Good Food Reads

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Go-to DOUGH is the way to go!

Go-To Tortilla Dough
 I have been looking for a completely whole wheat tortilla recipe that doesn't taste 'healthy'. I wanted something that soaked all the flour for maximum health and texture. I wanted something that my kids would eat happily and I would crave. This is it!

Sometimes I feel like Thomas Edison. I seem to have a lot of failures before one happens to be a success. I have been gardening for over a decade and have yet to really have a bountiful harvest. For good or bad, I have a lot of tolerance for failure. A success like this tortilla dough leaves me giddy...
and keeps me going. To be fair, this recipe is a ripoff from the Homesick Texan who, I believe, got it from someone else. There is a lot of explanation to go with this recipe so I will just give you the super simple recipe and then do the explaining.

Whole Wheat Tortilla Dough for Tortillas, Chips or Crackers

2 cups whole wheat flour (I use Hard White Wheat but whatever you have.)
3/4 cups raw clabbered milk (Check out the clabbering milk post if you don't use this as a staple.)
1 teaspoon salt (I use Real salt.)
2 teaspoons olive oil (cold expeller pressed if you can)

Mix it all together in a bowl with a fork or your hands. You may need to knead it slightly, just incorporate all the ingredients well. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and place in your fridge for at least 12 hours before using. The dough will last for a week in the fridge.

For tortillas - If you are worried about fat, just roll them out and dry fry them in a pan. They start to dry out if you aren't serving them right away. To keep them moist longer, I rubbed both sides with a little bit of butter. This is amazing when filled with an enchilada or tostada filling and baked.

For chips - Just roll out and deep-fat fry. I used some of my newly rendered lard. It was fatback so it had a slight scent but it didn't come through in the chips and they were tasty.

For crackers - Preheat the oven to 375 or 400. Place a stone in to preheat. Roll out a ball of dough fairly thin. Place on the preheated stone and brush with butter. The preheating of the stone heats the dough just enough to make brushing with butter nice and easy. Sprinkle on whatever you want, maybe sesame seeds or cheese, cut with a pizza cutter and bake for 5-7 minutes. They are not completely crisp out of the oven but they crisp up as they cool.

Why Clabbered Milk?
The clabbered milk has two functions. First, it will break down the grain making the dough light, smooth, healthier and easier to digest. Second, it gives it some fluffiness when cooking.

Clabbered Milk vs. Baking Powder
Clabbered milk gives everything a bit of a lift. It makes my waffles fluffier and the crepes too fluffy. I liked the result of the baking powder when I tried it but it is only active for about an hour at best. I felt like I had to knead it into the dough just before cooking and it was awkward. I really just liked the clabbered milk. It gave it a rise when cooked and I didn't have to rely on the timing of the powder. If you don't like your tortillas to have a bit of a puff, substitute raw fresh buttermilk for the clabbered milk or fresh raw milk with a bit of liquid whey which is what I do for crepes. Otherwise, the crepe batter is frustrating to work with.

Soaking Time
I am really trying to soak all the flours or grains to make them more digestible and healthier. Honestly, as I have done this, I just love the texture. It makes all the difference. Most of the end products don't have the grittiness of whole grain flours and the dough structure is great. My family will eat it and they can't tell it's whole grain. Health aside, it is worth it. For this recipe, I used to soak the flour in the clabbered milk for 12 hours at room temperature and then hand knead in the oil and the salt before cooking. It was a little awkward but not a big deal. I had read than salt inhibits the bacteria from doing its' job in breaking down the grain so that's why the two steps. One lazy day, I decided to throw all the ingredients in a bowl skipping the second knead and just toss it in the fridge instead of leaving it out at room temperature. I let it sit in the fridge 24 hours and started working with it. I was amazed. It was great. I could roll it out thick or thin and it held together well. It is my new favorite method and can't imagine ever going back. To make the dough work well though, it will respond so much better after at least 12 hours in the fridge.

Let's face it - nothing up to this point has been convenient. Sprouting takes planning. Soaking flours does too. Making bone broths and lacto fermenting - the list could go on. This is the first thing that seems convenient to me. At first I thought I had to make the dough and then turn out the final product after the soaking period for the dough. Then I thought to myself - why? Why couldn't I just keep the dough in the fridge for the week. When the kids want quesadillas, I just pull out the ball of tortilla dough, roll some out and dry fry it with some cheese. Most of the time I was using the uncooked ones anyway so I was only adding a quick roll-out step. Then if we wanted some chips, I could grab another ball of dough and roll it out and fry it in my newly rendered lard - quite tasty by the way. As another treat, I could roll it thin, brush it with butter and have delicious Wheat Thin-like crackers. Of course, you could sprinkle it with parmesan or some kind of seeds. Maybe you could be creative and mix in some cheddar for a healthy Goldfish-type cracker. It just seems too easy. Are you giddy too? I could add this to my week - no problem.


The Chemist

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