The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

whole wheat tortillas

flourgirl51's picture

whole wheat tortillas

Has anyone made tortillas using whole wheat flour?

Crider's picture

I have. Not much to say about it, except that it's easier if you don't try to roll it too thin until you've had some practice.

ApplePie's picture

I developed a recipe that uses 50% very strong whole wheat flour and oil instead of butter, shortening, or lard (trying to eat healthier).  Are you looking for a recipe or asking for something else?


flourgirl51's picture

I am looking for a recipe that would make soft tortillas.

ApplePie's picture

Background: I was inspired by a local restaurant that sells their tortillas, including a whole wheat version, to rave reviews. I noticed they use oil instead of lard or butter so I did the same.  Whole wheat flour can taste bitter whereas these restaurant tortillas tasted almost sweet, so I use a good quality whole wheat flour, boost the natural sweetness by adding some diastatic malt (one could also try non-diastatic malt), and using very hot water to encourage the starch to break down into sugars (similar to the method used for mash bread).  My ideal tortilla has a bit of stretch when you break off a piece so I know gluten development and retaining moisture is important.  If you don't let the dough sit long enough, the gluten doesn't develop as well.


50% Whole Wheat Tortillas (makes 15 nine inch tortillas)


  • 375 g whole wheat flour (I use Central Milling Organic Whole Wheat High Protein Fine)
  • 375 g all purpose flour (I use Central Milling Organic All Purpose from Costco)
  • 3 Tbsp diastatic malt (adjust to taste)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.25 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 145 g canola oil
  • 430 g hot water almost boiling


  • Combine flours, diastatic malt, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Mix well.
  • Add oil and hot water to the flour.  Mix using a dough whisk so as not to burn your hands.  When the flour is completely incorporated, the dough temp should be around 120 F.
  • Knead the dough for about 5 - 10 minutes (careful - it's still pretty warm).  Let dough sit for about 45 min.  One might try stretch and fold during this time to further develop the gluten.
  • Divide dough into 85 g pieces and pre-shape each piece into a ball.  You'll get 15 plus a small sample.
  • Roll out each ball (in the same order you pre-shaped them, so they will have relaxed a bit) into a 9" tortilla.  Cook in a pan over medium low heat, turning after the first side starts to brown and bubbles begin to puff up.
  • Cool each tortilla on a rack.  I minimize stacking until they've cooled off otherwise they steam each other.
  • What doesn't get eaten immediately should be put in an airtight bag and frozen.  They can be warmed up in the toaster oven or in a pan on the stove to revive that fresh baked goodness.


Mmmm, tortillas!

SourdoLady's picture

Could malt syrup be used instead, and if so, how much? Since it is liquidy would it alter the hydration too much without adjustment?

ApplePie's picture

3 kinds of malt

Since I have malt syrup, non-diastatic malt powder, and diastatic malt powder, I did a taste test.

  • Malt syrup:  Tastes very similar to molasses - strong and complex, and a little burnt. I believe it is non-diastatic in nature and so is mostly used for its flavor, not its effect on converting starch to sugar.
  • Non-diastatic malt powder:  Tastes like classic malted milk, and is its key ingredient.
  • Diastatic malt powder: Tastes like powdered sugar mixed with flour. Light sweetness.

I chose diastatic malt powder because of its taste profile - simple and lightly sweet.  3 Tbsp is what seemed to result in the sweetness level I wanted, but I admit is alot to add to that amount of flour, and may have other effects on the dough, but it works for me.

Using malt syrup will yield a different flavor than diastatic malt.  And if I tried it, I would use a smaller amount like 1 - 2 tsp.  But also try making the tortillas without any malt - just be sure to use the hot water, which will also bring out more sweetness than if you used cold water.


copyu's picture

But Flourgirl51 asked: "Has anyone made tortillas using whole wheat flour?" My response is: "Yes, many times—but we call them 'chapatti'"

Are you familiar with Indian or Pakistani 'Atta'? It's a 100% whole-wheat, fairly 'whitish' flour (at least, until you add some water to it...THEN it reveals itself as WW-flour.) The photos I've seen online of whole-wheat tortillas look exactly like chapatti to me. It's no coincidence that the recipes/formulae for tortillas are almost identical to those of chapatti

I'd suggest you just substitute 'atta' ( or KA's 'white wholemeal') for the flour in your favorite tortilla recipe and you'll be very happy!



wassisname's picture

I tried making 100% WW tortillas off and on for years but mostly made cardboard.  Straight from griddle they always seemed a little dry and overcooked, no matter what recipe I used.  Until... I kept them covered.  I use a plate or wide, shallow bowl with a lid from whichever pot I have that's about the same diameter as the plate.  Stack the tortillas under cover as they come off the griddle.  Flip the stack about halfway through the process so the bottom tortilla doesn't pick up too much moisture.  When they are all cooked flip the stack again and leave them covered for 5-10 min.  The difference is amazing.  And if you have a sourdough starter and a little lead time, throw some starter in whichever recipe you use and let the dough sit for a couple/few hours.  Good luck, and happy tortilla making!