Multi-grain Tortillas

Jeremy came home from a post-payday grocery shopping spree with boneless chicken, onions, and red bell peppers, and requested chicken fajitas for dinner one night. Since he doesn’t provide anywhere near as much input into the dinner menu as I might hope, I am always very happy to accommodate when he does chip in with a suggestion. The fajitas themselves were nothing fancy—thinly sliced chicken tossed with onions and peppers and a hefty dose of Penzey’s Southwest Seasoning—so I decided to amuse myself with a new tortilla recipe instead.

The one I chose is a multigrain affair, part all-purpose flour, part masa, with smaller amounts of white whole wheat and mesquite flours. Jeremy didn’t like these tortillas as well as my usual all-flour sort, but I wasn’t able to taste a strong distinction between the two (and I suspect he wouldn’t have either, had he not seen the bag of masa on the counter). These tortillas also seemed to stay pliable longer than my standard recipe, so they were definitely worth trying, but I might use more whole wheat or white whole wheat flour if I do make another variation of this recipe in the future.

Multi-grain Tortillas

2 C unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour
1-1/2 C masa harina (normal or blue)
1/4 C whole wheat pastry or white whole wheat flour
1/4 C amaranth flour or mesquite flour
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 C warm water
1/4 C shortening

In a medium mixing bowl, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine the all-purpose flour, masa, whole wheat and amaranth or mesquite flours, and salt. Cut in the shortening until crumbly, using a fork or your fingers. Gradually add the hot water to the flour mixture, stirring just until the dough sticks together, clears the sides of the bowl, and a soft firm ball is formed, adding a tablespoon of water at a time if the dough seems too dry. (I find that a very slightly dry dough will hydrate thoroughly while resting, and not get sticky.) Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 45 minutes.

Start heating a 10-12″ cast iron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each into a ball and cover. On a clean work surface, flatten one ball with your palm, and roll out with a rolling pin to an 8-inch round. (Mine are never perfect circles, but that’s fine by us.) Place the tortilla in the pan, and cook for about 2 minutes. When bubbles and brown spots start forming, turn over to the other side and bake for 2 more minutes. Meanwhile, roll out the next round of dough to have ready. Remove each tortilla to a clean towel. Cover to keep warm until serving.

Source: Adapted from Global Gourmet.

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