Thursday, January 17, 2008

Whole Wheat Tortillas

I was so excited to receive my copy of the Bread Becker's Recipe Collection in the mail today. It has lots of suggestions and ideas. It's a simple, self published booklet, but is well done and is a good place to start. Just thumbing through it, my mind is going all different directions with ideas!

Since I had a few cups of flour extra from what I ground on Tuesday, I decided to try some whole wheat tortillas. That would solve two things: My desire to try something new and the age old problem of what to make for dinner. I figured if they turned out I could have tacos for dinner tonight.

In my early twenties, my stepsister Ysenia, along with her three boys, lived with my Mom and StepDad and after I moved out I visited a lot. I was really spoiled with her homemade tortillas, which were made with white flour and Crisco. Naturally they tasted wonderful, but I know they aren't healthy. She never used a recipe, just years of experience and the mentoring of her Grandma Cruz Cruz who raised her. One of my favorite things was to hang out in the kitchen with her. She made the tortillas and I made Sloppy Joe meat. We would put the Sloppy Joe meat and cheese in a raw tortilla, wrap it and then deep fry it. YUMMY! (also not healthy! LOL)

When Ysenia made tortillas, she used a little dowel about six or so inches long to roll them out. I remembered that she would pick them up and turn the direction so that they would be evenly rolled. Not having my own dowel, I chose to use the little rolling pin that was mine as a girl and also my mother's as a girl. It's about 6" long plus handles.

The directions are to make tortillas in a combination press/cooker that the Bread Beckers sell, but I don't have that so I rolled them in a ball, about golf ball size (First I sliced them as they recipe called for, which you can see in the photo above, but that was too small. I recalled Ysenia rolling them into balls first and that worked better.)

I cooked them in the iron frying pan. It was difficult to tell when they were done because unlike the white flour tortillas, they do not bubble up. The first one was too done (it will crack if bent) so I adjusted by that. Another technique I learned from Ysenia was to move the tortilla quickly with my fingertips. Be careful so you don't get burnt!

A was my "helper" in the kitchen. Often I have more help than I can stand! :o) A is sitting on a step stool that I have had for about 35 years. It was made by my Aunt's step father in law. It has a tall back to it, which you can see behind A's head, and in the back is a hand hole so that you can pick it up and move it anywhere. It is finished in "antique gold", a special technique, popular at the time, which my mother spent many hours perfecting on my bedroom furniture.

Here's my stack of 12 tortillas. Like my step Dad would say - They look like maps of Texas!

The real test is whether or not the family will eat them. I tasted them and thought they were "okay". I might try with white wheat next time (these were hard red wheat). However, the kids had bites and they LOVED it! They asked for cheese crisps for lunch. Or cheese crypts as A says!

D liked them too and he is my real "hard sell" for any food, let alone a healthier version of something he already eats. Praise God he loves my homemade bread and prefers it to the store bought. And he liked these!

J, my little "rock star" eats all kinds of things but is sometimes picky about bread products so I was glad that she gave it a "thumb's up" as well.

All and all I would say it is a good recipe. But, I will probably try some others. It is exciting that I can make this for MUCH less than I can buy it. I am anxious to try out some more things like hamburger buns, bagels and English Muffins. I made them years ago in high school but with white flours. Life certainly has been an adventure since we have been trying all these new things.


Teresa said...

Yummy! You made something I've been wanting to try! Now I'll have to do it.

I make the hamburger rolls all the time, and I've made english muffins and bagels and donuts. All were good! I also make hot dog buns so that when we do have hot dogs (on the rare summer occasion) at least the bun is healthy!

You'll have to try the muffins. They are SO good!

Charlotte said...

Our family makes quick-bread (gluten-free for my Celiac spouse) biscuits in...a SNACK MASTER! That crazy RonCo appliance of late 1980's early 90's fame!!! I got the appliance at a rummage sale, but it sure makes for quick quick-breads in our family. Lol. Cool Tortillas.