We've been on a little bit of a "What is Wheat to Me" kick lately. Which has been great as far as reminding us to take a closer look at the foods we're ingesting. I've never really been one for diets or food restrictions and I'm down to try almost anything (check chicken feet off that list!). I know this was a huge hassle when I was growing up since I preferred chicken fingers and Mac and Cheese...but I've grown up now! Really! I make my own enchiladas and pesto and spinach lasagna!
So trying to assess what has and doesn't have wheat has been a pain. There is SO MUCH that we consume that includes wheat or wheat products. Not just obvious things like bread and cakes and flour-full things, but canned products and pastas and cereals and sauces. Basically, if it's processed, it has wheat of SOME sort in it. And regardless of whether or not we have a medical condition against wheat, that's a pretty scary thing!
I'm not sure how far we'll go with this wheat journey, but educating ourselves and working to eat more raw/simple foods is a big step for us. We're young. We just graduated so we don't have a lot of money to be spending on fruit/veggie diets. I'm the only one who cooks consistently since Mr. E relies heavily on his grill...eating unprocessed foods is a challenge! But there are definitely small steps that we've taken.
First of all has been home-made breads. Maybe not the biggest step considering we're still using that pesky flour, but they're made from scratch with wholesome ingredients and they taste much better. I definitely plan on substituting my flour at some point with something a little less gluten-y, but for now I enjoy (or don't enjoy as the case may be) making loaves and crusts and tortillas. Most of all tortillas.
If I had known how easy tortillas are to make, I would have made these bad boys years ago. I actually really dislike store-bought flour tortillas, but Mr. E likes flour better than corn, so we were at a bit of a conundrum buying-wise. Thankfully, homemade tortillas only have 5 ingredients, take 30 minutes tops and leave me with a huge stack of left overs!
3 cups flour
2tsp baking powder
4-6 Tbsp shortening or lard...or butter.
1 1/4 cups warm water
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut in butter until it kind of clumps when you squeeze it together. If clumpy, add more shortening. If it's a hard ball, add more flour.
Add water all at once and mix quickly. Knead a little bit to make sure it's all together. You're looking for a soft dough that isn't sticky. Cover 5- 10 minutes.
Pinch of 1-inch pieces, kneading small round balls. Flatten these into disks with your hand, then roll out (Autobots?) on a floured surface. Make them as thin or thick as you want. I prefer mine thinner, but I'm having trouble laying them down nicely in the pan, so I opt for a little thicker- more like naan.
I cook the tortilla dough on my cast-iron skillet. This has worked so well that I haven't used any other pans or griddles, so I can't say from experience how well that works. I would imagine as long as you have even heat (good pans/good burners) you would be okay. Watch for the air pockets- it only takes about 30 seconds on each side.
Also, don't drop any flour. Because then you get a dog who's learned to beg.
We primarily use these for tacos (fish or beef) but I've been known to whip up a batch for enchiladas, too. Stuff those suckers with beans and cheese, add olives and chicken and salsa? Mr. E are in Americanized Mexican heaven...