If you love making wraps, tacos, and enchiladas, you need to try making homemade whole wheat tortillas. It’s way easier than you think and will elevate your meals to the next level.
With so many recipes on this site using tortillas, it’s a wonder I haven’t made them sooner. It always seemed so much easier to buy pre-made tortillas for my halloumi wraps or sweet and sour shrimp burritos. So what prompted it? Well, since I’ve been trying to incorporate more whole grains in my diet, I went looking for whole wheat tortillas to make my usual wraps from. And I couldn’t find any.
But, it turns out, making your own tortillas is easy. And as an added bonus, you get to control exactly what goes in them. No more wondering about preservatives or added sugars. Plus, my version of whole wheat tortillas are vegan, with no butter or lard. Just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard and a rolling pin and you’re all set.
Making tortillas is easy
One of the most important points of homemade tortillas is getting them nice and thin. If you can find one, a tortilla press is certainly useful, but it is another piece of equipment to store in your kitchen. A rolling pin works just as well. Just get that dough as thin as you can for a perfect wrap.
Other benefits of tortillas are that they don’t have yeast and so don’t require any rising time. Also, they cook on the stove top, so you don’t have to turn on the oven. Which is great in the summer when it is just too hot. All you need is a big skillet or cast-iron pan. Now that I know how easy it is to make my own tortillas, I’ll probably never bother buying them again.
How to freeze tortillas
If homemade tortillas are still sounding like a lot of work for something you can get at the store, well, you only have to make them once in a while. Tortillas freeze well. Just put them in a freezer safe bag and pull one out when you need it. To make them easy to defrost, it’s best to separate the tortillas with parchment paper or wax paper before freezing a stack.
Because they are so thin, tortillas are quick to defrost and reheat. Defrosting them is simple. Just pull out as many as you need from the freezer bag and put them on the plate in the fridge. If you plan to leave them to defrost overnight, it is best to cover them loosely with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.
Tortillas can be heated in the oven at a low temperature straight from the freezer. To heat several at once, put the temperature to around 250° F and spread the tortillas on a baking sheet so they loosely overlap. Don’t heat a large stack without separating them as the ice crystals can make everything soggy. It only takes a few minutes to heat up tortillas, so keep an eye on them. You don’t want them to turn hard and crunchy. Once they are warm, stack the tortillas on a plate and cover them with a dry tea towel.
If you only need to heat up one or two tortillas, a microwave works. Place them on a plate covered with a paper towel and microwave on medium heat for 15 second bursts until they are at the desired temperature. You can also heat them in a pan on the stove. Just place the tortilla in a dry pan and wave it up over medium heat for 20-30 seconds per side.
When should you use whole wheat tortillas?
Since I’ve been trying to eat healthier, I’ve been using these homemade whole wheat tortillas in place of regular ones in just about everything: falafel wraps, chicken pinwheels, tortilla cups, quesadillas, all of them! But what surprised me the most was how well they do with sweet things. Particularly my apple enchiladas – which my family love in the fall. The nutty whole wheat balances out the sweet caramel perfectly and brings them to a whole new level.
Easy Homemade Whole-Wheat Tortillas
- 2 cups (300g) whole wheat flour
- 1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup water , at room temperature
- In a large bowl, combine together both flours, olive oil, baking powder, and sea salt. Stir together until the mixture resembles crumbs.
- Gradually add the water and keep stirring until the mixture pulls together into a dough. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more plain flour, if it's too dry, add more water, a little at a time. Shape into a disk and divide into 8 equal parts.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a 10-inch circle using a rolling pin. Work with one dough piece at a time while keeping the rest covered with a kitchen towel to prevent from drying out.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. It should be fairly hot before adding your first tortilla to be able to cook it quick.
- Cook the tortillas, one at a time, until puffy and slightly brown, about 30 to 45 seconds per side.
- You can enjoy your tortillas immediately or freeze them for later use.