Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Recipe Connection: 100% Whole Grain Homemade Tortillas

October 21st, 2009 · 133 Comments · Do It Yourself, Recipes, Upgraded Nutrition

homemade whole wheat tortillas

Making your own homemade whole wheat tortillas might sound like a whole lot of hassle when you can just buy a bag of them at any grocery store.  I’ve decided it’s worth it for me.

Before you go thinking you can’t do this, you should probably know: I don’t make my own bread.  I still buy packaged cereal occasionally.  I am not a supermom.  Here are the reasons I feel using my own homemade tortilla recipe is worth it for me:

  1. I can get them 100% whole grain. That’s hard to find in stores, and when you do, you get charged big money.
  2. It saves significant money.  I make a batch for under $0.75 easily, and compared to similar nutrition in a packaged version, I’m saving $2-3 (more?) every time I do it.
  3. It’s so hard to find tortillas without hydrogenated oils AND without paying an arm and a leg. Once I did and they had parabens in them, a chemical I’m trying to avoid in my soap!
  4. Because I can soak the dough to reduce the phytates, the health benefits of my tortillas are beyond what I could buy in your average store.  You would have to purchase sprouted whole wheat tortillas, which would run about $4 for a small package of 6.  Yikes!  (Here is an explanation of soaking grains.)
  5. It’s another way to get healthy butter or coconut oil into my family.
  6. Sometimes I have a lot of whey around.  I can use it up great with this recipe!

 

whole wheat tortillasYour needs and amount of time and energy may be very different from mine. Very few of my reasons may resonate with you.  If so, try making something else from scratch this week by checking out the October Fest Carnival of Super Foods: Un-Processed Foods Edition.  If you’re ready for some super-healthy tortillas, read on!

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Someone said this was their favorite recipe already three weeks ago when I hinted that it was coming!  I hope it lives up.  I have a QUADruple batch of tortillas soaking right now to make tomorrow, as I’ll use them twice this week and want to share them with my mother-in-law for her post-heart-surgery diet.  They come out of the freezer excellently for her.

Printable 100% Whole Grain Homemade Tortillas

100% Whole Grain Homemade Tortillas
Print
Recipe type: Bread
Author: Katie Kimball
Ingredients
  • 2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil or butter or lard
  • 1/2 c. water
Instructions
  1. Mix flour and salt. Cut in fat with a pastry blender or two knives.
  2. Add water a bit at a time.
  3. Toss with a fork to make stiff dough. Knead thoroughly until smooth and flecked with air bubbles. (Just a few minutes.) Refrigerate 4-24 hours and allow to come to room temperature before rolling out.
  4. Divide dough into 8-11 balls, depending on how big you want your tortillas. Roll as thin as possible on a lightly floured surface. Heat an ungreased electric griddle or cast iron skillet very hot (400 degrees) and drop tortillas on it.
  5. Cook about 20 seconds, until lightly flecked with brown on one side, then flip until brown spots appear on the other side.
  6. Serve immediately or refrigerate (or freeze) in airtight container.
Notes

To soak:
Include a Tbs. whey or lemon juice or yogurt in the water, mix with flour(s) and leave out at room temperature overnight. You can also use whey entirely in place of the water (you may need up to 1/4 cup extra), if you happen to have too much whey on your hands.

Start with: 2 cups white whole wheat flour
Cut in: 1/4 cup lard or coconut oil or butter
Fork in: 1/2 cup water w/1 Tbs whey or just 1/2 cup whey

After a 12-24 hour soak at room temperature, sprinkle the 1 tsp salt on and knead into dough. Do not refrigerate at all, unless you need to hold the dough until a later time.

Follow directions above to roll out and finish.

The recipe above is what I use now for the healthiest tortillas. When I began trying homemade tortillas, it wasn’t always this pretty. Read on for the transformation.

UPDATE: Here’s the newly updated homemade whole wheat tortilla recipe, with questions answered from this post and lessons learned from 4 years making tortillas.

Going backward, this is the basic recipe, from the More-With-Less Cookbook:

Homemade Tortillas (white flour, just as an example)

Mix together:

2 c. flour
1 t. salt

Cut in with pastry blender or two knives:

¼ c. butter (slightly softened)

When it looks like crumbs, add gradually:

½ c. room temperature water

Toss with a fork to make stiff dough.  Knead thoroughly until smooth and flecked with air bubbles.  (Just a few minutes.)  Refrigerate 4-24 hours and allow to come to room temperature before rolling out.

Divide dough into 8-11 balls, depending on how big you want your tortillas.  Roll as thin as possible on a lightly floured surface.  Heat an ungreased electric griddle or cast iron skillet very hot (400 degrees) and drop tortillas on it.

homemade whole wheat tortillas

Cook about 20 seconds, until lightly flecked with brown on one side, then flip until brown spots appear on the other side.

whole wheat tortilla recipe

I poke holes in them on purpose, just so everyone knows they’re homemade. Really. If you make square-ish tortillas, people will know they’re homemade, too.

Serve immediately or refrigerate (or freeze) in airtight container.

Homemade with Whole Grain Tortillas

Healthy Upgrade

Half whole grain flour is better than all white flour, I figure.  If you only have traditional whole wheat flour, the tortillas are going to be more dense than you’re used to in the store, and they’re not all that easy to roll out.

homemade whole grain tortilla recipe

This is an old photo of the 1/2 and 1/2 tortillas. The wheat version (left) is rather thick, and “easily pliable” aren’t words you’d use to describe the corn. See how it’s suspended in midair over the edge of the plate? :) Tasty, but lacking.

Mix together:

1 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour or cornmeal
1 t. salt
(good results with 1 c. whole wheat, 1/2 c. cornmeal and 1/2 c. white flour; half whole wheat/half corn is OK but crumbly; do NOT try even 3/4 cornmeal — way too difficult to maneuver, lots of frustration and a late dinner will result!)

Cut in with pastry blender or two knives:

¼ c. coconut oil or butter or lard (slightly softened)

When it looks like crumbs, add gradually:

½ c. room temperature water

Follow directions above to cook.

100% Whole Wheat Homemade Tortillas

HealthiER Upgrade

thin homemade whole grain tortillas

If you get them rolled out thin enough, they might even bubble up!

I tried a new kind of whole wheat flour with GREAT results! I am so excited!  There was no screaming or frustration while rolling these babies out!  Regular whole wheat is pretty tough to get thin.  Try “hard white whole wheat” which is sold in grocery stores under King Arthur’s brand as “White Whole Wheat Flour”.  It is unbleached and unbromated.  It’s my new standby (only flour I’ll use) for tortillas. This is the printable recipe from earlier in the post.

Mix together:

2 c. white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt

cut in: 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter or lard

Add 1/2 cup water and knead well.

Follow directions above to finish.

Soaked 100% Whole Grain Homemade Tortillas

HealthiEST Upgrade

Soaking the grains will make the tortillas more digestible and release bound-up minerals in the grains (although technically, sourdough tortillas, on my “to learn list,” should be the ultimate healthiest. I’m going to try GNOWFGLINS recipe from the sourdough eCourse).

Include a Tbs. whey or lemon juice or yogurt in the water, mix with flour(s) and leave out at room temperature overnight.  You can also use whey entirely in place of the water (you may need up to 1/4 cup extra), if you happen to have too much whey on your hands.  (UPDATE:  Where do you get whey?  See here – how to make yogurt cheese and whey.)

Start with: 2 cups white whole wheat flour
Cut in: 1/4 cup lard or coconut oil or butter
Fork in: 1/2 cup water w/1 Tbs whey or just 1/2 cup whey

After a 12-24 hour soak at room temperature, sprinkle the 1 tsp salt on and knead into dough. Do not refrigerate at all, unless you need to hold the dough until a later time.

Follow directions above to roll out and finish.

UPDATE: I tried this recipe exactly with sprouted wheat flour, and it worked great! If you forgot your overnight soak and do have sprouted wheat on hand, it’s definitely the way to go.

UPDATE:  My mom tried half white whole wheat, half corn flour with good success!  If you cook them crispy, they’re almost like tortilla chips or hard taco shells.  My dad liked them, and he’s not a Mexican food fan.

UPDATE: Get caught up with a handy list of all the soaking grains information.

Cook’s Notes
  • It takes about 10 minutes to make the dough and between 10-15 minutes to roll it out and cook the tortillas, once you get your rhythm down.  Not too bad to save $3-5.
  • If you don’t have an electric griddle, you can still make them one at a time in a frying pan.
  • Do roll as thin as possible.  The tortillas are still tasty if they’re not really thin, but they start to remind you of pitas!

whole wheat tortilla recipe

Find a Rhythm

Roll a few out to begin with, and then start putting them one by one on the griddle.  (YES to using plenty of flour to prevent sticking!)  I’ve found that when I get moving quickly, I can roll out one tortilla in the time it takes to brown one side, so my rhythm is like this:  Put tort on griddle, roll out, flip tort no. 1 and add tort no. 2, roll some more, remove tort no. 1 and flip tort no. 2…and so on.

A few FAQs:

  • What’s the best fat to use? My answer here.
  • Is it normal for the soaked dough to look like it’s “risen”?  Yes.
  • Is it okay to have little chunks of coconut oil that don’t seem to blend in?  You bet.
  • What’s the best kind of rolling pin for tortillas?  I learned this from a darling Mexican grandmother who visited my classroom to make us tortillas – cut an old broom handle to make about an 8-inch rolling pin.  It’s perfect for turning around the little tortillas without knocking down everything on your counter.  (I really need to make myself one of these; my kitchen is so small!)
  • How do you roll out the dough?  I smash the little ball flat with my hand, then go from the center to the outside a few times, then flip the whole tortilla over and repeat.  I also use a cutting board to roll out so I can rotate the whole cutting board to get different angles.  Center to outside, center to outside, turning as you go.  I get a lot of square tortillas, so I shouldn’t go into any more detail!  ;)
  • UPDATE 2010: I am testing out a Chef Pro electric tortilla maker as another option for rolling these babies out. The jury is still out on whether it’s really faster than a rolling pin, but there are definitely some perks! Look for a full review and a “race” between the electric press, a cast iron press, and ye old rolling pin coming…someday! UPDATE 2013: Here’s the tortilla press review and the big race with video and everything!
  • A tip from Laurie at Common Sense Homesteading:  “If you put your tortillas in a closed container (I’ve got a big old Rubbermaid bowl with a lid) while you’re cooking up the rest of the batch, the steam will soften them up and make them easier to roll.”
  • UPDATE:  I tried freezing the tortilla dough in little balls, and it worked great!  I thawed them overnight in the fridge and then let them come to room temperature throughout the afternoon on the counter.  You can also freeze the cooked tortillas with good results.
  • UPDATE: My new goal is to try sourdough tortillas, but I’m afraid we won’t like them as much. I’m teaching and taking this online sourdough eCourse.

Other Yummy Parts of the Mexican Meal:

It’s definitely more time consuming to make Mexican 100% from scratch, but it’s oh so yummy and much less expensive. For other ways to save your budget while purchasing and preparing incredible, well-sourced whole foods, check out Stephanie Langford’s Real Food on a Real Budget.

I’d love to see more of you!  Sign up for an email subscription or grab my reader feed.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Disclaimer:  I bartered for the electric tortilla press with The Tortilla Press Store for including a link in this post.

I’m pleased to participate in:


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133 Comments so far ↓

  • Pennywise Platter Thursday 10/21

    [...] been fiddling with the perfect 100% whole grain homemade tortillas for months, and I’ve finally got it: easy to roll out, totally yummy, very frugal at under 75 cents for 8 burrito-sized torts, AND with [...]

  • Laurie N

    I’ve been looking through all the comments as they come in and just thought I should also mention that if you put your tortillas in a closed container (I’ve got a big old Rubbermaid bowl with a lid) while you’re cooking up the rest of the batch, the steam will soften them up and make them easier to roll.
    .-= Laurie N´s last blog ..The Last of the Raspberries – Good and Good for You =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Thank you, Laurie! Great tip!
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Katie

    MF – I was shocked the first time I tried whole wheat PASTRY flour for biscuits. That is definitely the way to go for biscuits. I don’t think the white whole wheat would be much fluffier than traditional whole wheat. I make my biscuits with 100% whole wheat pastry flour and just love it.
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Brook

    I use either King Arthur or Hodgson Mill whole wheat or white whole wheat flour.

    I am curious Katie, if you’d know if don’t roll your tortilla out as thin if it would be a gordida thickness for chicken gordidas?

    My second question. If I don’t have whey, do you know if homemade yogurt will work as well?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Brook,
    Both great questions:
    1. I don’t think these would make gordidas, because they wouldn’t rise enough. You would have to add more leavening, but I couldn’t guess how much. If I were going to experiment, I’d start by adding 1/2 or 1 tsp of baking soda or powder and seeing what happened (maybe to half a batch)!

    2. Yogurt would not work in place of whey. You have two options for the soaking: either add a Tbs of vinegar or lemon juice per cup of water (so for one batch, just a 1/2 Tbs will do), OR get whey out of your yogurt! Someday I’ll post on this, but basically if you pour your HM yogurt into a colander lined with a thin tea towel or cheese cloth (or coffee filter) and let it drain over a bowl or pitcher, you’ll get “yogurt cheese” on top (it’s like cream cheese) and whey in the bowl. Super easy!
    Best of luck!
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Janine Reply:

    I have a son who is allergic to dairy. So I can make these dairy-free by soaking with vinegar or lemon juice?

    I just found your blog and I’m really enjoying it so far. Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Janine,
    Yes, should work fine! Just use the water and add 1/2 Tbs. vinegar or lemon juice. Welcome! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Julie Reply:

    We do not use dary here either, but we do use alot of water kifer. (I have recently used it in the garden too even) We were thinking that it may work intead of whey due to the fact it has so may good bacteria in it. What is your thought on this?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Julie,
    You know, I’ve never tried water kefir, but I don’t think there’s any reason it shouldn’t work. 1 Tbs per cup of water won’t change the taste much…there are even sources now saying that just soaking in warm water is all you need, so you should be good to go no matter what! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Katie

    ButterYum,
    Somehow I missed your comment when I went through them before the weekend. Were you looking for the link-up for the un-processed foods carnival? That is here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/10/21/october-fest-carnival-of-super-foods-un-processed-foods-edition/ The linky is closed, but you can add your recipe in the comments! Sorry I missed your question!
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Katie

    Sarah,
    I missed your question the first time I went through these comments, sorry.

    I am now considering getting a tortilla press. :)

    The rolling out is not nearly as treacherous as pie crust, because there’s not the fragile pastry I’m-going-wreck-this-if-I-rip-it thing going. The dough is pretty resilient. It does take some time, though, at least 10 minutes for a batch. That’s why I might consider it for $10-15! (But where would I put it?)
    Great question!
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Mary C.

    Could I make this in my food processor?
    .-= Mary C.´s last blog ..Price Matching, Coupons and the importance of checking your receipt =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Mary C.,
    Hmmmm…I’m pretty new to food processing myself. I think I’ve seen recipes where you can make pie crust in a food processor, so why not tortillas? I just haven’t ever tested it out. The dough- making is the easy part; the rolling takes more time.
    Thanks,
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jennifer Reply:

    They work great in the food processor!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sonia

    Katie I tried the soaking method and it turned out great! I used regular whole wheat though and it was still good! My question though is, with the amount of water to flour it doesn’t really seem as though its ‘soaking’ as most of the flour doesn’t even get wet…am I missing something here?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Sonia,
    Sometimes the term “soaking” is misleading. All the flour must be getting wet because it’s incorporated into the dough…but I’m looking into this issue more right now. Posts to come in January about the science behind soaking! For now with this particular recipe, I’m just happy part of the work is done when I walk into the kitchen to cook dinner. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jackie

    Has anyone used olive oil instead of coconut oil in tortillas with good results. I also use King Arthur white whole wheat flour-very good

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jackie,
    I’ve seen recipes w/ melted coconut oil, so I bet olive oil would be a possibility. I’ve never tried it b/c I like these so much! If you try it, let us know. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Trina

    Katie, have you heard of a tortilla press? I make a quadurple batch of tortillas each week, as well, and I can press and cook 40 perfectly round tortillas in 15 min. My tortilla maker is a Chef Pro FBM110 10in. and I got it for $57 – worth every penny as I make so many of these yummy things. because they cost so little and take so little of my time when I use the press, I usually give away a dozen each week. It’s fun to be able to bless people with fresh tortillas.

    I soak mine, as well, and use olive oil. My only grief is that my recipe uses lecithin, and I’m reading “The Whole Soy Story’ and realizing I don’t want ANY soy in my diet, so I am looking for an alternative. I have found it’s what keeps the dough from sticking to the press.

    I want to try coconut oil – maybe that would help with sticking.

    Here’s the link to my tortilla maker – you would love this thing!
    http://www.gandhiappliances.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=16_107&products_id=5821&zenid=6a8c19a788e1867d5ceddcc5ec045c2a

    And a link to my recipe on my blog –
    http://trintje.blogspot.com/2007/12/tortilla-tutorial.html
    .-= Trina´s last blog ..Of Pages and Patience =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Sarah W Reply:

    We have Mexican friends who made home made tortillas when we went to visit them. She used a tortilla press and placed plastic wrap on the top and the bottom to keep the tortillas from sticking.

    HTH!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Thanks, Trina! You’re not the only one who recommended one, but it’s nice to have an example — Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    AmandaonMaui Reply:

    How do you keep your tortillas from sticking to the press? Wrapping with saran wrap doesn’t work so well…
    .-= AmandaonMaui´s last blog ..First Food I Ever Cooked =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    I don’t use a press, just a griddle, and it’s *cringe* non-stick. I use plenty of flour while rolling out, though, if that’s what you meant. A “flour fiesta!” as one blogger friend calls it! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Dana Reply:

    I get the press a tiny bit wet before putting the Saran wrap on it. Then I put extra flour on the press and on the ball of dough. No sticking except when I made corn tortillas and forgot to let the dough rest. Whoops! :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Tammy

    I am so frustrated with this tortilla thing! This is the 2nd batch I am going to have to throw out. I thought I read that you can soak with yogurt, so that is what I did. Why can you soak some grains with yogurt, but not these tortillas?
    Also, my dough never feels like “dough”… it’s just so crumbly. What am I doing wrong?! (I used the “white whole wheat” flour and butter.) I appreciate any advice you have to offer! :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Tammy,
    You can soak grains w/yogurt to reduce the phytates, but you still have to have something similar to the recipe. Just hang your yogurt to drain like this: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/12/02/what-is-whey-where-can-i-get-it-how-to-make-yogurt-cheese/ and use the whey for the tortillas. If you use yogurt to soak these, you’d want to use 1/2 Tbs yogurt to the half cup water. They’re not working for you b/c the consistency of yogurt is so different than water. You only need a slightly acidic medium – a bit of yogurt in your water.

    I do cover the bowl when soaking, just to make sure the top of the dough doesn’t get crusty. I sure hope that helps! You will love using whey – just add a little bit extra to make sure the dough acts like dough. Good luck! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Tammy Reply:

    Thanks, Katie!! After having to throw out batch #3, I FINALLY finished batch #4. My 5 year old came in the kitchen while I was rolling them out and cooking them and said, “Yea! You finally got it!” So funny! The tortillas were fairly good, but not as soft as I would like. I guess whatever “junk” they put in store bought ones is what makes them so soft!
    Anyway, thanks so much for your help!! You are appreciated!
    Oh, and WOW, what a workout my arms got from rolling these out!! I was sore the next day!!
    Tammy :0)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Stacey Martin Reply:

    I am commenting really late here but I did find out from the mill I get my white wheat flour from that it is a very dry flour and I could use 25% less…if your flour is the same you may be adding too much and making it crumbly.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Tammy

    Also, do you cover your grains while they are soaking?

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Easy Homemade Yogurt on the Stove — Kingdom First Mom

    [...] “That’s my niche! I can help.” I mentally flipped through my un-processed foods recipes: homemade tortillas, chicken stock, yogurt. All of them are often seen around the blogosphere, and I hate to be [...]

  • Angie

    Is it still necessary to refrigerate the dough if you use the soaking method?

    Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Angie,
    Nope! When “soaking” grains, you want them at room temp or higher. If you’re going to leave it for more than a day or two, refrig. Overnight, no fridge necessary.
    Enjoy!
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Emily @ Live Renewed

    Hi Katie,
    I’ve made these tortillas a couple times and while they turn out really yummy, they are A LOT of work for me, and I have a few questions…

    I don’t soak, but just use the white whole wheat recipe. After I refrig the dough it is dry and hard and very hard to work with. I feel like I have to add water to them to make them roll-able. Is the refrig necessary? Any tips for dough that is easier to roll out?

    Also, I can only ever get my tortillas about 6 in. around. I’d love to make some larger ones to use for chimis or quesadillas, but the one time I tried to roll out a larger ball of dough it was nearly impossible. How big are your tortillas once their cooked (I’ve noticed they shrink up a fair amount) and any tips for rolling out larger ones – like 10 in. or so?

    Thanks!!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Emily,
    Since I soak, I never refrigerate, so therefore my professional opinion is that it’s not necessary! ;) That should make it much easier to roll out. I can get big tortillas, but maybe that’s because my dough is totally warm? Try room temp dough and let me know if that’s the easy secret! Someday I’ll video this process…. :) Katie
    PS – they are kind of a lot of work, even when they “work” well!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sense to Save » Blog Archive » Can a $9 bag of flour be frugal?

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  • Lenetta @ Nettacow

    Begging LeeAnn’s pardon for commenting here – I didn’t want this to get completely lost in the contest entries. :>)

    I made tortillas today! Hooray! I used a little less than a cup of frozen fresh ground flour (just regular hard wheat) and the rest white flour, and coconut oil. My dough seemed SUPER dry as I was trying to mix it, so I added a couple of tablespoons of water. I only had about 2.5 hours before I needed to start cooking, so I didn’t refrigerate the dough, just left it on the counter. I covered the bowl with a plate to keep the moisture in.

    When I got ready to make the tortillas, I was surprised at how moist the dough was. It may have helped that the coconut oil probably melted. I ended up using probably more flour than I needed to roll them out, as some seemed pretty flour-y. I also used a damp paper towel a couple of times to wipe out the skillet (need a griddle! suggestions?) as the loose flour left behind was starting to burn.

    I tucked them between two plates (the top one upside down) after each cooked and they steamed very well and were plenty pliable. The problem was that they weren’t quite big enough! I should have at least used a bigger skillet.

    They weren’t overly flavorful, but that isn’t a bad thing, either. :>) I will definitely be trying these again! Thanks, Katie!

    PS – there is a thread on Tammy’s Recipes on facebook about grinding flour in the bathroom. Thought you might want to know…
    here.
    .-= Lenetta @ Nettacow´s last blog ..Spring Cleaning – Get the Clutter Out! =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jenny

    I made these tortillas for breakfast this morning after soaking the flour overnight. I’d read bits about soaking before, but never given it a try. The tortilla recipe seemed like a good starting place since it’s so simple. They were delicious! Do you think soaking improves the flavor? This is my new tortilla recipe. Thanks!
    ~Jenny~
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..HBinFive- Whole Grain Garlic Knots =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jenny,
    Welcome! I’ve never tried them without soaking, I don’t think, but sometimes soaking a recipe changes its consistency or flavor. Glad they worked well for you!
    : ) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Linda

    My mother-in-law, Mrs. Rodriguez, gave me her recipe for lard free tortillas. She would make them, put them in a HUGE bowl, and by the end of the my ex-hubby and I would have devoured them. I might give her recipe a try with the soaking of the flour. Yum! Her Guacamole combo kicks big booty too!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Linda Reply:

    Oh, and one other note. Instead of rolling the tortillas, you put the dough on the griddle and push them down with a towel that you ball up in your hands. It’s so much easier and more traditional than rolling. They didn’t have rolling pins way back when!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Linda,
    How awesome! I would love to try an authentic recipe. Why lard free?

    And the towel thing? No kidding? Does the dough flatten well just because of the heat from the griddle? I have to try this now…but I can see some messes happening! Thank you! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Linda Reply:

    You actually have to press the dough out into a circle with a towel. So the dough has to be just right, not too soft, not too dry, to do that. Lard free because Senor Rodriguez died of pancreatic cancer and the idea of “bad” food scared Mama Rodriguez.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Joseph's Grainery

    This is great! So excited to find a 100% whole wheat recipe. Hard to find, so thanks for sharing.
    .-= Joseph’s Grainery´s last blog ..National Whole Grains Month – Giveaway! =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Nadya

    I did not quite understand: do you soak your flour with fat (butter/lard/coconut oil) in it, or do you add it the next day after salt?

    I soak the flour most of the times and always wanted to know if adding fats (and sweets like maple syrup and honey) will affect the soaking process / removing of phytates.

    Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Nadya,
    For tortillas, you really have no choice but to include the fat, since it has to be cut in to the flour before the liquid is added. Most sources would say that it makes little difference in the phytate reduction. Some question if antibacterial foods like raw honey or coconut oil might have an impact on lacto-fermentation when soaking with whey. Basically, I try to leave them out when practical, but I don’t worry in the least if I need the fat because of how the recipe is written or need the sweetener just to make it moist enough to get all the flour incorporated without making my muffins soup.

    Hope that helps! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Nadya Reply:

    Thanks! I now won’t be afraid to soak with fats and sweets.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Our Family's Meal Plan for the Week

    [...] – Tacos with Homemade Tortillas & Mexican [...]

  • Amanda

    I’ve been using another soaked tortilla recipe, and it calls for baking powder. I am still not clear on the replacements, when incorporating soaking, with baking powder or soda – do you have any idea why one would include one or the other in the soaked tortillas? Obviously, you don’t call for it, so I’m wondering if I need to keep adding it to mine LOL!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Amanda,
    Oh, just try this recipe. It’s fabulous! Usually when soaking you need to add the baking powder or soda at the end, partly because a lot of the “rising action” will have happened while it’s soaking and not affect the recipe like it’s supposed to, and partly because sodium of any kind negatively interacts with the point of the soaking process, to reduce the phytic acid, which is a salt. Phew! That’s a mouthful! I found that I forgot the baking soda or powder or whatever it was in my crackers once, and it made no difference either. I’m thinking for these flat breads, it’s not really necessary. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • shannon

    Katie, as usual, you rock! I tripled the recipe, used 2 cups AP, 1 cup cornmeal and 3 WW pastry because I was afraid they would be hard. They turned out great. I am super out of shape though because rolling them out was hard work!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Shannon,
    Awesome to know even pastry flour worked out okay! I’m amazing – I would have thought that would make somewhat crumbly dough. Great! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jenniffer

    Have you made sprouted flour tortillas? I tried this recipe a while ago with my sprouted flour and they were not flexible at all and were more of a crust than a tortilla!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jennifer,
    I just recently started dabbling with sprouted flour, and no, I’ve never tried tortillas. I, um, don’t think I want to after your review though! I figure the long soak does a pretty good job doing whatever it needs to do… :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Michelle Kapusta

    I just found your blog and I literally read older posts all hours of the day. I’ve been looking for a site like this to help me make the transition from grocery store food to real food and I also LOVE the research you do for different things that most of us would love to know but don’t have time to research. Thank you SOOOO much!! As far as these tortillas….I’ve found recipes here & there but haven’t found one as simple and as easy as yours. I did the 1/2 wheat 1/2 white coconut oil one & they taste amazing…I could eat just the tortillas for supper! As soon as I find the white whole wheat….I’ll move on to that. Thank you!

    Sincerely,
    Will never buy tortillas again!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Michelle,
    Welcome! I hope you didn’t have better things to do while getting sucked in by KS…but I’m glad you’re here! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Brandis

    I have a quick tip, and I didn’t read through all the comments to see if someone already left this (because there are a lot!). The dough is MUCH easier to roll out in the unsoaked versions if you let it rest for an hour or so at room temperature- try it, it makes a HUGE difference. I’m excited to try the soaked version!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Michelle

    Katie–have you ever tried tortillas with any gluten free flours?

    Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Michelle,
    Not tortillas exactly, but I have a recipe for traditional dosas, which use only brown rice, lentils, yogurt and salt, in my upcoming ebook The Everything Beans Book. It’s a good substitute for tortillas! Also corn tortillas are a good option, but I haven’t fiddled with those personally – yet. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Maureen

    Can you substitute coconut oil with olive oil? Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Maureen,
    Coconut oil is used in this tortilla recipe as a solid fat, so better substitutions would include butter, palm shortening, or lard. (Those are all healthy fats, don’t worry!) :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Tortilla! | Cap City Lady

    [...] the other day I found a recipe for making your own whole wheat tortillas AND it included in the recipe to use coconut oil (like the kind I got the other day…) so I [...]

  • amy

    Kinda old posting, but Patel brothers which has a website offers a multitude of whole wheat flours at a good price.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • oh amanda

    I make a whole grain tortilla w/recipe from Bread Beckers. I have one of the tortilla makers and it is AWESOME. If you eat as many quesadillas and breakfast burritos as we do, it’s worth the investment!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Amanda,
    I must know – is your tortilla maker electric? I have been surprised and disappointed at how THICK both electric and manual have made the tortillas. Thanks! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Beth

    I’ve made these twice. I don’t remember how I made them the first time, but each time they are stiff as boards! I used 2 c. white whole wheat flour this time and cooked them on my electric skillet set at 400 and it seemed like they were taking a while to brown up. Argh. Not sure what’s going wrong. And now my grocery store stopped carrying the whole wheat tortillas I was buying . Blah.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Beth,
    Hmmmm. That’s not good! Maybe try a little more water, and it does sound like they’re cooking too long. What if you take them off before they really brown, like after 30 seconds no matter what? I suppose your skillet could be off on temp – try a cast iron skillet on the stove with the same dough to see if it’s just a temperature issue. Roll as thinly as possibly w/o making holes, too, which I’m sure you’re doing. Although too thick usually just makes them like pitas, but still soft. I’m guessing cooking too long – keep trying, and I hope they turn out! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Rosann

    I have been playing with making corn tortillas, which is a completely different animal. I bought a cast iron press and tried the ready made masa but I did not like the dough. So I started playing with processing the corn into nixtamal. The resulting posole (hominy) is delicious but I could not find a masa grinder locally that was not aluminum. So I have one on order. After I get this new skill managed I want to try some colored corn tortillas. When I was at a resort a few years ago the chef made tortillas with the addition of spinach puree to turn them green and beets to turn them red and tomato to turn them orange. They were also very tasty.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Rosann,
    What fun! That’s really, really “from scratch” all the way! I have some masa I haven’t opened yet, and I wonder if it’s worth giving it a try. Since we’re gluten-free right not, that would seem like a no-brainer…thanks for reminding me!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • dawn@LifeOnPurposeAndPrinciple

    Made these to go with cowboy beans tonight and used fresh ground ww flour and they were soooooo good! I can’t remember what kind of wheat berries I got now, but the flour from them makes the most amazing everything. I didn’t have time to soak this time, but will try that next time. The tortillas had so much yummy flavor! Thanks for the recipe!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • april • yogurt (yes, finally!) | everyday miracles

    [...] month I think I’m going to try the whole wheat tortillas from the same site. And when I’m done, I’ll write about it right [...]

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    [...] planned to make whole wheat tortillas as my “homemade challenge” for May, but as it happens I have a package of tortillas in [...]

  • Christine M.

    Hello!

    So, my “dough” looks nothing like dough I’ve ever seen. It is more like damp flour. I did look through the comments and let it rest for an hour. When trying to roll it out (after crushing the damp flour together to get a ball) it looks like the continent of Asia.

    I’m using White W.W. Flour (King A.) and coconut oil. But not soaking. It’s really 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 cup coconut oil (room temp?), and 1/2 cup water?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Christine, The ingredient list is correct, and room temp coconut oil should be fine. It’s not uncommon, especially when in low humidity, to have to add a bit of extra water though. “Damp flour” meant that it was way too crumbly, right? Just add a little water until it’s pliable and go from there. I hope that helps! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Christine M. Reply:

    Thanks for the reply. I will do that. I live in San Diego…so low humidity is definitely the issue.

    I really appreciate your blog and thank you for the speedy answer!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • ao

    I am very excited to have found this recipe, and I am trying these for the first time. I am making a batch with 75% KA White Whole Wheat flour and 25% whole wheat. 50% coconut oil, 50% butter… I am using mostly whey with a bit of water to make up for what I was lacking with whey… and I am using your healthIEST recipe – with the soaking over night – and I am a bit confused… the dough was VERY crumbly and dry… I had a hard time figuring out what consistency the dough should be before leaving it to soak over night… I took a gamble and added more water, until the dough kind of stuck together and could be formed into a semi-ball. Do I cover it overnight? I am anxious to wake up in the a.m. and making fresh, warm 100% ww tortillas – thanks for your recipes and I would appreciate any guidance available.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    I’m so sorry I was so behind on comments this week! I hope you managed to have wonderful tortillas in the morning…yes, generally cover things to soak overnight, and if it looks like dough, you’re golden. Many times you do need a bit of extra water to get everything to stick together. I really need to do a video of this whole process sometime…

    How did they turn out? :) katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jessica

    Delicious! Thank you for sharing. We did the white whole wheat and they turned out great the very first time.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Amanda

    First let me say, I am SO EXCITED to find your site. It’s perfect for me. I’m embarking on this rewarding but confusing adventure of getting rid of all processed foods and get to clean eating. I’m doing it for my kids and for once in my life, myself! I would love to make 100% whole wheat tortillas because we love them (spent the last three years in TX and now in ME) and the ones we buy now are almost $4 for 6!!!! Please tell me which you recommend me starting with, I don’t have a pastry blender but I have a food processor, kitchen aid mixer and blender. We’ve already cut out all white so I want to at least skip the first one :) Thank you!!!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Amanda,
    Welcome aboard! Sorry your comment sat unanswered for so long; we moved houses and life was crazy, so comments went untouched! I would just jump right in with the 100% white whole wheat version. They’re awesome. A food processor ought to do the trick just fine, or even two butter knives in place of a pastry blender. Let me know how it goes – I’m excited that you’re making such a huge awesome change! One step at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed now… ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Shauna

    Katie, something I’ve been trying to implement more in my kitchen is homemade mixes. My mother bought a couple of “Make-A-Mix” Cookbooks back in the 70′s, and they have mixes for everything, including tortillas! What I’ve done, since the recipes are so outdated and unhealthy (white flour, vegetable oil, shortening… *shudder*) is take your recipe and make it into a mix. This is how I remade it…

    8 C ww flour
    8 C white flour
    2T salt

    Mix together, and cut in 2 C butter, lard or coconut oil. Place in airtight container. To use, measure out 2 1/2 C mix and combine with 1/2 C room temp water.

    Now, I realize that the ww flour won’t have all the nutrition of freshly-milled, but if you buy the flour then it won’t be all that different. Plus, it saves time! What do you think?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Shauna, I think that’s awesome! I wish I had found the time to make up some tortilla mix before I packed away my grain mill… ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Renata

    I came across your blog while looking for information about soaking and sprouting. Your posts are so thorough! Thanks so much for your details. I look forward to reading it all.

    I make my tortillas with hot/boiling water and olive oil for convenience. I am wondering if I added some vinegar to my water if it would reduce the phytates or if the hot water deactivates the enzyme. I guess I could try room temp water too. It’s good to know I can let it rest longer and even freeze them.

    http://nurturingnotes.blogspot.com/2009/01/homemade-flour-tortillas.html

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Renata,
    You probably wouldn’t need boiling water if you’re going to let the dough rest overnight…and you’re right, it would probably mess with or kill the phytase. Good luck! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • msjodi777

    You know, there is another use for home made tortillas… around our house we use flour tortillas as a basic “pizza” crust… add the sauce to the top of the tortilla, then the cheese, few mushrooms, bit of onion, and green pepper, and you have perfect individual pizzas that the kids really love… we’ve been doing it like this for close to 15 years… my boys are both grown, but they still love individual tortilla pizzas… <

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Liz

    Hello, I didn’t read all of the comments but I was wondering if a cast iron pan would work for cooking these……what do you think?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Liz,
    Yes, absolutely!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • A Vegetarian Week: Late Summer Dinners | Family Health Naturally

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  • via Facebook

    Homemade tortillas is definitely on my must make to-do list. I am going to share this.

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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