Saturday, May 15, 2010

Soaked Tortillas - long winded success

Whole grains, nuts and seeds contain phytic acid, which if not taken care of, can interfere with the absorption of minerals by the body. Phytates, I gather are BAD for us. So, in my quest to find ways to make my favorite grain-based foods from whole grains, I decided to work on my flour tortilla recipe.

Here is a little bowl, into which I put:

1 cup freshly ground whole wheat flour
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon liquid milk kefir

It was then covered with plastic wrap and it soaked the grain all night, which ended up being about 9 hours by the time I got back to it. ( I am told the minimum soaking time should be at least 7 hours. )

Here you can see my griddle, this morning, heating on the stove set to "medium". It looks dirty. That's because it is from a failure I had yesterday with this project. Instead of water with a little milk kefir, I soaked it in straight kefir. It made a much too tender and cake-like product, so I just saved the equipment overnight without washing. I know, I know....

Here is how the dough looked this morning:

Now I am going to stir in the following:

2 teaspoons extra-virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (unrefined)
1 teaspoon Rumford baking powder

Here it is all stirred together:

Turned out onto my bread board sprinkled liberally with unbleached white flour:

Knead vigorously for 3 minutes using a little more flour as needed to prevent sticking:

Cut into 6 pieces:

Form the pieces into little smoothish round things by tucking under the cut edges:

Ok, so here starts the other part of the experiment. My daughter gave me a lovely tortilla press for Mother's Day. (No, you cannot adopt her. ;-) I think these are mainly used for corn tortillas, and that will be my next project, but I decided to give it a try with the flour kind. I did half of them this way.

Put a piece of wax paper on the bottom, sprinkle with flour, place the ball of dough kind of close to the hinge:

Sprinkle with more flour and cover with another piece of waxed paper and then press:

Here it is after peeling off one piece of the waxed paper:

The tortilla on the hot griddle:

Turned over to cook the other side:

Trying out plastic wrap as an alternative:

The pressed tortillas were just too thick, and so I went back to my usual method, which is to quickly roll them out, one by one, and cook on the griddle:

Here is one all rolled out:

How it looks when the first side is done. See the little bubbles?

Flipped over and cooking the other side:

Finished and on a plate! See the long spatula there? That is what I use to flip them over, but of course you can use anything that works.

Side by side comparison. Pressed tortillas on the right, rolled out on the left:

Then I cover them with a little cloth until it's time to eat!

So quick and easy and versatile. Think tacos, wraps, enchiladas.... yum!

And now I have my healthy version!

I am toying with the idea of using the press to make flat breads. I will report back if I have any success with that.


  1. Those look so good! I love your homemade tortillas. It looks like the tortilla press works well. :-)

  2. way to go- I've got to respect that! :)

  3. I wanted to buy a press, but then I read reviews on Amazon that said they didn't roll the dough flat enough, etc.

    One night while mindlessly watching FoodTv, I saw a commercial that gives "tips" for the kitchen. One of them was to knead dough in a ziploc bag for less mess. The next day I used that idea to roll my tortillas. Wayyyy less mess, no sticking and not adding tablespoon after tablespoon of flour to the kneading board.

    The bag trick worked so well, I decided not to buy a press.

  4. Paula, did you actually roll them out on a floured board after that or how did you proceed?

  5. I put the piece of dough in the ziploc bag. Flatted it down with my hand, then used a heavy jar to roll it out rather than my rolling pin. Then I peeled it off the ziploc bag and cooked it.

    I do use lard in my tortillas, so maybe that's why they didn't stick?

  6. we've used our tortilla press to make really thin burgers, too! The little owls wanted burgers that were thin like fast-food burgers. It worked great!

    I never did manage to get the hang of whole wheat tortillas. Mine always tasted like flat, chewy cardboard. :)

  7. What a cute idea! I never thought of using the press to flatten other things... hmmmm... I bet there are other things it could be used for too.

    Soaking whole grain things overnight really does improve the texture. You might try this recipe. You could roll them out between the sides of a zip-lock bag. Cut off the zips and open the sides. Put the piece of dough between the sides and roll it out.

  8. Hello! We have wanted to make tortillas for a long time. We have some Ezekiel bread tortillas in the fridge now, but I would like to make our own using the soaked flour. So far we have only soaked/sprouted lentils.

    I look forward to making these. Thank you for posting this. :) Have a good day, Robin

  9. Do you have a method for converting a recipe to soaking the grains? I haven't tried soaking, but I think I could get a better rise out of 100% whole wheat if I did. Do I just soak the wheat in the amount of water the recipe calls for?

  10. Ellie, when I make whole wheat bread, I do it like so: Four 2 loaves of bread, I mix together all of the usual ingredients, whole wheat flour, water, salt, fat, sweetener and just 1/2 teaspoon of yeast (started in very warm water ) the night before, and then in the morning I proceed as usual, but kneading the bread with unbleached white flour. If you would like a more complete recipe, let me know and I'll give it to you!

  11. So you basically do everything except knead the dough the night before? And then the next day would you knead the dough and let it rise 2 times? Would you use the same quantity of water that a regular bread recipe calls for?
    When I thought about trying it before, I didn't know how to do it because I always start my yeast in water. But it looks like you get around that.
    I have tried starting some bread the night before and putting it in the fridge overnight. It ended up with a fermenting smell. I was only trying to get one step done and save the rest for later and I did knead it.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

  12. You can put your dough together just as you usually do, only be sure to only use 1/2 teaspoon of yeast for 2 loaves of bread. I actually make 5 at a time and use 1 teaspoon of yeast.

    Making break the way I used to (not overnight) I would always let it rise twice in the bowl and once in the pan before baking, but now I only let it rise once in the bowl and once in the pan.

    The amount of water and everything else, besides yeast, is the same..

    Here is approximately what I start with:

    2 1/2 cups very warm water
    1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 cup fat (whatever you prefer)
    1/4 cup honey (or your sweetener of choice)
    6 cups whole wheat flour

    Then, like I said, I use unbleached flour to knead it the next morning. The next time I make break, I'll try to remember to take pictures so I can show how I make it.

    You are more than welcome!

  13. Oops.. "Making BREAD..not 'break'!"

  14. It makes sense to use less yeast. I will have to give it a try very soon. I just baked 4 loaves the other night.

  15. Elie, did you ever try this method for making bread? Did it turn out well?

  16. Years ago I used to occasionally make chapatis (like a tortilla, but from India), but the recipe I had out of the Mother Earth News made a really stiff dough that took some muscle to roll out.

    Recently I tried it again using white whole wheat flour and one of the many recipes on youtube. Much easier to work with, just time consuming to roll them out and cook them. Properly done, they inflate in the middle. I'm only able to get that some of the time. The recipe is basically flour, water and a bit of oil, both in the dough and to coat it.

    Then I had the idea of deep frying the chapatis without cooking them. Wow! Very tasty. Like a cross between a cracker and a sort of whole wheat tortilla chip. You could salt 'em, but I liked them with garlic salt.

    1. That reminds me of this:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...