Thursday, June 16, 2011

Long Time No See!! (With Homemade Tortillas)

I think we're just going to have to face the fact that i won't be updating this blog as often as i'd hoped. At least not until summer is over. Things are pretty chaotic here, and i've been focusing a lot on my family and my fitness (back on Spark again, working hard and feeling great!).

Today, i'm sharing a recipe that marked another milestone in my culinary skills: Homemade tortillas.

I don't know why i've always been afraid to make tortillas. Even with my current efforts to make as many of the foods we eat as possible, and the fact that i now make all of our bread and buns instead of buying them, i've always figured we'd just buy our tortillas, because i didn't know how to make them and just assumed they'd be difficult.

How easy they are!! I spent half an hour down in my kitchen this afternoon making up a whole bunch! You know how much they charge here in town for a bag of tortillas?? $3.49!! Know how much it cost to make them myself?? mere cents! (i haven't done the math, but you get my point)

Anyway, the recipe that inspired me is found here at A Bird and a Bean.While those ones sounded super yummy, my calorie counting required something a little lighter. After some research of other recipes, i found that it wasn't a huge deal to cut down the calories, and made some adjustments accordingly. If you're not concerned about calories, feel free to head on over there for the recipe and method (check out their homemade Cheez-Its while you're there  - those are on my list!). If you, like me, need something diet-friendly, stick around here.

Wheat Tortillas
 2 1/2 c. flour (white or wheat- or substitute a non-wheat flour if you prefer)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 c. hot water

Combine the dry ingredients. Add oil and stir until mixture is flaky. Pour in hot or very warm water (start with 1/2 cup and add more as you need it). Stir until very soft dough forms. Let sit for about ten minutes.

Preheat skillet or griddle (i had my griddle up to 425, the highest it would go). Divide the dough into balls - I divided it into 16, which made the tortillas pretty small (about 5 1/5 - 6 1/2 inches wide), but make fewer if you want them bigger.

Carefully roll out on floured surface.

I used a LOT of flour, because my dough was very soft and a bit sticky. It allowed me to make the tortillas almost paper thin, which i think worked out just great (i don't like really thick tortillas) - if they stick to the table, then the tortilla will tear. badly. Make them as thin as you can safely get them.

Place on ungreased skillet or griddle and cook for a minute or two. I didn't time them, since they didn't take very long, i just watched them. When the top starts to get bubbly, it's time to flip it:

I know, i know, that one on the right is looking pretty sad. It takes skill to get them perfectly round.

Don't cook them too long, or they'll crisp up (which, actually, is pretty nice too - like chips!). If you use lots of flour like i did, they won't be very brown until they're way overcooked. BUT if they do come out a bit too crispy, wrap a stack of them in plastic while still warm and let them sit for a while - the moisture will soften them up.

We're using these for tacos tonight. I like that they're small, because they are the perfect size for our kids, and it also means i get to have TWO tacos instead of just one (calorie counting is such a drag on taco night)!

Incidentally, if you're curious, one tortilla (if you make 16) runs you roughly 80 calories, 1g of fat, 15g carbs, and 2g protein.

Happy eating!!

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