Flour Tortillas: Healthy, Simple, Fresh, Awesome.

Turns out my brother likes to tinker in the kitchen too. Also he's funny and created a killer tortilla recipe that literally anyone can make. Here is the email, in its original glory:

Hello Mother and Father and Sister,

Maybe you don't know that you want it, but here is my (finely tuned flour tortilla recipe. Massively better and healthier (way less fat+sat. fat) than store bought. God damn Mission tortillas. I will ruin them.

Anyway, I have gone through a bunch of tweaks to the recipe and prep to figure out how to get soft, flavorful, low-fat flour tortillas.

To make 4-5 excellent, relatively healthy flour tortillas:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (having fresh flour may matter)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/8 cup (3 oz) water - use filtered and nuke for 20 secs
1 tsp oil (suggest olive or canola; doing a generous tsp helps too)

important equipment:
rolling pin (handle-less style is much easier)
10"+ cast iron skillet

1. Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl
2. Nuke water for about 10-20 seconds to get it lukewarm or so
3. Add oil to dry ingredients, stir to combine
4. Add water to bowl. Many recipes say add slowly. This is not necessary. Add almost all of it. You will know you have added the right amount of liquid when all the loose flour is picked up into the dough ball automatically as you mix.
5. The dough should be slightly tacky, add small amounts of water or flour to adjust if necessary.
6. Knead briefly on lightly floured surface, about 2 minutes, until dough is smooth. This should really be pretty brief.
7. Return dough to bowl and let stand, covered with damp paper towel/cloth for 15 minutes
8. Divide into five golf ball sized dough balls
9. Let them rest, covered with the towel, for five minutes. This would be a good time to start heating the pan
10. Heat pan on high heat. This is the really critical part. If it's a cast iron skillet, the pan should really be just on the edge of smoking. Too low temp leaves you with tough, crappy tortillas (sorry about that dad) *
11. Working with one dough ball at a time:
   a. Flatten with the palm of your hand into a thick disc about 3-4" across
   b. Roll out dough (kinda like a pie crust?) until you have a tortilla about 6-7" around. If you are like me it will be highly irregular.
   c. Place in pan. cook for 30 seconds on one side; it should start to bubble and have brown spots on it after 30 seconds; if it doesn't, temp is too low.
   d. Flip and cook reverse side for 30 seconds.
   e. Put aside and cover loosely

You can work on rolling out the next tortilla while the first is cooking to make the cooking process go quickly. I have done two batches in the past two days and they are fantastic. The dough really doesn't need to be worked at all, the ingredients combine very easily with a small amount of mixing and kneading.

Tortilla Dough Balls

In the Pan


If you make 5 tortillas, they are just under 100 calories, less than 1 gram of fat and less that 0.05 grams of saturated fat, 0 preservatives and infinitely better than store-bought.

Happy Taco Tuesday everyone!

* I'm assuming they made tortillas one night during my dad's visit to Brooklyn and that they turned out "crappy" for said reason.

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