Our family loves tacos, burritos, etc, but I will admit that I am a terrible meal planner. I buy a variety of staples and produce when I grocery shop and our meals often revolve around whatever is in season at the moment paired with random flashes of inspiration (usually in the form of Pinterest). We don’t eat tortillas enough to keep them in our fridge all the time, and I never remember to buy them ahead of time, so it’s been useful to be able to make them fresh. It’s also ridiculously less expensive and I know I use better ingredients than a majority of those on the store shelves, so win win!
After perusing a few recipes online, none of them had everything I was looking for, so I started experimenting and this is what I’ve settled on as the best mix of flavor (bar none, these taste better than any store bought I’ve tried!), ease, consistency, digestibility and flexibility. I admit these are not quite as flexible as most commercial varieties, but I tend to over stuff mine like crazy so they just end up in a big U shape anyway!
This recipe is adaptable also for Gluten Free folks. I’ve done it, and while they were slightly less flexible, flavor was still fantastic and none of my GF relatives were “glutened” (yay!). Just substitute GF all purpose flour for the whole wheat and AP flours in the recipe and use a whole meal cornmeal that is certified GF to avoid cross contamination.
prep time: 10 minutes, yield: 8-10 tortillas
6 Tbsp fat (butter, lard, coconut oil, tallow) chilled until hard and diced
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c whole meal cornmeal
1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp chili powder (optional)
1 T whey or apple cider vinegar
1 c cool water
Measure dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Dice your fat (if using coconut oil, I recommend freezing first) and add to bowl of flours. Using a pastry cutter or two knives cut in the diced pieces of fat until mixture resembles cornmeal. You want the pieces of fat to be fairly small but don’t stress over it. Pour whey or acv into a liquid measuring cup and fill with cool water until liquid level is at 1 cup. Pour liquid into mixing bowl and stir until a ball of dough forms. Cover bowl and let sit on counter for 6-8 hours if you want to reduce the level of phytates and increase digestibility.
You can either cook these up ahead of time and reheat or make them fresh for your meal. It’s very important to keep a certain amount of moisture in the warm tortillas, however. If reheating, place them in a steamer basket and steam for a very few minutes, or use a closed earthen dish in the oven on a low temp. If fresh made tortillas are not going straight from the pan to plate, use a clean folded kitchen towel or lidded earthen dish to keep the tortillas warm and moist until you’re ready to top them.
When you’re ready to cook up your tortillas, use a heavy pan or skillet and medium heat. I love my non enameled cast iron for this job. No need to oil or butter the pan. Split your dough ball into halves in the bowl, then halve again and once more until you have 8 equal sized blobs of dough (or separate into 10 smaller balls, but that is harder to get them even sized). Generously flour your counter or a large cutting board and place one ball of dough in the center. Use you hands to rub flour over the surface of your rolling pin, and gently flatten ball into a disc with your palm. Roll from the center outward, flipping at least twice and flouring dough surface as necessary. Use a thin spatula to lift tortilla from work surface and transfer to hot pan. Cook until surface shows a few bubbles and then flip once. When bottom side is just starting to tan, remove from pan. While the first tortilla cooks, roll out the second, and so on until you’re done. Leftover tortillas (what is that?) should be wrapped well and can be stored on the counter or in the fridge. I have no idea how long these can be stored since ours are always eaten within 24 hours. 🙂
For a variation, try frying these tortillas in oil or tallow, filling with shredded meat or caramelized veggies and cheese, folding over or rolling into tubes while hot for dip-able appetizers that reheat quickly in the oven!