sourdough “white flour” gluten-free tortillas

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Fermenting grains is intimidating at first. But once you learn simple methods (like this one) for souring your grains and flours — and once you become addicted to the delicious sourdough flavor — you’ll also probably want to ferment any grain or legume products you cook. These tortillas are meant to mimic a traditional white flour tortilla because sometimes you get sick of corn on a gluten-free diet, or maybe you can’t eat corn altogether. Hence the sourdough “white flour” gluten-free tortilla.They’re chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside and pleasantly sour.

There is a school of thought that “white flour” products don’t need to be soaked or soured because the phytic acid (that is naturally-occurring in grains and legumes, and is a cause of health problems) has in large part been reduced or removed from the flour. For these tortillas, I use a mixture of white rice flour and starch. So while the phytic acid is slim to nil, I still sour this dough to get rid of any residual phytic acid and also because it develops the flavor, and removes any bitterness from the white rice flour (sometimes a problem with gluten-free flours), as well as reducing the carbohydrate content.

Remember, this is a method. You could switch up the flours and other ingredients. If you didn’t want to use white rice flour, you could use chickpea, brown rice, sorghum, etc. It just won’t have the same “white flour” feel. Also the measurements can be approximated depending on which flours you have; feel free to experiment — soured flatbreads like this almost always turn out well (some people even omit the starch and just use a soured flour).

sourdough “white flour” gluten-free tortillas

ingredients

approx 2 cups fine white rice flour

approx 1/2 cup gluten-free starch of your choice (tapioca is what I use)

approx 1/4 cup unflavored whole fat yogurt of your choice (I use a local grass-fed non-pasteurized yogurt but you could also find a non-dairy that has no distinctive flavor or use raw fermented sauerkraut liquid. I’m not going to lie — using a non-dairy yogurt that, well, tastes non-dairy will probably ruin this recipe — make sure it is truly unflavored)

water or milk of your choice (will vary — enough to work the flours into a thick dough. I use raw milk because I feel better about letting it sit at room temperature than a pasteurized milk; raw milk still contains live probiotic cultures that will help to sour the dough, rather than run the risk of spoiling as in pasteurized which has been stripped of its probiotics)

pinch of sea salt

large mixing bowl that has a lid (or find something else to cover the bowl)

spoon

method

Place white rice flour and tapioca starch in large mixing bowl with salt and mix until blended together. Add yogurt and mix. The dough will still be dry at this point. Add water or milk until the dough pulls together and becomes very thick but no longer dry. It should be the consistency of masa (or, play-Doh, for those who don’t live in Texas). Place lid or cover over bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours. The dough will sour like a sourdough bread, thanks to the cultures in the yogurt. It will start to smell like sourdough/yogurt which is how you know it has had enough time at room temperature. Once it has soured to your liking, place in fridge for a few hours to harden up before cooking. (Note that you don’t want to let the dough sit at room temp for longer than the 12-24 hours because it will start to get way too sour and almost alcoholic or acetone, unpleasant tasting, as when bread has over-proofed).

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Once dough has had a chance to chill and firm up, preheat a cast-iron pan over medium with a few tablespoons of fat of your choice. (Of course I use pastured lard that I render from cheap, but good quality fat from the farmer’s market — because I’m lucky enough to be able to find that locally. Pastured animal fat is a — no, “the” — source of vitamins A, D, E, and K so don’t be scared and stop eating low-fat/low cholesterol).

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Roll a ball of dough of about 4 tablespoons in your hand or in a tortilla press until you form a very thin circular tortilla. Once pan has preheated, place tortilla in pan and fry until brown and crispy on one side, then flip and do the same for the other side. Then top with toppings of your choice and eat like an open-faced tostada, or gently fold into a taco, or use for a dairy or non-dairy quesadilla. Delicious! 20150617_181708. 20150617_181658

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