How to Make Soaked Wheat Tortillas
When I began my real food journey, one of the things that troubled me most was how I would replace conventional, store-bought wheat products such as tortillas. Sourdough bread, soaked waffles, and soaked pancakes were easy to make, but tortillas, which had been a staple in our diet, were still missing from my real food repertoire.
I experimented a bit and came up with a soaked tortilla recipe that allowed us to continue to enjoy wheat tortillas.
The Benefits of Soaking Wheat Flour
If you’re new to real food and traditional food preparation you might wonder why on earth I’d soak wheat flour before making homemade tortillas. I do it because it makes the flour easier to digest and more nutritious.
This is information about the benefits of soaked flour from the book Nourishing Traditions:
Phosphorus in the bran of whole grains is tied up in a substance called phytic acid. Phytic acid combines with iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc in the intestinal tract, blocking their absorption. Whole grains also contain enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion. Traditional societies usually soak or ferment their grains before eating them, processes that neutralize phytates and enzyme inhibitors and in effect, predigest grains so that all their nutrients are more available. Sprouting, overnight soaking, and old-fashioned sour leavening can accomplish this important pre digestive process in our own kitchens.
Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon, Pg 25
Today I prefer to use sprouted flour or sourdough to make wheat products. However, when I first transitioned to a real food diet I couldn’t afford sprouted flour, didn’t yet know how to make homemade sprouted flour, and sourdough wasn’t exactly what I needed for tortillas.
Soaking my flour was the fastest, least expensive way to make it easier to digest while being as frugal as possible.
The Best Way to Flatten Homemade Tortillas
I recommend purchasing a tortilla press. I like the cast iron one best.
You can certainly roll out tortillas with a rolling pin. It will work just fine. However, I used to roll out these tortillas by hand and it took forever. It was a great workout, though!
Soaked Flour Has to be Made Ahead of Time
Don’t forget that soaked flour tortillas require advanced preparation. You can’t start making them an hour before you want to eat them. Planning ahead is worth it, though.
My soaked flour tortillas recipe needs to be started 12-24 hours in advance to allow for adequate soaking time.
I always double (and usually quadruple) my recipe so I can make them less often.
Keep in mind the number of tortillas this recipe yields depends on how thick or thin you want your tortillas AND how large you make them. We like smaller fajita size tortillas most often.
Homemade Soaked Tortillas Recipe
4 Tbs of whey (or apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, etc)
2 Tbs of melted butter (How to make homemade butter)
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of filtered water
2. Use your hands to form it into a ball. The dough will be stiff.
3. Cover it with a flour sack towel and leave it on the counter for 12-24 hours.
4. After soaking the flour for 12-24 hours, knead in the salt.
6. Break into small balls and roll or press into tortillas.
7. Heat for for a couple of minutes per side on medium heat on a griddle or frying pan.
Important Tips for Making Soaked Tortillas
- The ball of dough is usually coated with a thick, crusty skin after the soaking period. I peel/pick this hardened layer off and throw it away before kneading in the salt.
- If you use whole wheat flour (as opposed to whole white wheat, which was what I used when I first created this recipe) you’ll need to add about two extra tablespoons of water to the recipe.
- If the liquid to flour ratio is right, the dough will be sticky but will not stick to surfaces. I never flour the press or my work area before making the tortillas. I did have to flour the surfaces the first few times I made them, though. I think I added too much water because it didn’t seem like enough. The additional water made the dough too sticky and difficult to work with.
- These tortillas freeze really well and are great for travel.
- Store them in an airtight container to keep them soft.
- If you make them thicker than a normal tortilla, they make great flat breads for sandwiches or can be baked into soaked crackers for soups, stews, chili, dips and spreads.
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Before you go!
This is how I get a real food dinner on the table on even the busiest evenings. It’s all about planning, baby. Check it out!