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I have tried lots of recipes for soaked and sprouted tortillas.  And, to be honest, white flour tortillas too.  Only the white flour ones consistently came out “edible” (meaning, that I really wanted to eat them) but really none were great.  Store-bought “decent” tortillas still contain white flour and sunflower oil, which is better than hydrogenated junk, but still.  I didn’t love compromising, and I couldn’t do it too often (and I love meals with tortillas!).  Plus they are expensive…$3 for 10 – 12?  That’s not especially frugal, especially for a compromise.

There had to be a better way.

Awhile ago when I was soaking some dough for some other experiments (including my coconut chocolate chunk cookie bars, which were a hit), I had a little leftover and decided to soak a trial batch of tortillas.  I really wanted some. When I mixed in the rest of the ingredients and rolled them out the next day, I quickly realized what I’d done wrong before.  And also realized, after cooking the first couple, how awesome these were!

I was so pleased with the trial batch (which only made 6) that I immediately made up a big batch to cook the next day.  I was determined to have my tortillas for easy lunches in the next couple of weeks! And since I announced all this on Facebook and some of you were curious, I took pictures of the process so I could share. :)

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/3 c. white whole wheat flour, freshly ground
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 c. filtered water
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 tsp. baking powder (I use 1 tsp. baking soda + 2 tsp. cream of tartar)

Directions:

Add your flour to a large glass bowl.

Melt your coconut oil, if needed, over low heat.  Add the coconut oil to the flour.

Add the water.

Stir it all together until a stiff dough forms and all the flour is mixed in.  This takes a bit of time since the dough is really stiff.  You want it that way.

Cover it and let it sit in a warm place overnight.

The next day, sprinkle the salt and baking powder over the dough.

Use your hands to knead it in — it’s way too stiff for a spoon to work for this part.  This should take a couple of minutes.

Separate it into small balls, about 18 – 20 of them.

Lightly flour a surface (I just use white unbleached for this part) and roll the dough out.  Get a 10″ frying pan and turn it on medium-high heat.

It needs to be super thin.  Like, you pick it up and you can practically see through it.  So thin that you can’t measure how thick it really is.

This is critical.  I kept making them too thick before, and they’d become crispy on the outside and stiff because of their thickness and they just didn’t have the flavor or texture I was looking for.  The kids wouldn’t eat them.  So keep rolling them very thin!  If the dough were not as stiff as it is, it would not be possible to roll them so thinly without them falling apart.  That is why that is so important.

Once the tortilla is sufficiently thin (and this will take some muscle), transfer it to a hot frying pan.  Allow it to cook for a couple minutes per side, until bubbles appear.

Flip it and cook the other side.  You want the pan to be pretty hot and it’s better if they cook faster rather than slower — they’re less likely to get crispy or tough.

When it’s done, remove it and set it on a plate.  If you like, wrap them in a towel to keep them warm.  I didn’t bother since I was planning to freeze for later use.  Repeat the rolling and cooking process for the rest of the small balls.

These will stay nice and soft and will make good wraps, burritos, quesadillas, and all kinds of other awesomeness.  Makes about 18 8″ tortillas.

What’s your favorite way to use tortillas?


This is the writings of:

Kate is wife to Ben and mommy to Bekah (5), Daniel (4), Jacob (2), and Nathan (born March 2013). She is passionate about God, health, and food. She has written 7 cookbooks and a book entitled A Practical Guide to Children's Health. When she's not blogging, she's in the kitchen, sewing, or homeschooling her children. You can also find her as a contributor at Keeper of the Home.

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25 Comments

  1. I thought you guys were on GAPS? Or do you make different stuff for your daughter? The reason why I am asking, is our naturopath put our 3yo on basically a GAPS diet for yeast overgrowth and leaky gut, so I was wondering how you do that if only one has a special diet, but the rest don’t? He also seems to think that no one should have gluten. What do you think?

    Reply

  2. Okay…. you have convinced me, lol I have been tossing around the idea of trying to make wraps…. for probably a year or more. I shall let you know how they turn out:)

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  3. Thanks for sharing this Kate. When you fry them, did you use oil? If so, what kind? Also, this may be a dumb question, but why Soaked?

    Reply

  4. How coincidental that you would post this today after I just made two batches of tortillas last night and am experimenting with the recipe? Trying to get us off store bought tortillas, as my Picky Eater is stuck on bean/cheese quesadillas, and I can’t find any in my price range that don’t have either GMO’s or hydrogenated oils. I did realize that letting the dough sit made it more malleable and “soft”… also agree with you on the thinness of the roll out. But I did want to mention that I used rendered beef tallow vs coconut oil with good results, and also substituted plain kefir for the water in my second batch. I found that it took a little more liquid for the whole wheat ones, so don’t be afraid to add water a tablespoon at a time if it is really really hard to work with!

    Reply

  5. Is the soaking really effective without the souring agent? Like whey or yogurt or ACV or something? Thanks!

    Reply

  6. I have the same question as LeaG (for some reason my comment didn’t post earlier)….Is soaking beneficial without an acid medium?

    Reply

    • Yes. I read some research by Amanda Rose, and she noticed that wheat easily gives up its phytic acid if it a warm, moist environment. Acidic was not necessary, as it turned out. (That is not true for *all* grains, but it is true for wheat.) Dairy-rich environments weren’t so great because the high calcium content inhibited the breakdown of phytic acid, which is why I often don’t use dairy to soak. If I add an acid it is usually lemon juice. We do not tolerate unsoaked grains well at all but I have had no trouble soaking this way and I’ve been doing it for months.

      Reply

  7. I was just going crazy at the market because there are not a lot of choices for tortillas, and the organic ones are so expensive. Mine always turn out thick and tough. I am going to give this recipe a shot. Thank you.

    Reply

  8. Does the coconut flavor come through from the oil? I just made some a few nights ago (unsoaked) and used butter. But I would rather use something else…the butter is too expensive for us. I have virgin coconut oil. The coconut flavor is quite strong in other things. Most of the time I don’t mind, but I thought tacos might taste weird with it.

    Reply

    • Well, I don’t notice it at all. I think it just has a good flavor. There isn’t really enough coconut oil in it to be much of a flavor, as opposed to a baked good that makes less but has 1/2 – 1 c. in it. I don’t always like that coconut flavor in stuff either but I like coconut oil here. If you are concerned, pastured lard would work nicely too.

      Reply

  9. Thank you! I cannot wait to try this recipe. We love Mexican food and this will help the budget, a lot!!!!

    Reply

  10. I’m so glad you posted this. I just made my 4th or 5th batch of soaked tortillas earlier this week. They seem to be working less and less for me, don’t know why.
    Are these tortillas really pliable? As in, if I made a batch of freezer breakfast burritos, stuffed them full of stuff, wrapped them up, and froze them they wouldn’t crack/break?
    Also, how do you store these? On the counter or in the fridge?
    Thank you!

    Reply

  11. Do you have any thoughts on using organic Masa Harina flour for these? According to Bob’s Red Mill, it is made from corn soaked in lime then dried before grinding.

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  12. Thank you!! I made these this morning and they turned out great!! I had never rolled tortillas this thin before (bc I refused to use white store bought flour but I used it this time just to roll them our with and it made a huge difference. I still used prairie gold home ground flour for the tortillas and they are so soft and yummy. Thanks again

    Reply

  13. Man, that was a work out! Just finished a batch of your tortillas and I’m sweating! I guess that made up for the fact that I didn’t get to exercise today. :) I haven’t tasted them yet but they seem really soft and pliable. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  14. A tip I finally realized for tortillas was to roll them out on my Silpat. I did not need a ton of extra flour, which dries them out…and it stuck just enough to keep its shape. If I let it rest a minute before peelilng it off, I got a nice thin flexible tortilla~!

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    • …but I am really confused. “soaking?” where does the “soaking” come into play. Maybe I am dense. LOL

      Reply

      • It’s not soaking like you think, where it’s drowning in liquid — that seems to confuse a lot of people! Instead it is mixing the dry ingredients (minus any form of salt/leavening) with the other liquids and allowing it to sit overnight. That “soaks” the dough and reduces the phytic acid. Any form of salt would inhibit this process, which is why it’s added later.

        Reply

  15. [...] Enter the soaked whole wheat tortilla. I have to give most of the credit for this recipe to MAM (Modern Alternative Mama) a place to find lots of good and healthful [...]

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  16. [...] got the recipe for Soaked Tortillas from Modern Alternative Mama and haven’t done much alteration to it, other than extending the [...]

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