Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sourdough Surprises: Sourdough Tortillas

It's hard for my family to resist a Mexican dinner. It wasn't uncommon when I was younger for my family to eat at Mexican restaurants two or three days a week. So, when Sourdough Surprises picked flatbreads for the month of February, there was no doubt in my mind that I had to make tortillas.

Of course, this ended up being a many-days process. First and foremost, I had to finally take the time to re-season my grandmother's cast iron pan (sadly, I know its benefits – but it sat in the back of the cupboard for I don't know how long). Then the two day process of making tortillas, and finally, a Mexican dinner for my family.

Well, this one wasn't an easy one. For starters, I could barely get the whole 3 cups of flour mixed into the dough when I made it. A day later, and the dough was so wet I could hardly handle it. Perhaps because I used regular all-purpose flour (unfortunately, I'm the only one who watches what I eat in my house, and at least one of my taste testers dislikes whole wheat products). I managed, though. It made nearly twice what the recipe indicated, so that was another plus. And then I had to wait until I had another day off to make dinner and try them! It was tough – I was looking forward to a homemade Mexican meal.

The recipe:
Sourdough Tortillas
Adapted very slightly from Grain Mill Wagon
- 3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup sourdough starter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Pinch salt
Step One:  Combine the water, flour, salt, and sourdough starter in your mixer or food processor.  Keep adding flour, slowly, until the dough forms a nice ball without sticking too much to the sides of the mixer.  Once you get the dough to a soft ball form, allow the mixer to knead the dough for 2-3 minutes (if you don’t have a mixer, just do this by hand!)  Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let this hang out on your counter for 12-24 hours.
Step Two:  When you’re ready to cook up your tortillas, heat up a griddle, cast iron skillet, or cooking pan of choice to medium-high heat.  I don’t bother with greasing or spraying my griddle.  I like to use my large griddle so that I can have multiple tortillas going at the same time – it helps to speed up the process.
Step Two:  Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer onto a greased surface.  Gently divide the dough into walnut sized balls (this recipe will yield a dozen or so, depending on size).
Step Four:  Grease your hands with a little olive oil and working with one ball of dough at a time, use your fingers to smoosh the dough out into a tortilla.  I suppose you could use a greased rolling pin, but I find that using my fingers alone works fine.  Sure, the shape isn’t a perfect circle – but that’s okay!  It’s homemade, remember?
Step Five:  After rolling out the tortilla, gently and carefully move it to the hot skillet.  Cook it for about 30 seconds per side, until a little golden and bubbly.
Step Six:  You can either eat these immediately, or cool them off and store them in the fridge or freezer for later use.  I have found that they reheat very easily and even stay soft.  Yay!

So then comes dinner:
A little chicken breast, a lot of seasoning, some cheese and salsa...they ended up being tough for tacos – just a tad too small, but they were certainly delicious.

(I did also have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on one, but at 11:30 at night...I forgot to snap a picture.)

I can't say I'm going to make homemade tortillas again anytime soon – my family still eats at Mexican restaurants enough that it doesn't make sense to make a Mexican dinner at home. But I'm glad I did.

And now I just need another day off to spend in the kitchen!

Check out our other awesome flatbreads!


14 comments:

  1. Yummy! I made tortillas too but without the long wait.

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    1. It did make for a good sourdough flavor :-)

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  2. Your tortillas look delicious! The peanut butter and jelly sandwich sounds like something I would definitely eat at 11:30 at night:) Lynn H @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

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    1. That's often what I do when I get home that late :-). Thank you!

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  3. I love homemade tortillas but I'm not good at them yet. I use a rolling pin, and mine are never round either. I felt bad about that until I had a Hispanic lady from church show me how she made tortillas. She's been making them for longer than I've been alive, but hers are never perfectly round, either. :)

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    1. I learned a little bit from my first boss. She didn't do them often, but hers weren't round either. But it's authentic!

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  4. I'm a little surprised at the trouble you had with the dough, but the results look amazing - really excellent job!!

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    1. Thank you - well, always good to have a little challenge :-)

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  5. Awesome job making tortillas! I always make homemade tortillas when we have tacos (although I don't do a sourdough version) and they are really quick. Although this recipe took forever to make, I do like that it had an overnight resting period, I am sure that gave it a nice tang! And glad you brought that cast iron skillet back up to snuff! I use mine every day and love it! :)

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    1. I don't make Mexican at home too often, so I'd never even attempted. And yes, the pan has been used every time I've cooked dinner since I seasoned it :-).

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  6. Too bad you had trouble with your tortillas. I made both tortillas and naan and found the tortillas easier. We all are learning so much from each other!

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  7. Substitutions can be risky, even a simple all-purpose for whole wheat flour swap. But I got it to work :-).

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  8. I tried this recipe but after allowing the dough to ferment for around 18 hours it was way too sticky to roll out (I used whole wheat flour). I attempted to stretch it like pizza do but that didn't work either...it kept tearing.

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    1. Even I had trouble with it and I used all purpose. It may just be a bad recipe.

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