I spent a large part of my Saturday and Sunday trying to make gluten-free tortillas and pizza crust. I can make these things from scratch using regular flour, but I discovered rather quickly that gluten is what makes cooking with regular flour so easy. Gluten is what makes your dough have that elastic feel to it when you’re using it — it keeps it from falling apart or sticking when you try to roll it out.
After several failed attempts to make these two household staples (at least they’re staples in my house) I was pretty close to giving up and giving in and buying store bought gluten-free bread products. I had even tried recipes that call for “riced” cauliflower (more on that another time).
As I searched google and pintrest for these gluten-free recipes I noticed that the majority of them called for the ingredient xanthan gum. I didn’t have any and didn’t know what it was so I skipped those recipes and found a few that didn’t include that ingredient. All of those recipes were major fails. The hubby had finally admitted that he felt better when he wasn’t eating gluten so I wasn’t about to give up. I had to find something that worked.
I went to Walmart and went back to the (very small, but useful) gluten-free section that is hidden at the end of the VERY LONG bread isle. At first I picked up the “all purpose” gluten-free flour (it’s a mixture of three or more non-wheat flours) which could (allegedly) be used with normal recipes…then I saw it. On the bottom shelf next to the gluten-free brownie mix was a row of little red packets — xanthan gum.
I had done a little research after my failed recipe attempts and found that xanthan gum and other similar ingredients need to be used in order to replace the elasticity that is lost when you take away the gluten. All of my gluten-free, xanthan-free recipes had fallen apart and turned rock hard because that particular property was missing. The packets were 49 cents a packet so I bought several of them and got home as fast as I could so I could make tortillas for my chicken taquitos.
Here’s the ingredients:
- 2 cups of Gluten-free all purpose flour (you could try using two or more types of flour that equal 2 cups, but don’t hold me to it)
- 1 1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum (you will only use about 3/4 of the packet)
- 2 tsp sugar (you could try honey if you’re trying to stay away from sugar — just decrease water)
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 cup warm water
I put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mixed it together. Then I slowly started adding water until I got a workable doughy consistency (I didn’t use the whole cup so don’t pour it all in at once or you’ll have to add more flour). Then I started taking golf-ball size chunks of the dough and rolling it out into tortillas. Because the dough is a lot stickier than wheat flour I had to spray the rolling pin with a little oil and I made sure to keep my flour handy.
Once I rolled out my tortillas, I threw it onto a pre-oiled and pre-heated skillet. Once on there it only needs to cook about 30 seconds on either side depending on how thick the tortillas are, how hot your skillet is and how crunchy/wrappable you want your tortillas so keep an eye on it.
These tortillas turned out great. They looked like tortillas and tasted like them. I’m sure if you’ve eaten gluten-free for very long you’ve tasted a poor imitation bread that had no flavor because there was no gluten.
I stuffed my tortillas with shredded chicken and cheese and rolled them up, sprayed them with oil and baked them at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes (rotating halfway through). Voila! Easy taquitos.
The whole family loved them. My almost 4-year-old ate a whole one and the hubby ate 4. You could tell that the taste was different, but I felt like it had a more wholesome flavor. And the best part was no one felt bloated or sluggish afterward!