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Tortilla Success!

May 12, 2008

Happy yesterday Mothers Day to all of you beautiful mothers out there!

This weeks food experiment was with making tortillas. I found the recipe in an old magazine featuring Mexican food, and altered it slightly (I exchanged whole wheat flour for the regular all-purpose flour it called for, and used my own homemade butter in place of the shortening). The recipe stated that the prep time would be 45 minutes (cooking time is only 1 minute per tortilla!), but because of my ineptness in the kitchen it took me about 1 1/2 hours in total. But that’s all right, because making tortillas is so much fun! It’s a little bit tricky to get the knack for it at first, but then you get the hang of it after a bit of very careful rolling of the dough. These tortillas are quite small at only 6 inches in diameter, but they’re also very healthy (and each one is only 90 calories) and make for nice little snacks (or breakfast, or lunch- I had two today for lunch). The recipe makes 12 tortillas, but considering that already 8 of them are gone, I think I will be making another (double) batch of these tomorrow and then I’ll freeze them. Yesterday I froze most of them and today I discovered that it only takes a couple minutes for them to defrost once you take them out of the freezer and just set them on a plate, so its really useful to freeze these.
I made sure to use a BIG bowl this time (I’m learning how to not use absolutely every dish in my kitchen when I cook something!), and the dough was at first really crumbly- I had to add 3 tbsp of extra water before the dough could be rolled into a ball. After letting the dough sit for 15 minutes, I divided it into 12 equal portions and rolled these into little balls and worked on the skill of rolling it out thin enough without tearing it.
My (Adapted) Flour Tortilla Recipe
Time needed: roughly 1 1/2 hours (if you have as many issues in the kitchen as I do).
Ingredients:
– 2 cups whole wheat flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2 tbsp butter
– 1/2 cup warm water (plus 3 tbsp)
Method:
1. In a BIG bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and then cut in the butter until combined. Gradually add warm water very slowly, tossing together and mixing it up until the dough can be gathered into a ball. 1/2 cup of water wasn’t enough so I added 1 tbsp at a time and found that 3 extra tbsp was the perfect amount to make the dough the right consistancy. Knead the dough 15-20 times; cover and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
2. For 6-inch tortillas, divide the dough into 12 equal portions and shape into balls (if you want bigger tortillas, just don’t divide the dough into as many portions- maybe try 8 instead of 12). On a lightly floured surface (ie. the kitchen counter, although if you have a pastry board then that would likely be a lot less messy), use a rolling pin to flatten each ball of dough into a 6-inch circle. Stack the tortilla circles, separating them with 2 layers of waxed paper.
3. Place tortillas, one at a time, on a medium-hot non-stick pan (or ungreased griddle). Cook the tortilla for 20-30 seconds or until it starts to get puffy. Turn and cook 20-30 seconds more or until edges curl slightly. Wrap the tortillas in foil. Place any extra tortillas in a large freezer bag (they can be frozen for up to 1 month, but they probably won’t last that long!).
The photographical journey begins!

Half of the dough in my biggest bowl:

I was having issues with creating a nice round-shaped tortilla.

In action (note the use of a non-stick pan: my new best friend)!

I have clearly inherited my fathers ability to spread out EVERYWHERE when I cook (now just picture this same scene, but with cream instead of flour, and you will undertand what the kitchen looked like during my ice cream and butter making process):
However, we also seem to follow the same philosophy that the more mess = better taste, because wow were these ever excellent!
I like my all-natural PB with banana slices (I had this one almost immediately after I’d made the tortillas- I always like to test my cooking as soon as its done). Yum! Today for lunch I had another (2) tortillas, this time wrapped up with chicken and lettuce (it would have been perfect with some tomato, but alas, I seem to have eaten all of the tomatoes in our house. Along with most of the rest of the vegetables):

So what else do I plan on doing with these tortillas, besides making yummy wraps? Quesadillas come to mind. As do tacos. And baked tortilla chips (I’m really looking forwards to trying those out… I have found so many recipes for baked tortilla chips!). Any other suggestions?
In light of yesterday’s success at making tortillas, I opted to try my hand at making healthy banana pancakes- because when you’ve got the morning off work on a rainy Monday, what better way can you spend it? (I have not been able to get Jack Johnson’s excellent song “Banana Pancakes” out of my head for days!). I found this recipe over at Kath Eats Real Food (at least, that’s where I first found this recipe… although the particular variation that I used might have been from someone elses blog). Anyway, I cut it down by 1/3 and blended together 1/3 cup fat-free cottage cheese, 1/3 cup oats, 1/2 banana, and 1 egg. Pour them onto the beloved non-stick pan and place 2-3 slices of banana on each pancake (I ran out of banana so then I used frozen blueberries on the others). My pancakes burned pretty badly but still tasted yummy and I didn’t need any butter or syrup because of all the sweetness from the fruit. If you’d like to check out some really nice photos of what the banana pancakes are SUPPOSED to look like, go check out Kath’s post (somehow all of her creations look fantastic. My successes are so far limited to burned lumps, white-ish blobs and scraggly-edged tortillas!).
It’s the start of another week (and apparently National Women’s Health Week, which I was unaware of until yesterday), so everyone have a super day and make sure you enjoy it to the max!

35 comments

  1. Looks so yummy!


  2. Homemade tortillas – what fun! Your sandwich wraps look very yummy.

    I’m the same way. I spray flour and whatnot everywhere, but it’s all for the purpose of a tasty outcome. 🙂


  3. Nice work, girl! I make my own tortillas on occasion (read: very rarely) and I can’t get mine to do circles either. As for how to use them? My kids’ fave is you put it in the microwave for 10 seconds and then butter it and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top. Roll it up and yum! Hopefully you weren’t looking for a healthy way to eat it…;)


  4. Sagan – those look great!! The Bag Lady has made tortillas, too, and it is really hard to get them in a nice even circle. Sigh. No tips for you there – although I have heard some people don’t use a rolling pin – they just flatten them with their hands, and apparently that gives them better control. Never worked for me, though.


  5. wow…love the pics…love the explanation.

    I have bloggertalentenvy.


  6. Oh, they look goooood!


  7. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  8. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  9. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  10. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  11. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  12. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  13. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  14. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  15. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  16. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  17. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  18. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  19. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  20. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  21. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  22. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  23. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  24. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  25. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  26. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  27. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  28. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  29. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  30. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  31. How fun! I’ve been thinking about trying to make them myself. Living in Texas, we are lucky to have people making tortillas right in most of our grocery stores. Oh man they are good.


  32. Those look delish! Congrats on your tortilla success!


  33. Susan- I’m pretty sure that spraying flour everywhere really DOES improve the taste!

    Charlotte- that does sound good. When I was in grade school I used to have “pancake sandwiches” for lunch sometimes with butter and cinnamon and sugar spread between them!

    Bag Lady- I made another (double) batch of tortillas so I tried the method of flattening with my hands but found that it took me a LONG time and I was having issues with it. I guess I’ll just have to live with my scraggly edges:)


  34. […] out some of my favorite cookbooks to assist me. My apple banana bread, rosemary crackers, and whole wheat tortillas will all be perfect for this challenge, too, for when I need a grain fix in sandwich form or for […]


  35. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?



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