In the world of whole grains, Spelt stands tall as a nutritional powerhouse that deserves a spot in your pantry. With its ancient origins and remarkable health benefits, Spelt will take your store-bought tortillas and blow them out of the water in terms of taste, ease, and nutritional value.
Derived from Triticum spelta, an ancient cereal grain dating back thousands of years, spelt shares its ancestry with modern wheat. However, what sets spelt apart is its exceptional nutritional profile. Spelt flour is easier to digest than wheat and is a great source of fiber, protein, vitamin B12 and also of manganese, niacin, thiamin, and copper.
I was browsing my local grocery store and found “high fiber” tortillas and their ingredients were SO long. It contained anything from guar gum to expeller pressed canola oil to soy flour. I thought, “It shouldn’t be so many ingredients!” and it doesn’t.
With only four ingredients (plus water) you can make high-fiber tortillas that are amazing for you and your family. Even better, you can easily double, triple, quadruple this recipe and freeze the tortillas, making it much easier for you to incorporate a whole grain diet into your busy schedule.
What you’ll need
- Spelt flour: I found pre-ground flour at my local HEB (a Texas-based grocery store) but have also ordered it off of Walmart, Amazon, and Thrive Market. You can also mill your own from spelt berries
- Olive oil: You could also use an animal fat like lard, which is how many amazing tortillas are made in Central America
- Mineral salt: You can also use regular table salt, but I would cut the amount down to only 1/2 teaspoon as mineral or kosher salt is larger
- Baking power: I find when I don’t add baking power, my tortillas are not quite as soft as fluffy. Just 1 teaspoon can make them more pliable and softer
Switching out for other whole grains: variations
Although I typically use Spelt when making tortillas, you can easily swamp other whole grains for this simple recipe.
A few considerations: (1) Every grain has its own personality and you cannot always do a 1-to-1 switch. It’s important to pay attention to the texture as you add water, making sure that you aim for a “play dough-like” consistency. (2) “Whole grain flour” purchased at the store is not 100% whole grain as it often has parts of the bran and hull removed to make it more shelf-stable, transforming it to an “all-purpose whole grain flour.” It can even be a mix of different whole grains. This is very different from flour milled at home which includes all parts of the grain. This means water will be absorbed differently and you’ll want to ensure you are adjusting to your unique mix.
|Whole grain flour amount
|Water amount (approximation)
What to eat with your tortillas
Tortillas are a staple food in our house we use them ALL the time. Here are some ideas:
- Replaces sandwich bread for a wrap
- Replaces a hot dog bun for hot dogs, bratwurst, or sausage
- Soft tacos
- Breakfast tacos (which you can make in bulk and freeze individually!)
- Warmed with a little butter and honey
100% Whole grain tortillas: Only 4-ingredients
- 1 Bowl or stand mixer
- 1 Dough whisk (recommended if you are not using a stand mixer)
- 1 Tortilla press (or a rolling pin)
- 2 cups whole grain Spelt flour (can be substituted with any other whole grain flour)
- 3/4 tsp mineral salt (less if using table salt)
- 4 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1/2 to 1 cup warm water (depending on your grain you'll need more or less water)
- 1 tsp baking powder (optional, but it helps the tortillas stay soft)
- In a medium mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, and baking power. Mix them together. Add the oil to the mixture and thoroughly incorporate it into the flour.
- Slowly add the water making sure not to add so much that the dough is unable to be handled. Spelt or whole grain flour absorbs liquid as it sits so initially you want a "slightly too sticky" play dough-like dough. As it rests, it will become less sticky and easier to handle. For whole grain Spelt flour I use 1 cup of water.
- Once the dough is mixed, cover the bowl and let it rest for 1 hour. This gives the whole grain time to absorb the water.
- Pick up the dough and knead it in your hands a couple of times until smooth.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (or up to 12, depending on the size of tortilla that you want) and roll each piece into a ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap or a dish towel and you can them rest for another 15 minutes to make the more pliable or if you're in a rush, you can skip this step.
- Heat a heavy, ungreased griddle over medium-high heat.
- Begin rolling out each tortilla, using extra flour as you go to ensure it doesn't stick. You can also use a tortilla press if you have one.
- Place a tortilla on the griddle and let it heat on one side for about 1 minute, until it starts to brown in spots. Then use tongs to lift and flip the tortilla to bake the other side for about 1 minute. While the first tortilla is baking, roll out the second one. You can stack the tortillas and cover them with a towel to keep them soft and warm until you're ready to use them.
- They're ready to eat! You can refrigerate the tortillas for up to 1 week or freeze them in an airtight container for up to 2 months.