Reese’s awesome book, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour*
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
5 tablespoons shortening**

*Feel free to adjust the ratio a little if you want more or less whole wheat.
**I use Spectrum brand non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening, but I’ve also used olive oil with success. Reese’s original recipe calls for lard or neutral-tasting oil.

1. Stir together the flour and salt.
2. Work the fat into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter (or whatever you have on hand – a fork will do fine).
3. Add 3/4 c. of water and stir will until you have dough – add more or less water as needed. Knead the dough (think “massage” if you haven’t kneaded dough before) until it’s one smooth consistency that bounces back a little when you poke it.
4. Roll into a log. Cut the log into quarters, and then divide each quarter into three balls for a total of 12 balls. (You can just pinch off pieces from the dough, but I think it’s easier to make a log and then cut it up). 
5. Cover and let them rest for about 20 minutes if you’ve got time. (Why? Resting lets the gluten take a break, which makes it easier to roll out. If you skip the resting, they’ll still taste good, but they’ll spring back a bit after rolling). 
5. Heat an ungreased skillet over medium until water sizzles on it. Don’t add any oil – we’re going to dry fry these tortillas. If the dough is sticky feeling, flour the counter. Roll each ball out into a circle-ish shape about 6-8 inches around.
6. Toss the tortilla in the skillet and cook until it starts to get blistered and dark in spots (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Flip, cook, and repeat until done. Cover the cooked tortillas with a paper towel to keep them warm and soft.

Bon App├ętit!

Want some yummy tacos that are ready in significantly less than 30 minutes?

Black Bean and Pumpkin Tacos


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