Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Homemade Soaked Grain Tortillas

2 cups whole white wheat flour
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup shortening or softened butter
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients and divide into the number of tortillas you'd like to make, roll into balls and flatten the balls to make tortilla shapes. Fry on medium high without greasing the pan for about 30 seconds on each side.

Now I have been researching soaking grains, such as whole wheat flour. According to my research, it is important to soak grains to neutralize the phytic acid present in the bran of the grain so that you are better able to digest and utilize the nutrients in your food. Phytic acid combines with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc in your intestines and prevents them from being absorbed by the intestinal tract. Soaking grains also helps to break down complex starches, tannins and some proteins that are difficult to digest, like gluten. Furthermore, soaking grains softens and expands the grain, resulting in baked goods with a lighter texture and making a larger quantity in the end. It makes the baked goods more satisfying and filling, which makes soaking grains thriftier than not soaking them.

To soak grains, you combine them (in this case flour) with the liquid ingredients (in this case water) and 1 TBSP of an acid medium per cup of water called for in the recipe (in this case 1/2 TBSP Bragg's raw organic apple cider vinegar). You can also add the liquid oil and sweetener called for in the recipe to the mixture (in this case butter/shortening). This will help maintain a moist consistency so that its easier to combine with other ingredients after soaking (in this case salt). Make sure to use warm liquids as this is necessary for the soaking process to be effective. You combine the presoak ingredients in a bowl, cover the bowl with a wet towel and let soak 12-24 hours, then add the remaining ingredients and follow the remaining directions of the original recipe. Yes, it takes a little longer to make baked goods, which requires more planning on your part since you'll have to start it at least 12 hours before you are wanting to cook it. In essence, soaking splits the cooking into 2 parts -- presoak and post soak -- with a 12-24 hour break in between.

I did buy tortillas at the store this week, but when I get down to the last few tortillas, I will try this recipe (including the soaking) and see how it turns out.

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