Soaked Tortilla Tutorial
We just love us some homemade tortillas in this family! (Gosh, I’m learning to talk more and more like an American all the time- I love you gals! 🙂
After buying the whole grain or sprouted store bought ones for years, we are completely sold on eating homemade ones instead. Their texture is softer and less chewy, and we find the taste much nicer as well (as with most homemade foods). Not to mention, they’re cheap to make!
I used to be intimidated by making tortillas myself, but finally decided to give it a try about a year ago. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy of a process it is! I also use a soaked method (which is not any more complicated or time-consuming than an un-soaked process), in order to reduce phytates and enhance digestibility.
My recipe comes from my absolute favorite whole grains recipe book: Sue Gregg’s An Introduction to Whole Grain Baking . You can see a review of this book that I wrote just over a year ago. Everything I try turns out wonderfully, and I use this book at least 2-3 times a week. I am not affiliated with Sue Gregg’s company at all, but just think that this is such a valuable book for anyone desiring to learn to do healthier baking, including soaking and sourdough, with excellent results right from the start! (This is also the last of her recipes that I will post, because I want you to buy her book, not just use my site for recipes!)
Here’s the recipe:
(I always at least double it, if not triple or quadruple)
1 Tbsp melted butter (or coconut oil works well, too)
2 Tbsp whey or cultured milk (or lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
Pour both ingredients into a liquid measuring cup, and then top the cup up to the 3/4 mark using filtered water.
In a large mixing bowl, add:
2 cups Kamut or spelt or whole wheat flour
Stir the liquids in to the flour until just mixed. Squeeze the dough together with your hands until it is evenly moist, and forms a nice, stiff ball of dough. Place it back in the bowl, and cover it with a damp kitchen towel, and if you like, another dry kitchen towel over top (I find this helps to keep it more moist).
Let it sit overnight, for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
The next day:
Add a 1/2 tsp of sea salt and mix it in well, kneading the dough for about 2 minutes (use a little bit of flour below to prevent sticking).
Let it sit for 30 minutes, covered with a towel (for easier rolling).
Divide the dough up into small balls. This recipe makes 1 dozen 6″ tortillas. To do this, I cut the dough in half, then each half in half again, then each half into 3 even pieces, and roll them all into balls. Another alternative is to make only 8-10 tortillas and then make them a little bit larger (more like 8-10″). I find this easiest to do with a serrated steak knife.
These are my 4 big balls of dough, from a quadruple batch. Each of these will be cut into 12 (or 10) small balls.
Here is where it gets fun! I recently bought a tortilla press, and I just love how it makes the rolling procedure so quick and easy! However, I did the rolling by hand for nearly a year before I broke down and bought this, and it’s easy enough to do it that way. Just make sure that your counter is well-floured enough so that you can easily peel the tortilla off to put it in the pan.
If you choose to purchase a press (I’ll give a couple resources at the end), the way that I have found to make it easiest is to take a large Ziploc storage bag and cut the seams off, leaving me with two square pieces of plastic. I put one on the press, sprinkle it with a bit of flour, put down my ball of dough, sprinkle just a bit more flour, and then put the other piece of plastic on top. Then I press it. I find (with my press, anyways) that it helps to lift up the press and re-press the tortilla at a couple of different angles to press my tortillas as thinly and evenly as I like to have them.
Here’s my 4 year old, Abbie, working the press. This has become a really fun kitchen activity for us to do together, because she is able to roll the balls after I cut them and also to press them for me. I have made 2 sets of the plastic pieces, so that I can always have one tortilla ready and waiting to be cooked, and she can be preparing another one for me.
This is my press. It’s made in Mexico, of cast iron, though it has some other kind of coating. Even if it weren’t easier with the plastic pieces, I would probably use them anyways just to avoid having my dough touch the metal coating. Regardless, this press works wonderfully and saves me time and effort! This is an 7.5″ press, but you can also get ones that are 6.5″ and 8″.
Once you’ve rolled or pressed your dough balls, you want to carefully lay them on a pre-heated pan, without any oil or grease. I start mine at just above medium, and turn it down to a little below medium after it’s been on for quite awhile. They need about 15-30 seconds on each side. I flip mine when they just begin to bubble up a bit like this one.
After each tortilla has been cooked on both sides, I make a stack on a kitchen towel, and keep a second towel on top of the pile. This helps to keep them soft and moist while they sit.
This recipe freezes well, and I usually keep a bag of 10-12 in the fridge for immediate use, and then freeze the rest in bags of 10-12 (this is about the size of a store-bought bag).
By tripling or quadrupling my recipe, I can make up to 48 tortillas (or more like 40 if I want them a bit bigger) in about 1 1/2 hours, not counting the overnight soak.
Buying a Tortilla Press:
This is a link to the one I bought I found on Craigslist. It was new, and cost $20 CAN, plus shipping (which is pricey- to my house it was $16 CAN). I’m not sure if he will sell to the US or not, but it’s worth asking!
Amazon also carries several nice ones that I was eyeing before I found the one that I ended up buying:
Imusa Victoria Cast Iron Tortilla Press, 6.5 Inch
Imusa Victoria Cast Iron Tortilla Press, 8 Inch
That’s it! So easy and so worthwhile! Now go make some yummy tortillas!
Have you ever made your own tortillas?
Thanks for the tutorial! I’ve thought about making my own tortillas but have never tried. They seem much easier to make than I had imagined. And much cheaper than buying sprouted ones from the store.
Cool! thanks for this tutorial as I love tortillas and have been thinking about adventuring out and making my own. Now that I see this I will give it a try!
I’ve been making our tortillas for about a year and a half. I usually make them with WW, but haven’t tried soaking the flour overnight (some ladies at church have really encouraged me to get the Sue Gregg cookbooks, but I haven’t yet…maybe for Christmas). I was surprised at how easy it was. We like ours very thin, so rolling works best. I actually am going to fajita cookout on Saturday and need to make some to bring with us. I love homemade tortillas. Yum! Thanks for the tutorial.
Thanks so VERY much for posting this! I can’t wait to try it! 🙂
i am going to try these. they look delicious! thanks so much for the information.
We make a lot of Mexican food, but have never made my own tortillas. I think I will have to try them out. Sound easy and I’m sure they will be really yummy. Thanks.
Does the Sue Gregg cookbook have a recipe for sprouted corn? I have celiac disease and can’t eat any form of wheat/gluten. On a whim, I bought some sprouted corn tortillas from the health food store, and I didn’t realize until I got home that they cost $8.79. Eek!
Thank you so much for your tutorial for tortillas. We eat tortillas daily so I have found it is much cheaper to make them. I use my grandmother’s recipe which she brought with her from Mexico. I remember sitting in her kitchen when I was a child watching her “flap” the tortillas-no rolling or presses for her-she would throw them between her two hands and then up in the air and they would grow bigger and rounder-it was amazing to watch but I have never been able to master the technique (I use a rolling pin). Since we have been eating better and I have been reading your blog I have been trying to figure out how to soak the flour for tortillas. I can’t wait to try this recipe. And I think I will be looking for Sue Gregg’s cookbooks as I am new to bread making. So fun. Thank you
I have been making ww tortillas for a while, but never a soaked method. I am anxious to try this recipe! I struggled with mine being a bit dry and slightly cake like – I don’t know how else to describe it. I have found that the thinner I can get it prior to cooking, the better. I put my dough balls in a plastic bag before rolling them out. This keeps the moisture in better than if you just leave them on the counter (for those of us in dry climates).If you don’t have a press and you roll them out, get them really thin and use a pastry scraper to lift them from the surface to the griddle. Also, as soon as I take them off the griddle, I put them in a tortilla keeper that keeps them hot and also from drying out. That way they don’t break up too much when we use them.
I’m adding to the corn question. I’m also gluten-intolerant & wondering if i can substitute corn flour/meal. Thanks! 🙂
My kids are gluten intolerant (not celiac) but I’m not sure they’re even ok with spelt or kamut. Could this be tried with other flours (quinoa, amaranth, etc)?
For those of you in the states, you can get a tortilla press at a store called Kitchen Collection. They are in outlet malls and regular malls here in the midwest. They also have a website. I think they are the 6.5 inch ones and I know I paid less than $10 for it. I would love to get one of the ones that presses and bakes them at the same time. We like our tortillas a little bit bigger and the one I have doesn’t quite cut it. I end up using a rolling pin most of the time. I usually end up with some funky shaped tortillas. Oh well, they taste good!
Ooh, I might have to try this; we love tortillas! What kind of pan do you use to cook them?
About 8 years ago we bought a press after doing the rolling pin way for awhile. My husband & I had a test to see who can make them faster…w the press or rolling pin. For our family the rolling pin went much faster! We can roll many in the time we pressed them, took them out, got the next one ready & so on. We put them on our pancake griddle. We can cook 6 @ a time this way! We have 8 mouths to feed so this works the best for us! We have a little production line w my kids. One rolls out & one cooks w mom helping where needed. I am going to try this recipe, it is different than mine! Thanks
We love homemade tortillas at our house. We usually use 1/3 ww flour to 2/3 masa.
For the people asking about corn tortillas, I recently came across a series of posts on the cheeseslave blog about making them. I will put the link here…I hope it works. http://www.cheeseslave.com/2008/08/03/homemade-corn-tortillas-part-one/
We are from Texas and LOVE mexican food and thus I’ve been making tortillas since I was about 16. I’ve never used a press, just a rolling pin.
I love Sue Gregg’s cookbooks. I’ve been asking for the whole set for two years now….hopefully one day I’ll get it. I have only two of her books and all the recipes I’ve tried but one came out wonderful!
I make my own corn and wheat tortillas. My husband got my tortilla press for me from Williams-Sonama. I live in Pennsylvania, and they don’t carry it in stores, so he had to order it online.
For the gluten-intolerant and fellow celiacs:
I’ve never made sprouted corn tortillas, but I’ve made gluten-free flour tortillas. (Some recipes are better than others. The first recipe I tried turned out more like crepes than tortillas.) If someone successfully alters a GF flour tortilla recipe to also be soaked, I would love to hear about it!
But even if not soaked, homemade GF tortillas are way better than the GF rice or corn options at Whole Foods — so dry and brittle… I can’t bring myself to buy GF tortillas any more, but I don’t like rolling out endless tortillas, either. Might have to invest in a tortilla press! 🙂
By the way, for those in the USA:
Bed, Bath & Beyond has a tortilla press for $19.99. Combined with a $5/15 or 20% off coupon, that’s a pretty good deal. Does anyone know what size tortillas it makes? It doesn’t say online.
I purchased our tortilla press at a Hispanic grocery store in town. It was well made and inexpensive. It is aluminum, and coated with something. And it specifically states not to let food touch it. :o( Makes me worry what it is.
I have a friend that picked up a large wooden one from the Mexican market in Chicago.
Here’s a similar one online:
This one is cast iron and safe for food contact:
I just said to myself this week….
Why am I not making my own tortillas? I should ask Steph if she has a recipe.
Go figure…then you post this. Makes me laugh.
I buy mine and this is another easy way to cut the budget down (thinking of our conversation last night) by making them. We would eat more of them if I didn’t buy them :O) Plus it would cut our bread cost too…because my kids would prefer a “Tortilla anything” compared to a sandwich.
I’ve made my own tortillas for years but, in my slowness, I never realized you could get a press for them! *laughs*
I’ve also not thought of doing soaked ones, which is a great idea. Will have to impliment that right away…
Just ordered my tortilla press. Thanks for the recommendation!
Can’t wait to try soaking the flour… haven’t done that yet.
Also… have to share that I found a farm for raw milk and eggs. Yipee! We’re on our fourth gallon of milk and we go through lots and lots of farm fresh eggs. Love it!
Thanks Stephaine! I’ve been hoping you would post your recipe someday!
thanks, this looks great!
I have made my own a few times but was never happy with the results. Your way seems better and they look nice!
It’s lovely to see the tortilla press on your post!! I’m mexican and feels great to see it there. My mom has one just like yours!! Anyway, anyone here in Mexico would say that you don’t know how to make tortillas, because flour tortillas are rolled up and corn tortillas are made with the press. But I see this works, too.
Ha! So that’s what Americans sound like, huh? I always find it interesting to see how others perceive us.
Sorry, I can’t really comment on the tortilla recipe. I’m too lazy (or busy?) for that right now.
Congratulations to your newborn baby! You must really be busy with your new bundle of joy. If you can find the time, wonder if you could reply to my questions below:
I made the tortilla on Sunday but it came out very dry, hard and easily breakable. What did I do wrong?
I followed the recipe exactly but perhaps unsure of the amount of liquid to put – you mentioned three quarters of a measuring cup. How much is that? I used the same cup as the one to measure the flour.
Can you use this soaked recipe to make gorditas? I would like to try tortllas but also would love to try other items too.
.-= Eilish Higgins´s last blog ..OMG is this too cute???!!!????? =-.
@Eilish Higgins, Honestly, I’m not sure what a gordita is! 🙂 Is that a type of corn tortilla? Sorry for the ignorance, wish I could answer that better!
@Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home,
Seems it is a thicker tortilla – or more like the tortilla version of pita bread.
Because it is thicker it can be sliced open after cooking. Here are some examples:
.-= Eilish Higgins´s last blog ..OMG is this too cute???!!!????? =-.
I think I cooked them a little too long…but some were pliable and it was my first attempt. We made chicken-wraps with them. Yummy! Thanks for posting this easy recipe. We will definitely be having these again!
I would love to make my own tortilla, I’ve tried the Asian version of it which is the prata bread, and I was just wondering if using wheat free flour with the tortillas would work out just as good. I guess its worth a try. 🙂 thanks for the links to the tortilla press. Will definitely be helpful
I am new to soaking grains and learned to make tortillas the traditional way–I look forward to incorporating this recipe for our health. Thank you.
Thanks for this recipe!!! i used wheat flour and used apple cider vinegar and it came out wonderfully! i only had one cup of wheat flour so I had to reduce the recipe. it was a lil harder mixture but i added water and it was managable to roll the next day!! i know how to make regular tortillas home made and love them but I wanted a healthier version and this one is GREAT! made my second batch today and cant wait till tomorrow!!!! again, thanks! its so easy!!
@Jennifer, Glad it worked so well for you!
Oh man. I’m making these for dinner and they are amazing. I made a double batch and we’ve eaten three already without any filling while they are cooking. Great recipe!
Can I use whey from regular milk? I have some left over from making cheese. Haven’t yet made the switch to raw milk.
Thanks for this, I can’t wait to try it! I have a question about freezing, though. Do you freeze the pressed tortillas before they are cooked, or do you cook then freeze? Many thanks…
I cook them and then freeze them once they’ve cooled. You might be able to freeze the dough, but I haven’t tried it myself.
If all I have access to is white store-bought flour, am I wasting my time soaking it?
Thank you for the recommendation on Sue’s book and you have a wonderful helper in the kitchen. I love it, reminds me of helping my mom in the kitchen with the tortillas!