Tortillas are Mexican flat breads that form the basis for tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Flour tortillas make convenient wraps for sandwiches and provide a starchy accompaniment for roast meat or cooked pinto or black beans. White whole wheat flour makes a healthier tortilla, since whole wheat flour is a whole grain and has more fiber. White whole wheat flour isn't as heavy as regular whole wheat flour, so won't affect the taste or texture of the tortilla. Substituting olive oil for vegetable shortening or traditional lard adds heart-healthy unsaturated fat to the dish.
Sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
Add the olive oil and stir to combine.
Add the warm water and mix, using your hands if necessary. You may add more water, a teaspoon at a time, if necessary to achieve a smooth dough.
Sprinkle a clean counter top with the remaining flour.
Turn the dough onto the flour.
Flour your hands and knead the dough six to eight times, turning it over each time, until the dough is smooth and elastic and doesn't stick to your hands.
Pinch off a ping-pong ball-sized piece of dough and roll it into a ball.
Flatten the ball on the counter.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until very thin, less than 1/16 in. thin. Pick up and turn the dough each time you roll it so that it doesn't stick to the counter. Add more flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking.
Place the rolled-out tortilla onto a plate and cover with a damp cloth. Continue until you have rolled out all of the dough.
Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle on high until a drop of water flicked onto the surface skitters across the it.
Place one tortilla onto the ungreased skillet. Cook until it begins to brown lightly on one side.
Flip the tortilla with a fork and cook the other side.
Transfer the cooked tortilla to a plate and cover with a cloth to keep it warm.
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.