You can bake crispy tortillas and use them as nacho chips, or even substitute them for soft tortillas in some dishes. Here's a tortilla recipe that can help you bake your own wheat tortillas from scratch, as well as some tips to help you make ready-made corn tortillas crunchy.
Read more: Are Tortillas Healthy?
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Wheat Tortilla Recipe
The USDA lists a simple wheat tortilla recipe that you can make at home. Wheat tortillas are usually made entirely of refined flour; however, this recipe substitutes a portion of the refined flour with whole-wheat flour, which is a healthier, whole-grain alternative.
You will need:
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup of whole-wheat flour (or 2 cups of all-purpose flour)
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of warm water, between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit
Follow these steps to make crispy tortillas:
- Combine the dry ingredients: Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients: Add the oil to the bowl and mix it in until you have a crumbly dough. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you can shape the dough into a loose, crumbly ball.
- Knead well: Knead the dough six to eight times on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
- Roll the dough: Divide the dough into 10 balls of equal size. Use a rolling pin to knead each ball of dough into an 8-inch circle.
- Cook the tortillas: Place a skillet on the stove. Cook the tortillas one at a time over medium heat, flipping them over once in between so that both sides get lightly browned.
- Bake them: LIVESTRONG.com recommends baking tortillas to get them really crispy. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Baking them for 10 minutes should get you nice and crispy tortillas. If you want to make tortilla chips, you can sprinkle the tortillas with sea salt and cut them into triangles before you bake them.
Read more: Lupe Tortilla Nutrition Information
Wheat Versus Corn Tortillas
According to the USDA, each of these wheat tortillas offers 12 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 3 milligrams of calcium, 3 milligrams of potassium and 17 milligrams of sodium. Instead of using only refined flour, the recipe uses a combination of refined flour and whole-grain flour. A June 2016 study published in the BMJ links consumption of whole grains to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
If you prefer corn tortillas to wheat tortillas, you can use corn tortillas instead. According to the Texas A&M University, corn tortillas have fewer calories, more dietary fiber and less sodium than wheat tortillas.
Read more: The Nutritional Benefits of Corn Tortillas
Corn tortillas also don't contain gluten, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is an advantage because you can eat these tortillas instead of wheat tortillas if you're avoiding gluten. It can be a disadvantage because the presence of gluten makes it easier to knead the dough for wheat tortillas and makes them easier to manage while cooking. Gluten also gives wheat tortillas better softness and texture.
With corn tortillas, you may be better off buying ready-made tortillas and baking them in the oven to get them crispy. Just pop them into a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and you should be all set.