Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Easy 100% Whole Wheat Tortillas {freezer friendly, makes 24 large tortillas}

Becca here with a recipe I'm excited to share!  I actually did quite a bit of experimenting with making different types of whole grain tortillas, both corn & wheat, before settling on this recipe that I had the most success with and based this one on.  Tortillas are great for so many quick meals, different types of wraps, enchiladas, quick quesadillas that are perfect for whatever leftovers you have left in the fridge plus a bit of cheese, etc. but the 'regular' white flour ones are really pretty nutritionally void, plus have a lot of preservatives and other things I generally avoid.  And the much 'better' ones are too expensive for me to buy regularly for my growing family.  The recipe I'm sharing below was the all around winner, both in taste and ease of preparation.  The dough is very forgiving and easy to work with; I haven't ever had trouble with quickly rolling the dough out, or with holes or tearing when transferring them to the griddle, something I had trouble with other recipes' doughs doing.  It's really a very basic recipe, requiring just 4 ingredients, including water!  The actual hands on time is probably significantly less than what you are expecting also; I can have 24 large (this is a large dinner plate they're sitting on here, these are big tortillas!) tortillas made on my large griddle, cooking 2 at a time, easily in 30 minutes, including rolling out time, etc., and still be fixing the other things to go with them while they cook.  You can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or freeze in a large ziptop bag until you're ready to use them.  As I take them off of the griddle, I stack them onto a plate topped with another plate of the same size (it's okay if they overlap a little bit) to keep them warm, moist, & pliable until they're all finished and we're ready to eat.  Don't let the length of the directions fool you either; although you do have to plan ahead a bit to allow the dough to rest, you basically just roll out the dough & cook it on the griddle.  Since I think this is something brand new for a lot of people, as it was for me, I'm elaborating a bit more on what worked (and didn't) for me and what to watch for along the way to make sure you get great results from the first time.  I've been making these for a month or so now, and my only warning is that they are SO good you'll have a hard time eating 'store bought tortillas' again!  Enjoy!!

Easy 100% Whole Wheat Tortillas
{freezer friendly, make 24 large tortillas}

5 - 6 cups whole-wheat flour (I use Organic Hard Spring Wheat that I grind fresh in my mill, but King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour is my favorite pre-ground purchased flour)
1 cup oil (My favorite is half olive oil & half coconut oil, but either one of those or your favorite oil would be fine)
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water

In the bowl of a large mixer (ie Kitchenaid or Bosch), add flour, oil, and salt.  Using the dough hook, mix for 3-4 minutes, or until well combined & crumbly.

Keep the mixer running, and slowly pour the warm water in.  Let it mix another 2-3 minutes.  At this point the dough should be not sticking to the sides of your bowl, and very moist, yet not sticky to the touch (kind of like play dough); it shouldn't leave a gooey mess on your hands if you touch it.  If it does, continue to add flour while mixing until the desired consistency is reached.  I have added up to nearly another cup.

Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, and place it onto a very large flat baking pan (half sheet size is best).  Roll it into a log/rope cylindrical type shape.  Cut (I use a dough scraper/chopper that I also use when making large batches of bread for this) the dough into half, then half again, so you're have 4 pieces that are fairly even in size.  Quickly cut each of these into half again, and then into thirds, so you have 24 fairly consistently sized pieces of dough.  Make sure they aren't touching each other, and then cover the whole pan tightly with plastic wrap (or a lid if you happen to have something that will cover your pan!) and let the dough rest for 15 - 60 minutes.

When ready to cook, heat griddle or large skillet and lightly grease.  Ideally, you want it to be nice & hot before you add the first tortilla.  I use a cast iron griddle on two burners of my gas stove top, and keep the larger burner set on medium/low, and the smaller burner set on medium/high.  Working with one ball of dough at a time (leave the rest covered while you work), quickly roll it out to about 8-10 inches in diameter.  I do this on a completely flat, edgeless cookie sheet.  If the dough is sticking, though I haven't had problems with that at all, use a little bit of flour to prevent.  I don't worry about making them a perfect circle, I just roll a couple of times in each direction until it's the correct size, and then quickly carry it to the griddle and lay it down.  It doesn't take long at all on each side to cook.  Although the exact time will vary depending on your appliances, 30 - 60 seconds should be all it takes per side.  If it's taking longer than that, I'd definitely turn the heat up a bit.  You'll know it's time to flip the tortilla when it's darkened slightly all over and looks less 'moist', and you can easily scoot it around, and then flip it, on the griddle.  It should hold its own, and not tear or anything, and start to have some nice 'tortilla looking' brown marks on it :)  Cook an additional 30 - 60 seconds on the second side (this is a great time to go ahead & roll another tortilla out so it's ready to go!), then remove to a plate covered with another plate, turned upside down, to stay warm until ready to serve. 

Repeat, and before you know it you'll have a plate of tasty, healthy tortillas you made yourself!!  I'd love to hear how your tortillas turn out! 

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