JG made lentils for dinner this weekend and decided to try his hand at chapati bread, which are thin round flatbreads usually made with at least some whole-wheat flour. He'd planned to have it all done when I got home from work (my hero) but the cookbook he used just isn't a good one (the flavors are great but the liquid ratios or the cooking times are _always_ way off, but never the same way twice) and the lentils weren't ready when they were supposed to be, so I helped with chapati while he finished up the dal. [Plus I wanted to tinker with the recipe, using all whole-wheat and some salt... I think the salt was an omission.] It's a super simple process and they turned out great for scooping up the lentils, but they inspired JG in another way.
"These taste like flour tortillas"
"Well, they kinda are, but without the lard. They won't keep."
"But these right now are flour tortillas. It makes me want to make fajitas."
Recipe: Fat-Free Whole-Wheat Tortillas or Chapati Bread
Just like good corn tortillas, they're best fresh off the griddle and aren't as tasty reheated. You can knead the dough by hand ~10 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep from sticking, but the end product will be a little stiffer and a little less like a tortilla.
Makes 8 medium or 6 large tortillas
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
additional 1/4 cup flour, for rolling
Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer* fitted with the beater attachment (not enough volume for the dough hook) and beat for 5 minutes. Dough should form a slightly tacky but cohesive ball. Cover with plastic and let sit at least 10 minutes.
On the stove, preheat a dry (un-oiled) cast iron or steel griddle (I use a comal) over medium heat.
Liberally dust a countertop or pastry cloth with reserve flour [keep tmore for rolling nearby]. Divide dough into six or eight equal pieces, roll each into a ball, flatten, and roll out with a rolling pin (dusting as needed) until they are tortilla-thin. You can roll out all of them at once or toss the first tortilla on the griddle while you begin to roll the next one, but you'll need to keep an eye on the griddle while you're rolling. Either way, as soon as the edges of the tortilla dry out and begin to curl up, (~45-60 seconds?) flip it to cook the other side. [The first side should be spotty golden brown, if it's not, turn your heat up a little. If it's spotty black, turn the heat down]. Cook on the second side for another ~45-60 seconds, then flip it back to the first side.* The tortilla _should_ start to fill with air, but if you've singed any holes, it won't. After ~ 30 more seconds on the first side, puffed or not, transfer it to a tortilla warmer lined with [paper] towel or a plate lined with [paper] towel topped with an upside down plate. Once all of the tortillas have been cooked, flip the stack so that the first one cooked is at the top of the pile and re-cover. [They soften as they sit and keeping the hottest at the bottom keeps all of them warmer longer.]
*Instead of flipping it back to the first side, you can instead hold it directly over the flame of a gas burner, which should also make it fill like a balloon. This step, while fun, requires you roll out all the dough before you begin cooking, or have a partner to mind then flame while you mind the other tortillas.