Sunday, February 23, 2014

Honey Mama's Gluten-Free Tortillas

Three years ago this February I started an "elimination diet" to help determine if food allergies and/or sensitivities were contributing to my chronic sinusitis, muscle and joint pain, exhaustion, etc.  Two weeks into the "diet" I laced up a pair of running shoes that were five years old and had about a mile on them and headed out the door for a run and I haven't looked back since.
Sunrise on Mt. Sanford a few miles from The Moose Lodge
Sadly I have yet to find a good store bought gluten-free tortilla and the idea of making them from scratch with the added complexities of gluten-free cooking (life as a full-time student and wife and mother runner) was more headache than I felt I could handle, until now. 
I came across a recipe last week and set to work rewriting it to my liking and gathering the necessary ingredients which takes on a whole new meaning when you live at The Moose Lodge.
Sunrise over the Mentasta Mountains as we pulled out of the driveway
"Work" involved a hour plus drive to the nearest grocery store.  The blessings began long before we reached the grocery store and we were treated to multiple sunrises along the drive.  As we drove through the mountains on a road encased in ice we saw the sun rise in three separate locations as we moved our way through the pass.
Current Road Conditions: The Highway is a Sheet of Ice
Nestled back between the fishing tackle, small assortment of red heart acrylic yarn (ack!) I found an 8 foot long by 4 foot high stand of shelves that resembled a miniature "Natural Foods Section" you might find at your local grocery store. 
Halfway between The Moose Lodge and the
nearest store resembling an actual grocery store
The G-Free Gods smiled down upon me and I was granted a 1 lb 8 oz bag of certified gluten-free white rice flour for the astronomical price of $4.99, which is to say "priceless" given the next sack of G-Free white rice flour may be three hours in the other direction (no guarantee) or the whole drive to Anchorage, some 6 hours away.  
Two-thirds of the way to the nearest store; this is also where my camera
battery died and I realized my spare was also dead as a doornail
Honey Mama's Gluten Free Tortillas 

1 C      White Rice Flour 
1/3 C    Potato Flour
It was 4 F at our house and -22 F
 by the time we got to the store.
1/3 C    Tapioca Starch
1/3 C    Fava Bean Flour
1/4 C    Corn Starch 
2 t         Xanthan Gum 
1/2 t     Sugar 
1 t        Baking Flour 
1 1/4 t Redmond Real Salt 
3 T       Virgin Coconut Oil 
1 C      Water

Additional rice flour and water are required for rolling out the dough. 

NOTE:  If you are preparing this for someone with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance it is VERY IMPORTANT to make sure the ingredients you are using are in fact gluten-free, as some products may have been processed in a plant that also processes grains containing gluten, even TINY amounts can cause reactions in individuals with celiac or gluten intolerance.   The same goes for the counter you roll your dough on and anything else that will come into contact with the dough or finished tortillas. I use the same caution in preparing gluten-free foods as I do when handling raw meat.  

1. Measure out and mix together ALL of the DRY ingredients.  

2. Work in the coconut oil with a pastry knife or two knives (I had to heat mine slightly as our house temprature was in the low 60's, but it should be "just right" for most people with a house at or near 68 F.  It is also important to note that coconut oil turns into a liquid at 76 F.  

3. Add in the water 1/2 C to start, then 1/4 at a time until dough has formed.

4. Start with a handful of dough and roll out to 1/8 in thick, using additional rice flour to prevent sticking, and water as needed.  As you work the dough dipping your hand into a cup of water then handling the dough will help keep it from becoming crumbly.
5. If you want a perfectly round tortilla use a large biscuit cutter or a pastry wheel, otherwise roll out the dough to the size of tortilla you want and move on to step 6. 

6. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the tortillas in small batches until each side is lightly golden and slightly puffed.
7. Serve warm and enjoy! 
Tortillas can be frozen for future use in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to three months.