[pinit] I’ve been on something of a Mexican at home kick lately. Lots of tacos and enchiladas being served for dinner in my house. My favorite enchilada sauce made by … more
[pinit] I’ve been on something of a Mexican at home kick lately. Lots of tacos and enchiladas being served for dinner in my house. My favorite enchilada sauce made by the double batch, and used a few days a week. You get the idea, right? And even though I love corn tortillas (especially when I D.I.Y. ‘em), sometimes you just need a gluten free flour tortilla. And these are, hands down, the best flour tortillas I have ever had–gluten free or not. This is the recipe from page 203 of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread. It uses Expandex modified tapioca starch (sources here), which makes the tortilla dough incredibly easy to handle, and the tortillas themselves stretchy and pliable like never before. But if you don’t have Expandex and want to make them tonight **and this will be the only time you ever hear me say this** just replace the Expandex (gram for gram) with more all purpose gluten free flour. The texture won’t be the same (raw or cooked), but the recipe will still work.
Longtime blog readers will remember that I’ve tried Rudi’s gluten free flour tortillas. I just found them to be … sad. And crazy expensive. Sorry, Rudi. I’m all for a robust gluten free marketplace, but it’s got to be better than that if I’m going to pay that kind of cash for a tortilla ($1.23/ounce!). I have a recipe for Whole Grain Gluten Free Flour Tortillas here on the blog, but my recipe for plain flour tortillas has never before been on the blog. Well, today is the day.
And if you’re wondering how I get those clean, perfect circles on my tortillas, the secret is a cake cutter. One of those big old metal collars that look like really, really large cookie cutters? Those. I used to think it was mostly for showing off, but it really does make for a more evenly-cooked tortilla. And the bragging rights don’t stink, you know? Oh, and one more thing: They freeze perfectly. Just stack the cooked tortillas, wrap them tightly in freezer-safe wrap, and freeze until ready to use. You can either defrost them in the refrigerator overnight, and then refresh them by softening them in a hot skillet (a few seconds on each side), or pop them in the microwave covered in a wet paper towel. (The skillet method is 1000x better.) You’ll be minutes away from a great meal.
1 3/4 cups (245 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour, plus more for sprinkling (I used Better Batter)
35 grams (about 1/4 cup) Expandex modified tapioca starch*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
4 1/2 tablespoons (54 g) vegetable shortening
3/4 cup (6 ounces) warm water (about 85°F)
*For information on where to find Expandex, please see the Resources page. For information on how to replace Expandex with Ultratex 3, readily available in most countries outside the United States, in the gluten free bread recipes in GFOAS Bakes Bread, scroll to #6 in Resources. I have not yet tested Ultratex 3 in this recipe, but I would recommend trying a mix of 268 grams all purpose gluten free flour + 12 grams Ultratex 3 in place of the blend above. Ultratex 3 is at least 3 times as strong as Expandex.
In a large bowl, place the all-purpose flour, Expandex, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the vegetable shortening and toss it in the dry ingredients. With the tines of a large fork, break up the shortening into small pieces about the size of small peas. Create a well in the center of the mixture, and add the water. Mix to combine. The dough will come together and be thick. Press together into a ball, cover with a moist tea towel, and allow to sit for about 20 minutes. The dough will stiffen a bit as it absorbs more of the water.
Heat a 10- or 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Divide the dough into five pieces. Begin with one piece of dough, and cover the rest with a moist tea towel to prevent them from drying out. On a lightly floured surface, with a rolling pin, roll out the first piece of dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. Cut out as many rounds as you can (should be three or four) with a 6- or 8-inch metal cake cutter. Stack the raw tortillas on top of one another, dusting lightly with flour between them, if necessary, to prevent them from sticking. Gather the scraps and set them aside. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, including gathering and rerolling all of the scraps together.
Once all the tortillas have been rolled out and cut, place them one at a time in the center of the hot skillet and cook on one side until bubbles begin to appear on the top surface and the tortilla darkens in color a bit on the underside (about 45 seconds). Flip the tortilla over with a wide spatula, and cook on the other side until more bubbles form and the tortilla darkens on the underside (about another 45 seconds). Remove the tortilla from the pan, place on a moist tea towel, and cover gently. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
If you don’t plan to use the tortillas right away, place them, still wrapped in the towel, in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture. Use within a few hours.
From the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2013.
P.S. Got your copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread? If not, won’t you grab one today? There’s another Live Facebook Q&A coming up next week (Thursday night 3/13 8:30 to 9:15 pm Eastern), so start getting those GF baking questions ready!