In the world of sourdough there are two approaches. The first is for those who want to simply add sourdough flavor to something like a quick bread. The sourdough starter is added to a recipe which is then prepared soon afterward.
The second approach, one that I prefer, is a long fermentation. Much like the fermentation of the wild yeast-risen sourdough loaf, the long fermentation of quick breads, such as these tortillas, lend a fantastic tangy flavor. The main reason our family prefers this approach, though, is because the end product is always much easier on the tummy.
A lot of people talk about the neutralizing of anti-nutrients being the biggest advantage of fermenting dough. That may be true, but there is something about the pre-digestion of the grain done by the microorganisms in the fermentation process that really creates a much different food product for the digestive system.
Because of this, whole grain flours make softer, more tender baked goods.
Either way, it is our preferred means of making just about any flour-based baked good. And now that we’re firmly on the sourdough bandwagon, the awesome flavor and textures that result from the fermentation process are enjoyed by all, even in tortillas.
These tortillas can be made with either whole wheat or white flour, or any combination of the two.
Long-Fermented Whole Wheat Sourdough Tortillas
- 1/2 cup 100% hydration sourdough starter
- 1/2 cup milk or water
- 4 tablespoons melted lard, bacon grease, or coconut oil (lard is traditional)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups (plus more, as needed) whole wheat flour (hard wheat is better than soft as it contains a bit more gluten and holds together better when rolling out)
- Combine starter, milk, salt, and melted fat in a medium bowl. Stir in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you hit two cups.
- At this point determine whether your dough needs more flour. You are looking for a dough that is slightly sticky, but not so moist that it is messy. You will be kneading on a floured surface so don’t add too much flour.
- Add flour until desired texture is achieved. Plop out onto a floured surface and knead for about three minutes.
- Cover and place in a warm location in your kitchen for 8 to 24 hours to ferment.
- When ready to cook tortillas divide dough into eight pieces. Roll each into a small ball and place back into covered bowl. Remove balls from container one at a time and roll them out on a floured work surface until desired thickness is reached.
- Carefully transfer tortilla to a hot griddle that has been heating over medium-high heat. Cook for about 30 seconds, or until bubbles begin to form and the edges firm up.
- Flip and finish cooking another 30 seconds.
- Serve hot or cool and store to eat for a few days. The sourdough helps to keep the tortillas soft and fresh for a longer time than non-sourdough tortillas.