Sunday, October 31, 2010

80--- Whole Wheat Tortillas

I made my peace with lard today. Lard, really? I know, I know. I am sure that I could have found a substitute for it, but I really wanted these to be authentic. AND, I figured, those tortillas that you purchase at the grocery store may have partially-hydrogenated oil in them. So, these are my Preservative-Free Whole Wheat Tortillas Made with Lard. I would suggest trying to find a lard that is refrigerated. This is less likely to be processed and hydrogenated.

However, it is PARTIALLY-hydrogenated oils that form trans fats. Trans fats have been shown to lower HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), reduce omega-3 fatty acids in our cells, elevate CRP (C-reactive-protein) leading to inflammation in our arteries, and interfere with immune functions and enzyme functions. When you compare saturated fats (in lard) to trans fats, saturated fats appear to be MORE healthful. However, note that saturated fats can negatively affect your cholesterol profile, especially if you are predisposed to heart disease. It is still recommended that you consume less than 7% of your total calories as saturated fat (that's less than 15 g per day if you consume a 2000 calorie diet).
You can substitute ALL white flour in these tortillas if you would like. Corn and wheat tortillas are naturally more fragile. I suggest if you would like to use these tortillas for tacos, put a thin layer of low fat refried beans under your meat to help with stability. The flavor of these homemade tortillas is wonderful--- the wheat flour makes them almost nutty.

Whole Wheat Tortillas
Makes 20 - 8" tortillas

2 cups wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup lard (refrigerated if you can find it-- so it is not processed)

1 cup hot water

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add lard to dry ingredients in spoonfuls. Use a pastry cutter to cut in lard until coarse crumbs are formed.

Add hot water, a little at a time, to crumbs. Stir to mix. Kneed dough 30-40 times until a ball is formed. Cover with a towel and let sit for one hour.

Roll dough into balls the size of golf balls and place on a tray. Cover tray with a towel and allow to set for 30 minutes.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. (Note: temperature needs to be exact for these tortillas-- you will learn as you go. If the heat is up too high, they will get charred spots. If it is too low, they will get crispy before getting brown spots.) Roll out a ball of dough very thin and place on skillet (even if you have a large skillet I would recommend only one at a time). Cook until brown spots are formed (~10-15 seconds each side). Continue rolling and cooking until all are cooked.

Place cooked tortillas on a plate under a towel to keep warm. If needed, wait until cooled to place in airtight container for storage. Tortillas can be warmed in microwave under a wet paper towel if needed.

Nutrition Info per 1 tortilla: 96 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber

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