Homemade Flour Tortillas

I lieu of my recent post Do You Know What You’re Eating? I decided that I would not buy flour or whole wheat flour tortillas from the store anymore. At least not until I could find a brand that did not put the additive L-cysteine in it. This is the non-essential amino acid made from human hair and duck feathers. I don’t know about you but I can’t get the thought of ingesting these non-edible things out of my mind, not to mention the moral issue of consuming human parts.

I’ve looked at the breads and cereals I use and did not find this ingredient. That’s not to say it’s not in some breads and cereals, but I concluded that it’s used more as a elasticity-like binder since I’ve only found it in tortillas and flat breads. This is difficult for me, as these two forms of bread are my favorites. Now I have to either go without or make my own, which is what I attempted to do recently.

For the record I should say that in any new cooking/baking endeavor the recipe in question rarely ever comes out perfect. I usually have to try it several times, and often using different recipes or techniques to get the result I am aiming for.

I looked for a recipe for tortillas that didn’t call for lard. I don’t even know what lard is other than using straight Crisco, and well….I’m just not ever going to do that. So I asked around and was given one using whole wheat flour and vegetable oil. Then I saw another recipe on the Tasty Kitchen site and it also called for a non-lard oil. Comments on that post suggested that olive oil would work just as well. This is good because I typically use EVOO for everything.

So far I’ve only made the first recipe, using EVOO and a mix of flours (25% unbleached and 75% whole wheat.) The recipe said all whole-wheat would work but in my experience you can almost never use all whole wheat. In this case, 75% whole wheat may have been too much as well, but I won’t know until I try it again.

2 Cups whole wheat flour (or white or half of each)

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vegetable oil

3/4 cup water or milk

Stir flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle in oil. Stir in water and work with fingers to form a sticky ball. Add flour as needed if dough is sticky. Knead until smooth and soft. Dough should be smooth. Cover and rest for 30 minutes. Divide into 8 pieces and roll into a 6″ diameter circle.

Heat ungreased cast iron pan on medium-high heat. Lay a tortilla in the pan and cook for 40 seconds. Flip, and cook another 40 to 60 seconds.

As thin as I rolled them out, they still puffed up while cooking. Some were thinner than others. Overall they were good but more flat bread-ish. (Guess I’ve got a decent flat bread recipe already, huh?) I will have to keep trying. I don’t see how this is the sort of thing you’d get perfect on the first try.

My little helper 🙂 He did such a great job of rolling out the dough.

I served this with my Shredded Buffalo Chicken. Click the link for the post 🙂

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