Sunday, August 15, 2010

spelt tortillas

okay, i admit it.  i am a bit of a tortilla snob.  i like a flour tortilla that is soft and pliable, maybe even a little stretchy.  in my humble opinion, most commercially available tortillas are a total waste of time.  either they are stiff and fluffy (a lovely combination) or have weird ingredients like flax seeds.  gag!

trader joes "hand made" white flour tortillas used to be a staple of my diet, so when i eliminated wheat i was pretty sad to see them go. 

thankfully, spelt flour actually works quite well in tortillas.  yes, it is a pain to make your own tortillas.  and no, they don't really keep all that well...

but when you MUST HAVE TORTILLAS, it is good to know that you can. 

this recipe (adapted from quirkycooking.blogspot), makes about 4 large tortillas.  the original recipe makes more, but i've found that they quickly dry out and get hard, so i usually only make as many as i am going to eat that day.  i haven't tried making more and freezing them yet, but that might work too.

spelt tortillas:

1 cup white spelt flour (sometimes i substitute one or 2 tablespoons white spelt flour for whole grain spelt flour)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup water (approx)

using a food processor mix the spelt and salt together.  add in the butter and blitz until the mixture has the consistency of cornmeal. 

while the processor is on, gradually add in the water just until a ball is formed.  you want the dough to have a nice pliable consistency.  you don't want it to be too hard, or too sticky- so adjust the water/flour ratio accordingly.

heat a large skillet (i use non-stick).

dust the counter with some spelt flour.

remove the dough ball from the processor and divide it into 4 smaller balls.

roll one of the smaller balls into a rough circle shape- try to get it as thin as you can.

when the pan is very hot, gently pick up the dough and try to shake or pat off as much of the excess flour as you can (if you don't, the excess flour builds up in the pan and will eventually burn) 

lay the dough into the pan.  if the pan is hot enough you will see little bubbles form almost immediately.  after a few seconds, flip the tortilla over.  you should see browned bubbles.  if you don't, the pan probably isn't hot enough.

be very careful not to overcook the tortillas.  you want to take them off of the heat when the outer surface is cooked, but before they have totally set.  this becomes more clear as you practice.

while the first tortilla is cooking, roll out the next ball of dough....

repeat until all 4 tortillas are cooked.

i like to place the tortillas under a clean dishtowel as they come out of pan- this seems to keep them tender.

these tortillas taste great, but making them takes some practice.  it is a challenge to keep up with the simultaneous cooking and rolling.  if you are like me and can only concentrate on one task at a time, rolling them out all at once and placing them between waxed paper also works.


maggie said...

they look deliciously professional! go spelty!

Anonymous said...

I am having difficulty producing a soft and pliable spelt tortilla.
I used your recipe as well as one w 2T butter or oil
& baking powder.
They taste fine but they are stiff as a board.