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Homemade Whole Wheat SOFT Tortillas

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 11 1x
  • Category: Bread


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  1. Cut the fat into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives.
  2. Add water and whey a bit at a time.
  3. Toss with a fork to make a stiff dough. Knead thoroughly until smooth and flecked with air bubbles. (Just about 5 minutes.)
  4. Allow to rest, covered, at room temperature 8-24 hours.
  5. When ready to cook, sprinkle the salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase) on top and knead thoroughly to combine, usually another 5 minutes.
  6. Divide dough into 8-11 balls, depending on how big you want your tortillas. (11 tortillas will be about 6-8″ in diameter.) Roll as thinly as possible on a lightly floured surface.
  7. Heat an ungreased electric griddle or cast-iron skillet very hot (400F).
  8. Cook the tortillas about 20-30 seconds, until lightly flecked with brown on one side, then flip and cook until brown spots appear on the other side, about 20 seconds.
  9. The cooked tortillas will keep each other warm and soft on a plate while you finish the rest, especially if you cover them; keep them warm in a low temp oven if not serving right away.
  10. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two (will remain softer) or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The tortillas also freeze great and usually even come apart individually without having to do anything special.
  11. Reheat gently in a low-temperature oven/toaster oven or on a griddle or skillet surface. They make excellent quesadillas, mini pizzas, and any other recipe you would normally use a soft tortilla in.
  12. You can also freeze the balls of dough, then thaw in the fridge or on the counter, and they roll out and cook just great.


* No time to soak overnight? Just add the salt with the dry ingredients and give the dough at least an hour to rest at room temperature.

* How to make yogurt cheese to get whey.

* Dairy-free? Sub water kefir, lemon juice, or vinegar for the whey.

* White whole wheat flour is made from the whole grain, just like regular (red) whole wheat flour, but it works immeasurably better in tortillas. You can find it in larger grocery stores, often under the King Arthur brand (and others). If you can’t find white whole wheat, do not use traditional (red) whole wheat 100%. You can use half-and-half red whole wheat and all-purpose white flour, but 100% red whole wheat tortillas are very hard to roll out and too dry.

* Readers have used spelt and other flours very successfully in this recipe too! (see comments)

* You can also use whey entirely in place of the water (you may need up to 1/4 cup extra flour).

* Use your judgment on the amount of water – like homemade bread recipes, the ratio of flour:water really depends on how freshly ground the flour is, the humidity in the air, and how much whey you’re using. If the dough seems crumbly, by all means, add a bit more water!

* On lard: please don’t ever use the hydrogenated lard sold in grocery stores. Ick. Look for real lard, no hydrogenation or preservatives, preferably from pastured animals. I’ve never bought it but only render my own.

* You can also use a food processor to incorporate the dough.

* A rolling pin, cast iron tortilla press, and electric tortilla press (found on Amazon) all work fine with this recipe.

* Sometimes soaked grain recipes look a bit dark on top after the soak. That’s totally normal.

* If you have troubles with the tortillas getting too stiff while they wait for the whole batch to be done, place the warm tortillas in a covered container while you cook the rest. The trapped steam will keep everything very supple. Also, make sure you are not cooking them too long.

* 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!

* 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 a tortilla on griddle, roll out tortilla no. 2, flip tortilla no. 1 and add tortilla no. 2, roll some more, remove tortilla no. 1 and flip tortilla no. 2…and so on.

* I tried this recipe 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.

* 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.

* If you don’t have white whole wheat flour on hand just use half all-purpose flour and half regular whole wheat flour or cornmeal.

* This exact method works with my homemade gluten-free flour blend as well. Link to that. You just need to be willing to put up with fussy dough. It is quite crumbly and sticky although not unmanageable. Be sure to use lots of extra gluten-free flour to roll out, and you must have a very thin metal spatula to transfer each rolled out round of dough to your cooking surface. The finished tortillas have a great flavor, are flexible when warm, and don’t even crack in half right away, which, if you work with gluten-free bread products, you know that’s a victory!