I love to cook and have tried to cook many, many things, but I had never thought about making my own tortillas until I read this recipe.  The Pioneer Woman (who has gained some serious popularity recently) describes her tortillas in such a way that saliva uncontrollably dribbled down my chin while scrolling through her pictures.  So after wiping my mouth, I decided I had to make these.  In a word, they are awesome.  Soft, light, heavenly.  We have a hard time keeping them for more than a few days around here.  My only issue was that they were made with only all-purpose flour.  I am a bit of a fiber fiend, and whenever possible I prefer to eat whole grain or whole wheat bread products.  Naturally, I wanted to substitute some whole wheat flour into these tortillas for that extra fiber punch.  My original 1:1 ratio of whole wheat to regular flour failed miserably; the tortillas tasted more like cardboard than an edible Mexican delight, and they wouldn’t properly wrap around my chicken fajita filling. 😦

So I had a quest before me:  determine how to make delicious, soft, lovely, homemade tortillas but still keep the health benefits of whole wheat.  The following is my first attempt to make healthy and delicious homemade tortillas.

First up is my software:

I’m using both whole wheat and self rising flour (because sometimes I am inept at buying what I really want at the grocery store..), as well as salt, baking powder, and Crisco vegetable shortening.  I realize that PW swears by lard, but I still have a hard time coming to grips with spreadable animal fat, so I happily spoon hydrogenated vegetable goo into my tortillas.  (Yes, I realize the irony of this statement, but bear with me; I’m still a bit of a Jersey girl.)

I tossed 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups of *other* flour with 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 tsp of salt.  I gave these a quick stir:

Then I dropped 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening in the bowl with the dry ingredients in small chunks.  (Please, please do not dump this entire amount of Crisco into your dry ingredients; you will have a heck of a time trying to distribute it to make a proper dough.)

For the next step you really should use a pastry cutter, but I don’t own one, so I use a regular old dinglehopper (or fork, for those of you who haven’t seen “The Little Mermaid”).  Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until it is well distributed and forms a sort of crumbly mixture like so:

Then I poured in 1 cup of hot water slowly while mixing the dough until it was combined. And then I kneaded it for a few minutes for good measure.  My dough was beautiful:

Then I whispered “Good Night” to my dough and gently covered it with a tea towel, to let it rest.

Now I let my dough rest for about an hour while I tended to this stinky little moose:

(Please don’t mind my throwing a picture of Bitsy Girl into my tortilla recipe.  She was actually a taste tester for this recipe, so the picture is relevant.  For the record, she found the tortillas to be quite delectable; she told me so.)

Anyway..

After letting the dough rest, I rolled the dough into balls roughly 11/2 to 2 inches in diameter and set them on a cookie sheet to rest for a little while longer.  (This is a particularly sleepy dough..)

I covered my little uncooked tortilla balls back up for about 20 minutes and got out my trusty electric griddle and set the temperature to 350.

Yes, yes, I know.  Most Mexican grandmothers didn’t cook their tortillas on an electric griddle.  I promise that they come out taste, plus they don’t stick to the griddle, so it leaves me with an easier clean up.

I use a rolling pin to roll the tortilla dough balls flat and thin, one a at time:

This tortilla rolling is delicate business.  I try to get them as thin as possible, and I usually end up ripping a few.  Luckily they still taste delicious. 🙂

I cooked the tortillas about 20 seconds on each side so they looked like this:

To keep them warm I put the tortillas on a plate and cover them with a towel.  This also serves to distract me from eating them as I cook them.

This version came out super tasty.  I was impressed how the texture held up with the whole wheat flour.  I would definitely make these again.  Please try them and let me know what you think!

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