Soaked Whole Wheat Tortillas

IMG_9790Oh, man. Hi there! It’s been a while! Turns out having a child takes up a lot of TIME…who knew??

But I had to eke out just a minute here to share this go-to tortilla recipe, because if you haven’t looked at the back of your store bought tortilla package today, you’ll need to get yourself a magnifying glass and a half an hour just to read the ingredients – and that’s the ones from the health food store!

Needless to say, with a focus on simple and wholesome foods, there isn’t really a place for store bought tortillas. Enter the soaked whole wheat tortilla. I have to give most of the credit for this recipe to MAM (Modern Alternative Mama) a place to find lots of good and healthful recipes.

However, I did tweak the recipe enough to feel that it warranted it’s own post. I just went with a whole wheat flour, as opposed to white whole wheat, but it’s what I had. And I have found the whole wheat flour to have a slightly richer flavor that I appreciate. I reduced the amount of salt, increased the coconut oil and water both, because I didn’t want to work as hard as she described rolling out a really stiff dough (read: I’m lazy, and I’m ok with that).

So, enough blabber-jab, time’s a tickin’! On to the recipe:

3 and 1/3 cups whole wheat flour

1 and 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)

After soaking overnight, you will add:

3 teaspoons baking powder

1-2 teaspoons salt (I stick with one, but this is really up to your taste buds)

The night before you think you will have time to roll out a bunch of dough and fry it up (and sometimes you are wrong, especially when you have kids, but that’s ok, I’ve left the wet dough, covered, up to a couple days..just makes it richer tasting, right??): melt your coconut oil and mix with flour and water until it all comes together (this may require a little hand kneading). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit out on the counter, or wherever you have room, over night. Soaking helps to make the flour and its nutrients more accessible to your body and I’ve read, both on the MAM site, and other places that whole wheat flour doesn’t necessarily require an additional acid to help break it down – if you are really passionate about soaking grains, I’m sure you could add some lemon juice, whey or keiffer to help it along, but you may taste it in your tortilla. I haven’t tried it!

When it comes time to add the salt and baking powder, this is another place I diverge from MAM. Instead of trying to stab the hard dough into chunks with a metal spoon, and then somehow mix the salt and baking powder into it (and hey, don’t get me wrong, if you are feeling angry this can be a very effective release), I mix the two dry ingredients into a little bowl. I sprinkle a little of the mixture onto the surface I am going to knead on, place the dough on top and then sprinkle a little on top of the dough as well. While I am kneading, I keep sprinkling it until it’s all gone. This saves me from adding too much flour, as I think keeping it a little on the moist side helps when you are rolling it out.

When you are ready to roll out the tortillas, grab your rolling pin. Also, start pre-heating your pan on medium heat. I use a cast iron and just rub the tiniest bit of coconut oil on there with a paper towel, you just want it to shine, no pooling! MAM makes 8 tortillas, but I find if I only make 8 they are literally gone in a day. So in order to pace my family, I split the dough into 16ths. My highly precise method can be observe below. (We remember that my kitchen nickname is rough-chop, right?? I know, it’s been a while..)IMG_9795Ok, so leave the odd shaped pieces you’ve cut, but aren’t rolling yet in the bowl, and grab one of this little pointy chunks and roll it into a small ball. I’ve found the more orb-like this ball is, the better off your tortilla will be. But don’t get any ideas of perfection. At least, not if you want to don’t want drive yourself crazy. Remember that machines are what make the store bought, and you are not a machine! 🙂

Come on, baby, ROLL me!

Come on, baby, ROLL me!

Ok, and here’s where things really start to get rollin’ (I couldn’t resist). I sprinkle the tiniest but of flour onto the ball, but leave it tacky, as that is how you are going to get these babies FLAT. As I roll, and you DO have to use a little pressure – consider it your weight-lifting routine – I flip the tortilla over and back a few times, so it doesn’t get too ground into the cutting board.

Once it’s as flat as you can get it, or as flat as you have time/motivation for, throw that baby in the pan! Cook for a minute or so on each side, you want the bubbles to pop up and some light browning to be happening. IMG_9791This one looks like an old lady with a pointy nose on a motorcycle, with her hair flying back, do you see it?? Like I was saying, perfection is not the goal here, people, yum-yums are!

Let the hot tortillas cool on a rack. When they are totally cooled, I split them into two large baggies and freeze some, when I pretend that it will take that long before we eat them.

You can eat just about anything with a tortilla, and my little one usually demands the first one that I’ve made, once it cools a bit.

Happy Tortilla making, and may you never buy store-tortillas again!

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2 Responses to Soaked Whole Wheat Tortillas

  1. kaleimom says:

    These were delicious, but they were very stiff and not easy to fill and roll. I didn’t add any extra flour (other than on the board I rolled them on), so do you have any other ideas as to keeping them softer?

    • circles and sticks says:

      Yes! You may need to knead them a bit longer, work up that gluten…and maybe cook them for less time..I almost undercook them, knowing that I generally reheat over a flame. The last batch I kneaded for a bit longer than usual, and I found that they were more flexible!

      It could also be that they need a bit more water…I add around a cup and half, which is more than the recipe that I based this on called for since it is so dry here in Spokane.

      A last thought could be – are you storing them in the fridge? The coconut oil can get pretty stiff in there! So you may need to get them up to room temp before using..

      I hope you try again and let me know how it turns out – these are a total staple in our kitchen. We also love the flavor of that soaked whole wheat…mmmmm.


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