Leah Kirchmann’s homemade tortillas:
Tacos are one of my all-time favourite meals. The secret to amazing tacos is homemade tortilla shells. You will never buy pre-made ones from the store again after learning how easy they are to make yourself with only a few basic ingredients. I have taught a lot of friends and teammates this simple recipe at many taco parties over the last few years.
This recipe is very forgiving, and you can experiment with whatever kind of flour you have available – white, whole wheat, spelt, etc. I made this recipe using spelt flour from Grainlabs. Spelt is a flavourful and nourishing ancient whole grain. It is very popular in Limburg, in the Dreiländerregion, the southern area of the Netherlands where I am based at the team’s ‘Keep Challenging Center’ during the season.
Ingredients (makes 6 tortillas):
1.5 cups/ 180g flour from Grainlabls (white/whole-wheat/spelt flour will work, or a mix)
½ tsp/2.5g salt
½ tsp/2.5g baking powder
2.5 tbsp/ 35g Finca Duernas Arbequina extra virgin olive oil
½ cup/ 118g warm water
Mix dry ingredients, then add Finca Duernas Arbequina extra virgin olive oil and water. Mix the dough until smooth. Add a bit more flour if it is too sticky (different flours will absorb more or less liquid).
Knead the dough a few times on the counter.
Divide the dough into 6 portions (or less if you want bigger tortillas).
Form each piece into a ball and flatten with palm.
Cover the dough balls with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Heat a large pan over high heat.
Roll out the dough, using flour if sticking to counter.
Cook until the bottom has a few brown spots and starts to bubble.
Flip and cook for 30 more seconds (or until you can see brown spots).
Place cooked tortillas in a clean dishtowel to keep warm.
Flip the stack when ready to eat, the ones at the bottom will be softer.
Store extra tortillas in a plastic bag. They keep well at room temperature for a few days, or for a longer time in the freezer. Microwave for 20 seconds to reheat. You can easily scale the recipe up or down depending on how many people you are cooking for.
I like to make extra tortillas for dinner, and then use the leftovers for breakfast burritos, as ride food filled with peanut butter and banana, or for post ride recovery meals in the days to follow.
You can get creative with whatever you have in your fridge and pantry for fillings. One of my favourite combinations is homemade refried beans, topped with sautéed peppers and onions, avocado, cilantro and chipotle hot sauce. What are your favourite taco fillings? Enjoy!