There was a hallelujah chorus in my house tonight. No joke, I almost cried when I bit into my very own gluten-free tortilla. (This is Sarah, again, if you couldn’t tell.)
I did not live my whole life in Texas, but was raised by Texans, and spent enough time through the years to positively love Mexican food. It’s still possible to have many of the meats, sauces and veggies associated with Mexican food. However, after perfecting my refried bean method (noted in this post where I listed my favorite recipes), I really just needed a tortilla. Bad. I can count the times I’ve eaten Mexican food ON ONE HAND since changing my thoughts on food. (It used to be almost a weekly occurrence!)
I tried to make a soaked wheat tortilla (which would be consistent with my traditional foods diet), but that was more like a chewy pita. Blech. Well, maybe not if I was going for a pita, but I wanted a tortilla. I’ve kept that recipe in the back of my mind for when/if I decide to try a pita.
I looked in some local stores and did not find any on first look, but I also figured it would be much cheaper to make it myself (like chicken broth and soaked whole wheat bread). So I bought the rice flour and potato starch and just stored it away. And waited for the courage.
Before I get into the instructions, here’s my disclaimer: it’s incredibly helpful if you already understand how to make crepes, and if you have a crepe pan. You will see in my picture that I have a teflon-coated crepe pan. I detest teflon, but there just is not a better pan to make crepes in (trust me, I’ve tried!). Please, whatever you do, never ever use a metal tool on teflon. That’s what makes this pan worse! I feel like I get away with using it because it really only gets used on making crepes, and so it’s not a regular part of our diet. (What makes a crepe pan better than another nonstick skillet, you ask? You need it to be super light so you can swing the batter around the plate.)
I’ve done plenty of reading on making tortillas from scratch (for years, just never did it) … and the three basic ingredients are flour, water and lard. I don’t have lard and needed to use a gluten-free flour since the wheat wasn’t working. So here’s the ingredient list:
Approx 3 c. of white rice flour (read here why I don’t do brown rice)
3 cups of unprocessed potato starch
4 tbl of fat/oil of your choice (I used 1 tbl olive oil, 2 tbl grass-fed butter and 1 tbl coconut oil)
3-4 cups of water (divided)
1/2 tsp of baking powder (just to fluff the batter a tiny bit)
Dash of salt to taste
Blend/mix the rice flour, potato starch, fat, 3 cups of water, baking powder and salt. You can do this with a wisk or blender. I did it by hand. At this point, heat your skillet to medium heat. You want this skillet hot before the batter touches it.
This is the first “trick”: the consistency of the batter must be consistent with what it take to make a crepe. If you’ve never made crepes, it’s very similar to a slightly watered down pancake. You will know you’ve got the right consistency when you try to swirl the batter — if it will not spread out across the skillet, then it’s not thin enough. This is why my amount of flour is approximate and the amount of water is 3-4 cups – you may have to thin the batter with additional water. If it’s not thick enough, add additional rice flour in, one tablespoon at a time and mixing before adding any additional.
Once the skillet is very hot, take the it away from the heat and slowly pour the batter on the skillet in a circle.
Next, very slowly and carefully swirl the batter to spread the batter evenly into a thin layer (watch for the right texture as mentioned above!)
Replace the skillet on the heat and wait for the edges to slightly curl up away from the skillet. This is your cue to flip the crepe. Once flipped, wait for the edges to rise up away from the skillet again, and now you know this crepe is done! Repeat with the remaining batter.
This made about 20 tortillas, but it will vary depending on how much you thin the batter, how well you spread the batter and how big they get. I froze alot of mine; the rice flour is slightly stickier than other flours, so I put a piece of parchment between each tortilla to make sure nothing funky happens when I thaw them back out.
Tell me how you make out! If you find issue with it, please let me know so I can adjust the recipe accordingly.
Wondering what I put in the tortillas? Ground beef with green peppers and garlic, spiced up with cayenne pepper (anti-inflammatory!), ground chipotle pepper powder and salt. Put a small dollup of organic sour cream (complete with the healthy bacteria! As in the kind you get from yogurt and raw milk).
Now go eat some Mexican food!