Tortilla making is a satisfying, all-consuming, sweaty endeavor. It isn’t meant for humid days like these, unless you want to feel your hands grow swift as you find your rhythm, rolling each and every paper-thin expanse of soft, pliable dough into something worth tasting, worth talking about.
You start with flour, butter (or olive oil), salt, water, and maybe a little something extra, for flavor, and you end up with a pile so high it barely fits under the massive bowl you use to try to keep in the moisture as they cool. Then you fill them with something — anything — delicious, and laugh as it crumbles into a beautiful mess in your hands. No, these are not store-bought tortillas. No dough conditioners or mystery ingredients to keep these babies together. Just the gluten you build up with your hands as you knead and roll.
These are from Peter Reinhart’s Crust and Crumb, which has the most reliable tortilla recipe I’ve found thus far. Yes, it uses a stick of butter for every 8 large tortillas, but that’s not so bad, really. Not when they’re this delicious. You can substitute other oils (safflower, canola, etc) if you like, but the tortillas will be a bit more brittle, and not quite as worth the hot oven and hard work. Besides, I made these a bit more virtuous, with the simple substitution of half whole wheat flour and the addition of whole and ground flax seed (which have the added benefit of contributing an amazing roasted flavor to the final product). You can go a bit further and use water from cooked greens for, say, spinach and flax seed tortillas, if you prefer. So they’re healthy, right?
In other words, run with this recipe. It’s a good, solid base to start with, and puts up with tinkering without much fuss. If you don’t do anything too crazy, I think it’ll give you consistent, delicious results every time. Oh, and it’ll save you a ton of cash, which is a nice side benefit, don’t you think? I think the double recipe (including expensive flax seeds) probably cost me about $5. Given that my local grocery store charges ~$4 for 4 large “healthy” wraps, I just saved myself ~$11. AND I got to throw flour all over the kitchen, which is free entertainment as far as I’m concerned.