If there’s one thing I love, it’s bread…and Mexican food. I love that too.
However, I must admit that I am not a big fan of corn tortillas. We eat them out of necessity, because it’s the gluten-free alternative to flour tortillas, but I don’t really like them. They’re usually really hard and very corn-ish (not like the hens, but like the vegetable;) They now sell pre-packaged gluten-free flour tortillas, but they’re not the easiest product to find around here (nor the cheapest or tastiest for that matter.)
Well, Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, so I thought I’d finally make some of the Mexican inspired dishes that have been on my “to-make” list. You have one of those lists too, right?! Maybe a Pinterest food board full of recipes you’ve never made but hope to someday. Yeah, I’m glad I’m not alone!
Tortillas have been near the top of that list for quite some time now. Breads in general have always intimidated me for some reason, but tortillas just seemed really complicated.
There’s a special tortilla maker you have to have and a certain pan, not to mention finding the tortilla flour from the Hispanic section in the grocery store. Have you been to that section? I feel lost with all of the different brands and foreign terms I don’t understand. Not even my six years of Spanish classes throughout high school and college prepared me for that!
Well, I’ve since learned that it is not that complicated at all! I didn’t have to buy any special equipment, although this Cast Iron Tortilla Press is now on my wish list! I just used my trusty rolling pin to roll them out and my cast iron skillet to cook them in. I even used ingredients I already had in my pantry!
I used a combination of rice flour and tapioca flour/starch. You can use either brown or white rice flour. The tapioca flour along with a bit of xanthan gum made these very flexible. I tried the recipe at first without xanthan gum, and the taste was the same, but the dough and finished product did not have the same elasticity as with it added. It is optional though, if you don’t have or can’t consume xanthan gum.
I also used coconut or olive oil instead of the lard and shortening that is typically called for in these recipes. Both of these oils have a distinct flavor though, so just keep that in mind when choosing which oil to use.
They just need to cook for about a minute on each side, maybe less if your pan is super hot. They also come out pretty crispy, so I like to put freshly cooked ones under a clean towel or inside a gallon size baggie so they get softened by the steam.
Tacos, burritos, fajitas, and even sandwich roll-ups can be made with these tortillas! I’m thinking some flat bread pizzas would be delicious too! Yum! I hope you enjoy these, friends! If you try them, please let me know how they turn out for you!
- 2 cups brown rice or white rice flour
- 1 cup tapioca starch/flour, plus extra for kneading
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum, optional (although not as flexible without it)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, honey, or sweetener of choice, optional
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil, olive oil, or another oil of choice
- 1-1.5 cups hot water, more or less may be needed
- In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add honey, oil, and begin stirring in water a little at a time, until a soft ball of dough forms (You may not use all of the water or more may be needed if it's too dry. It'll depend on the humidity in your area.) Lightly dust a clean surface with tapioca flour. Knead dough for 1-2 minutes, adding more flour as needed until soft, smooth, and no longer sticky. Don't add too much flour or tortillas will be hard. Dough should be soft but not sticky. Cover dough with a clean dish towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Divide dough evenly in half, and continue to divide each half in half until you have 16 equal portions. This makes about 5 or 6-inch tortillas. You can also divide the dough into less, but bigger portions for larger tortillas.
- Keep dough pieces covered with a clean towel to avoid drying. Take one piece of dough at a time and shape into a round, flat disk. To avoid sticking, roll each disk in between two pieces of parchment, wax paper, or plastic wrap, into a semi-thin circle. I don't like to roll them too thin or they get really crispy.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is nice and hot, place the tortilla in the dry pan and cook for 1 minute. If they stick, you can use a little coconut oil or non-stick spray to coat the bottom. Flip tortilla over and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Remove and place under a clean towel or into a gallon size plastic baggie. This allows for steam to soften the tortilla, allowing them to bend and fold. Continue to cook each tortilla until they're all done. Store tortillas in a sealed bag or container for 1-2 days at room temperature. You can also store in the freezer and thaw as needed.
- Serve warm. If tortillas have gotten cold, you can reheat them in the microwave by covering with a damp paper towel or cloth and heating in 15 second increments, until thoroughly warmed.