Two years ago, my life changed for the better.
New neighbors moved in next door, we invited them over for dinner, and it was disastrous. My husband was stuck at the hospital and never came home. He was supposed to make a dish for dinner that I couldn’t make myself… and my backup meal was not nearly enough food to fill everybody up. I was pretty embarrassed and we ended up just eating peaches. But hey, peaches are delicious.
None of that matters now, of course. Because after that, these new neighbors invited us over for dinner and fed us cuban black beans, cilantro-lime brown rice and… HOMEMADE and wonderful whole wheat tortillas.
I couldn’t believe it. I had been wanting to learn how to make those myself for years and never found a recipe that worked well or was healthy enough to suit me. I really didn’t want to resort to using lard just to make a tasty tortilla, you know?
I convinced this tortilla-making wonder woman to be my friend and teach me all her healthy cooking skillz and here I am on the other side of the country dining on cilantro-lime brown rice, cuban black beans, and delicious whole wheat tortillas that I made myself.
Healthy Homemade Whole Wheat Tortilla Recipe
originally from my friend Tiffany
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 TBS vital wheat gluten
1 TBS baking powder
2 tsp salt
4 tsp. vegetable oil (I use canola)
1 1/2 c. warm soymilk
Mix together the flour, gluten, baking powder, salt and oil.
Slowly add the warm soymilk. Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, break off 16 sections, shape them into balls in your hands, smush each into a patty and place on a plate. Cover with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin . Move on to another one to let the first rest.
Come back to it once more and pick it up and stretch it on your hands to make a nice thin circle. Leave it to work on another tortilla.
Come back to it one final time to roll it with a rolling pin. (Optional)
In a dry skillet heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done. (You can do this on an electric griddle)
Keep cooked tortillas covered with a towel until ready to eat.
Here is a view of each stage of the tortilla:
Starting at the top left, you have the smushed ball of dough, and on the right of that, the dough after rolling once. Starting at the bottom left, you have the dough after stretching it with your hands, then smoothed out by a final rolling, and finally cooked.
It took me some practice to find my rhythm, but I enjoy making them and my kids, husband, or dinner guests jump in and help too sometimes, which is fun. I usually make a double batch and have extra for the week or for the freezer.
They are economical but they are a labor of love.
(Related note: Most whole wheat tortillas from the store have about 30 ingredients in them, but we do buy and enjoy the ones at Trader Joe’s when I don’t make our own.)