I have long watched homemade tortillas being made on FoodTV and various PBS food documentaries, and until recently, I have been intimidated by the thought of using dough. My husband is the dough man…he has fiddled with dough to make the most delicious pizza crust, homemade soft pretzels (we do live in Philly) and even homemade challah. I liked to watch and that was enough for me.
However, I’ve long wanted to make tortillas since they are a staple of our diet. As I began to replace storebought foods with homemade foods, the tortilla was one I knew I wanted to tackle. We use tortillas for quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, and tostados…yes, we use them a lot! I have been happy with flour tortillas from Trader Joe’s made with flax and oats, but not so happy with the longer than necessary list of ingredients.
And, so I was again inspired during my 30 Day Vegan workshop. One day, while talking about our food budget, a lovely co-participant Emily from Abide with Me mentioned that she made homemade tortillas for her family of seven. Wow, was I impressed! I am always in awe of big families, as it takes a lot out of me to help keep this family of four running smoothly. Emily commented that she made homemade tortillas (as one way to keep her grocery budget in check) and so a thread started about favorite recipes, making, and storing (freezing) the tortillas.
My wheels began to turn about how we could start making homemade tortillas as a family project. My husband creates dough with the kids’ help, so why couldn’t I lead the charge to make tortillas? So, I went about looking for a really easy recipe for beginners with few ingredients and found this one. A friend and I had been talking about getting our kids together for dinner (they also like to cook together) and so we made a date to make homemade flour tortillas.
One Wednesday afternoon, we planned to have an early dinner making homemade tortillas to turn into quesadillas. We started by measuring out the ingredients together, mixing them in the bowl, kneading for just a bit, then dividing the dough into eight even pieces. Each child took a turn feeling the dough and helping (the rolling pin can be a tricky and takes some practice) to roll the dough out to a “circle”. The final shape was closer to a rectangle, but shape was of no importance to us! (I will say that for long term tortilla making I will be investing in a tortilla press. If anyone has recommendations on a tortilla press, please comment below – I would love to hear your thoughts!)
You can see from this picture that the kids loved touching the beautifully-speckled whole wheat dough.
But, they had more fun eating them!
This was the first time we made homemade tortillas. The next time I plan to make a couple adjustments. I will triple the recipe and freeze the leftovers using wax paper between each one. And, I will add some flax, and possibly ground oats, in the dough (reducing the flour slightly). I also would like to try spinach and corn versions.
I would love to know…have you made homemade tortillas? Do you use a tortilla press?