Here in the southwest, we have a host of great Mexican restaurants to chose from, and our family tries to work them into our weekend restaurant eating at least once a month.
As a girl, I loved to watch the “tortilla ladies” behind the glass counter rolling out handmade tortillas for the entire crowd at my favorite restaurant. Now I take my daughter by the same glass counter to let her see the Latin ladies at work.
Because of the tortilla ladies and their fresh, soft tortillas, I’ve just never been that impressed with packaged tortillas from the store…which is probably a good thing since store-bought tortillas often contain trans fats and all kinds of chemical additives.
Even whole wheat tortillas – advertised as “healthier” – are usually full of questionable ingredients:
Whole wheat flour, water, vegetable shortening (interesterified soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil and/or palm oil), contains 2% or less of: leavening (sodium bicarbonate, sodium aluminum sulfate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate and/or sodium acid pyrophosphate, calcium sulfate), sugar, salt, preservatives (calcium propionate, sorbic acid and/or citric acid), cellulose gum, distilled monoglycerides, enzymes, wheat starch, calcium carbonate, antioxidants (tocopherols, ascorbic acid), dough conditioners (fumaric acid, sodium metabisulfite and/or mono- and diglycerides).
I try hard to buy only “real foods” designed by God himself, or foods with minimal processing that I could make myself at home…and I’ve certainly never made calcium propionate or sodium metabisulfite (I’m not even sure I want to know how they’re made)!
So while it requires a little time to make tortillas myself, I enjoy the process, and I truly prefer the taste and texture to the store-bought variety! Plus, I can make a large batch and freeze leftover tortillas for a future Mexican dinner, sandwich wrap, or healthy snack.
When defrosting or reheating leftover tortillas, sprinkle a clean kitchen towel or a few paper towels with a bit of water (so it’s damp, but not dripping). Wrap the tortillas in the damp towel before microwaving to keep them nice and moist. If defrosting a large stack of tortillas, consider layering the damp towels between tortillas before heating.
Today’s recipe for homemade tortillas is very flexible – plain ole white flour, whole wheat flour, or white whole wheat will all work. Pictured are the white whole wheat ones, with a few (darker) whole wheat ones in the background.
I also added chia seeds for their healthy omega-3 fats as well as some extra fiber, but flax seeds could be used as well (Read my chia vs. flax comparison). Or, you could omit the seeds altogether and replace with an equal amount of flour. If you’re really feeling creative, you could even toss in some herbs, spices, or a pinch of powdered greens for added color and flavor!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached, mix 2 1/2 cups flour with other dry ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds.
- Add remaining three ingredients and increase to medium speed.
- Return to low speed and add additional flour as needed until mixture begins to form a ball.
- Transfer dough to a floured surface and divide into 12 small balls.
- Use your palm or rolling pin to gently roll each ball out to the desired size and thickness (these will only "puff up" very slightly when cooked).
- Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. When pan is hot, add a single dough round and cook until bottom develops golden brown spots. Flip the tortilla and cook the other side until a similar, lightly brown surface develops.
- Serve immediately, or store in fridge or freezer in an airtight container.
- To reheat stored tortillas, wrap a damp towel/paper towel around them and gently reheat in the microwave.
If this is your first time making tortillas, consider doubling this batch so you have a few extras to practice with. It took me a few tries the first time I made these to learn how thin I wanted to roll them and how long I liked them cooked.
Adapted from Table for Two