Cravings.

You know, that deep down feeling that you “just gotta have” chocolate?  Or Chinese food?  Or a really good taco?  Yeah, you know that feeling – the one that makes you reach for the phone and order take-out, because you can’t go one more minute without that yummy food.

Eating allergen-free brings the concept of cravings to a whole new level.  You can’t order in food any more.  Going to the store for something ready-made is problematic, because most foods processed through a factory contain all sorts of allergens. Usually at least one of mine.

Friday’s Flip or Flop features our attempts at satisfying our cravings.  You’ll notice there are more flops than flips.  I like to think of it as “failing forward to success.”

Flour Tex-Mex tortillas

Image via Wikipedia

Today’s flip is the all-purpose gluten-free tortilla!  Soft Tacos, burritos, tortilla chips, quesadillas, fajitas, you name it! Mexican food revolves around this circular piece of flatbread!

I was living in the middle of Nowhere, Idaho, and desperately needed gluten-free tortillas.  So I opened not 1 or 2, but 3 cookbooks, and started to synthesize a recipe for tortillas.  Having never made tortillas of any kind before, I also searched the internet for advice and tips on how to cook a tortilla.

On my first attempt, I discovered that gluten-free tortillas are much stickier than their wheat-y counterparts, and ended up with globby blobs that didn’t do much.  On my second attempt, I discovered that my gluten-free recipe was missing a key ingredient – a fat of some kind.  Oh my goodness! The difference adding in some fat (palm oil, in this case) made!  I’ll not bore you with all the details, because it took a full 6 months of flopping before I was able to flip a proper gluten-free tortilla.  There is a definite learning curve to making a great gluten-free tortilla and learning the little tricks takes time.

Gluten-Free Tortillas

2 Cups Gluten-free flour (my current mix is 1 part sweet rice flour, 1 part brown rice flour, 1 part tapioca flour)
1/3 Cup Palm oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar (sugar carmelizes and contributes to browning)
3/4 Cup Warm water

tortilla press 001

Mix dry ingredients together.
Cut in palm oil.
Stir in warm water until you have a stiff dough.
Separate dough into 6 or 8 balls.
Press or roll between lightly floured parchment paper (makes clean up sooo much easier!)
Cook on very hot griddle until just toasted, about 20 seconds per side.

Tips:

  • After flipping the tortilla once, use your spatula to press on the tortilla.  This encourages the tortilla to cook quickly, and helps the bubbles form the pliability you need.
  • Do not cook too long because these gluten-free tortillas dry out quickly, and your burritos will be sad.
  • Other fats or oils can be used – you might need to adjust the amount depending on how saturated a fat you’re using, and whether or not it is liquid at room temperature.