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Whole wheat flour tortillas

August 19, 2012

I’m getting closer to arriving at my holy grail of flour tortilla recipe.  It’s a recipe that creates a tender, “fluffy” , pliable, and tasty tortilla, one that resembles as closely as possible those that I grew up with.  In the mean time I had reason to make some whole-wheat flour tortillas.  I had some leftover hummus in the fridge but found myself without any homemade bread or pita.  I didn’t want to go through the time and effort to make pita bread  so I thought that  whole-wheat tortillas would be easier and quicker to make.  I wanted something soft and pliable and not too heavy on the whole wheat.  A 1 to 1 ratio of white to whole-wheat flour worked fine but I wanted a lighter version and settled on a 2 to 1 ratio of white to whole wheat.  Now that I had to work out and tweak a recipe,  it was going to take longer than making a batch of pita bread , but I was on a mission.  After a few trial runs, I came up with what I think is a good recipe.  They were tasty, soft, and pliable and also kept well in the fridge.  They worked well for making hummus tacos.  A good sign for me is that they were all eaten, with none lingering in my refrigerator.

Whole-wheat flour tortillas:

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 scant teaspoon salt

1.5 ounces vegetable shortening  (about 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon)

about 3/4 cup warm water

In a mixing bowl mix the flours, baking powder, and salt until evenly distributed. Work in the shortening with your hands until well dispersed.  There should not be any clumps of shortening.  Add the warm water and mix until there is no dry flour left. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes to smooth it out.  It should knead easily since the dough should be neither wet and sticky  or dry.  Divide the dough into 8 portions and form them each into a smooth ball. Cover well with plastic and let rest for about 1 hour.  If not covered adequately, a dry crust can form on the dough.   Set your iron skillet or comal on medium heat while you begin rolling out the portions to a round shape.  For some reason probably having to do with the whole wheat flour they are a little more difficult to shape perfectly round than those made with just all-purpose flour.  But as they cook on the skillet they round out a little more evenly as they slightly shrink back. You should try to roll them thin since they will  “fluff up” as the heat activates the baking powder.  Each side will take about 45 seconds.  To store, I place  them in a kitchen cloth and then wrap up in plastic. I hear that tortillas also freeze well.  I would be interested in seeing how olive oil would work as a substitute for the shortening.

Whole wheat tortillas subbing for pita bread

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Roberto Gonzalez permalink
    August 19, 2012 8:43 pm

    Great post! I am inspired to try the recipe! I also liked that you wrote about the comal/skillet. I think that the comal is so important in the process, I treasure mine which is about 60 years old and has many stories and tears as a patina. If the house were burning down I would save it first. Good writing Gerard!!! We need to get you a publisher for your next book!

  2. August 20, 2012 12:38 am

    Roberto, I can understand about treasuring your comal. My molcajete was passed to me from my grandmother. They are one of a kind. Thanks for the comments!
    Gerard

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