Making Healthier Flour Tortillas From Scratch
Would you like to learn to make your own healthier flour tortillas? When I was single and living on my own, money was tight and if I wanted to have tortillas I had to learn to make them myself. At first, they were not so pretty the shape was not always perfectly round, but I got better over time. Homemade tortillas are so cheap and easy to make, it is almost a no-brainer.
Making Them Healthier
Making your own tortillas from scratch has to be healthier because you control what you’re putting into them, and it is not likely that you will be using preservatives, dough conditioners, or other questionable additives that many commercial products contain. But that is not why I am saying these are healthier, these tortillas will be healthier because of a long lost technique I will be using to make them, Fermentation.
Why Use A Fermentation Process?
Before the industrial revolution, the traditional way to process grains was to ferment them. The whole grains would be soaked over night, and sprouted for several days till they fermented. This technique of fermenting grains was a common practice, a practice that over time has been replaced with fast food preparation practices, these modern practices have not come without a price.
Bread, that once was called, The Staff of Life is now poison to many who can’t digest it properly. Because so many people are affected, Gluten or Gluten-free foods have become a regular part of our lives, almost no matter where we go, we hear of gluten free this and gluten free that…
Phytic acid is a chemical in grains and seeds that prevent the seed from sprouting before certain conditions are met. When we ferment grains the fermentation process meets the needs for the grain to unlock the phytic acid, so that it lets down the barriers binding the nutrients in the seed or grain, allowing it to make its stored nutrients available for use.
What we now know, is that when grains are prepared using today’s fast food methods, the phytic acid that would have been deactivated through fermentation is still active, preventing the grain from releasing its nutrients.
When we eat grains or seeds that have not been fermented or sprouted, the stored nutrients are not released and require nutrients from outside its self to digest the grain or seed, this puts an extra load on your digestive system, making it almost a non-food.
Is this the reason that so many are gluten intolerant, possibly. But you also have to take into consideration that many of the grains that we have today are hybrids and are not like the grains our ancestors had.
Don’t worry too much about the grains, fermentation will make things better. Some people have seen almost miraculous health changes from eating bread made from fermented grains, using the grains we have. Don’t Worry Be Happy 🙂
Not too long ago I learned of an old world flour that is made from a type of wheat that has not been hybridized, it is called Einkorn… Some feel that using Einkorn wheat is easier on the digestive system and better for those with gluten intolerance. For information on the history of Einkorn Wheat visit Einkorn.com
Start With The Flour
If you don’t have Einkorn berries or flour, any good all-purpose flour will work for Tortillas. When choosing what to use, remember that using the best flour you can find will only improve the tortillas you make with it.
If you have wheat berries you can use that too, but it will be a little harder to use… After sprouting them, you will need a blender to make them useable. A wet grinder works well too, but I don’t expect many in this country have a wet grinder, it is primarily used in India.
Making The Sponge
Take a glass or plastic bowl and add 1 cup of flour (or 1 cup of sprouted and blended wheat berries), then add 1 cup of water and stir well. Add 1 tbsp either plain yogurt or apple cider vinegar with the mother, and mix. Next, measure 1 tsp of bread yeast, add it to the bowl and mix. I am using yeast to make sure the tortillas have some lift if you have a sourdough starter use some of that instead, and leave out the yogurt or vinegar.
You can make your own sourdough starter from natural yeasts in the flour, on the grains, or from the air in your home, but it takes more time and depending on the yeast in your environment they could be strong or weaker, making them more or less effective. The best Sourdough starters have been around for a long time.
I have decided that I will leave the sponge on my kitchen counter uncovered for several hours, hoping for some natural yeasts in my home to fall in. But it is not critical since I added commercial bread yeast, and I will cover it with a clean dishtowel after a few hours.
Fermenting The Sponge
The process of fermenting the sponge is going to take about 4 days so plan ahead so that you can have it ready when you want to make tortillas… Consider making more than you need, tortillas made in bulk can be made in advance and frozen for future use.
Feed The Yeast
After 24 the first hours we will need to feed our yeasts, we are going to feed it 2 tbsp of flour twice a day for the second and third day. On the fourth day, it should be ready, to use.
When The Sponge Is Fermented
On the fourth day, your sponge should be ready to use. Add 1 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp bread yeast, mix well. Start adding flour a little at a time till it is thick enough to handle.
Preparing The Dough
Put down a layer of flour, and pour out the dough, start kneading the dough, knead for about 10 minutes, then form dough into a ball put it back into the bowl cover with a clean dishtowel and let it rise until it doubles.
Form Dough Into Balls
Once the dough has risen, knock it down and knead it a little to get it into a ball, then start pulling off handfuls of dough and roll them into balls. The size of the dough balls determines how large of a tortilla you can make. I like them big, so I break off a handful…
Roll The Tortilla
I have found that using a large Tupperware lid to roll the tortillas on, makes getting the round shape easier. If you have one put flour on it and then roll out the tortilla on the lid, turning the lid about a quarter turn each time you roll one section, rolling one section at each turn, trying to keep it in a circle shape. I think I need to make a video…
Dusting The Flour Off
When the tortilla is as large and thin as I like, I pick it up and dust off the excess flour, before putting it in a hot skillet.
In a hot dry skillet (non-stick works well, but so does cast iron) cook tortilla, on one side until it puffs, then flip and cook on the other side. Do not burn or overcook, if over cooked it will be cracker hard and crackly.
The Finished Tortilla
Tortillas can be placed on a clean dishtowel and covered, as they come out of the skillet, they will stay warm for awhile like that.
I Love Homemade Tortillas
I hope you have enjoyed seeing how I make Healthier Tortillas.
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How I Make Healthier Flour Tortillas
- 4-6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup filtered water
- 2 tsp bread yeast
- 1 tbsp plain yogurt or apple cider vinegar with the mother
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- In a large bowl add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup filtered water, 1 tsp bread yeast, 1 tbsp yogurt or vinegar mix well.
- Cover with a clean dishcloth, and store at room temperature.
- After 24 hours, for the next 2 days feed the yeasts twice a day, 2 tbsp flour, and mix.
- On the fourth day, add the salt, and oil and 1 tsp of bread yeast mix well and begin adding flour about 1/2 cup at a time till it stiffens up enough to handle, but still soft.
- Put about a cup of flour on a clean countertop, dump the dough out and begin to knead, knead dough for about 10 minutes.
- Then roll dough into a ball and put back into the bowl to rise, cover with a clean dishtowel and let it double in size, put in a warm area if, you house is very cool.
- When the dough has doubled, pound it down, into a ball, pull off small handfuls of dough and roll each piece into a ball, cover balls of dough with a clean dishtowel that has been dampened to keep the dough from drying out while you roll the tortillas.
- On a layer of flour roll out one tortilla, and when you are done pick it up and dust off the excess flour, place tortilla in a hot skillet and let it cook till it puffs then flip it over to cook the other side, do not overcook you want them to be pliable.
- Place cooked tortillas in a clean towel to keep warm, Roll and cook tortillas one by one.
Let Me Know What You Think
I would love to hear what you think about How I Make Healthier Flour Tortillas, please leave me a comment or question below… Thank you for visiting… 🙂