With summer once again hovering on the horizon but swiftly scurrying out of view just as it seems to be heading this way, we’ve started making lots of meals that involve wraps and tortillas. For me, a wrap is a classic summer choice: it’s not too heavy, still satisfying, and can be varied in so many ways. Kat had just nailed a recipe and sent it to Howie, but when I asked him if he’d tried it yet he replied that he hadn’t because he was unable to find any decent wraps. Decent wraps? They’re all fine. Aren’t they?
Perhaps not. This is the ingredient list in a standard packet of tortillas. It’s rather surprising. And not pleasantly.
That’s a lot of shit for things that should essentially be made of flour, water and oil. I decided it was time to go back to the roots and start afresh. I started looking for simple wrap recipes that wouldn’t take long but was once again surprised, and still not pleasantly, by how much effort they were. They involved baking powder and using water only at certain but differing temperatures, waiting for the dough to settle and rise – not at all what I wanted. Thankfully, I did eventually come across a promising looking recipe.
It required only flour, olive oil and water (at any temperature!). Mix them all together and you’ve got an awesome tortilla wrap ready to go. That’s what I did and these came out a charm.
Health Benefits – The Best Flour Tortillas
These wraps should definitely be made with whole grain flour – there’s no reason not to. Standard wheat is taking a bit of a beating in the health world at the moment – check out Howie’s post on gluten free: fad or beneficial? for some interesting insight.
Olive oil in moderate amounts is also fantastic for us – it’s almost unassailably linked with lowering blood pressure and decreasing cancer risk. Extra virgin is best, but there’s no need to be too picky – they’re all good.
These tortilla wraps are better tasting, lighter on the pocket, much healthier and far more rewarding than their shop-bought compatriots.
They can be used in so many wraps recipes – in these tasty Tomato and Spinach Quesadillas for example, and they make the perfect base for these Crispy Veggie Pizzas. Have fun.
In case you’re not exactly sure of how to roll a tortilla check out how Hilah is doing it (lots of flour, lots of turning!)
- 1 cup whole grain flour
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- Couple of dashes of salt
- A little extra flour for sprinkling
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (not the flour for sprinkling of course) using a spoon or fork. It shouldn't take more than a minute or so.
- If the dough is too dry add a little more water.
- When you've got a big lump of smooth dough, split it into four balls (super important: put some flour on your hands if the dough is too sticky).
- Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and place the first ball on it.
- Press down on the ball with your hands, turn it around and press again until the dough is fairly flat. Again, if the dough gets a little too sticky at any point, sprinkle more flour on it!
- Then use a rolling pin or equivalent to flatten the dough into a thin circle, roughly the size of a frisbee.
- Always flatten the dough a little at a time and spin it round again to prevent it from sticking to the surface. That way you’ll get them very thin without breaking them.
- To the cooking: the key to a tasty tortilla that stays soft is cooking quickly and at a high heat. Flash cooking if you will.
- So, get a large pan and turn the heat up. You don't need any kind of oil or fat or spray for this. When the pan is ready to go, throw in your first tortilla. 30 seconds per side should be enough - brown spots are a good indicator that it's cooked but not burning. When you've done both sides take the tortilla out of the pan and pop it on a plate.
- Next, roll out the second ball and cook in the same way.
- Repeat until finished.
- That's it, your awesome handmade tortilla wraps are ready.