Did you know all-purpose white flour is…
1. Stripped. The bran and germ are mechanically removed, which also removes necessary vitamins and minerals and most of the nutritional content.
2. Then it’s “enriched” to replace some of the vitamins and minerals that were stripped away.
3. And then it’s BLEACHED (in the US, but not in EU countries)!
Sounds pretty gross to me. I don’t buy white flour at all anymore, unless it is for a super duper special occasion, like when I made my Nonna’s pastiera recipe for Easter.
For everything else, I use whole wheat, white whole wheat, and spelt.
What is spelt?
Spelt is an ancient grain, much different from that of barley, wheat, or other grains. It’s been around since ancient times, and was even mentioned in the Bible. Research shows that spelt was the most common grain in Europe before the 19th century.
Over the past 150 years, spelt hasn’t been quite as popular due to the labor it requires to harvest. The grain has a really tough outer husk that is inedible, which has to be removed before being ground into flour. Since wheat doesn’t have this and is easier to harvest, wheat started to be cultivated more and spelt fell to the wayside. Spelt has recently made a comeback though, as modern technology has developed machines that can de-husk the spelt grains quickly.
Nutritionally, spelt is much different than wheat. The nutrients in spelt are located in the center of the grain, while the nutrients in wheat are in the two outer layers, which as I explained above, are stripped off during processing white flour.
Spelt is a highly nutritious grain that keeps it’s nutritional components even after being ground to a flour.
- high in fiber
- a complete protein
- nutrient dense
- and the best part-it tastes great!
Homemade Spelt Tortillas
I make these all the time. Sometimes I’ll even make a couple batches and freeze a bunch. They aren’t that hard to make once you get the hang of it. If you’ve never made homemade tortillas before, it might take a couple tries and a little practice to get the heat and timing right (at least it did for me). I’ve been making them for a few years now though and they come out great.
I love these tortillas because (A) they are delicious, (B) they’re much healthier than the normal Mission brand at the grocery store, and (C) they are pretty darn cheap to make. Making things from scratch like this can really save a lot of money in the long run.
Make the dough
- Combine flour and salt.
- Slowly add olive oil. Mix with fork until evenly crumbly.
- Gradually add warm water a little at a time until mixture comes together and forms a dough, stirring continuously. You might have a little water left over.
- Divide dough into 12 pieces and form into balls.
- Place them on a floured surface and press down a little, forming them into disks.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes to 1 hour.
- Heat a cast iron skilled to medium high heat and spray with a little oil.
- Thinly roll out a ball of dough on a floured surface until it is about 8 inches across.
- Make sure the pan is hot before you start. Carefully pick up the tortilla with your fingers and place it into the pan.
- Let it cook until bubbles start to appear on the top, about 30 seconds.
- Use tongs to flip the tortilla and cook it another 30 seconds, then transfer to a plate.
- Repeat with remaining tortillas.