Homemade Flour Tortillas

by Holly on May 5, 2014


For years and years I’ve been trying to figure out a recipe for flour tortillas that would be exactly what I wanted. The flavor had to be just right, even on their own without anything on them, not just taste bland. They needed to be soft, bendable, and stay that way. They needed to be not too thin, and not so thick that they weren’t bendable anymore.

Finally, I have just what I want.

The bonus is they are easy to make and use only basic ingredients everyone likely has on hand. Once you’ve got the technique down, which is really the bulk of the recipe anyway, they couldn’t be easier to make.

It seems like every time I buy tortillas anymore, they aren’t very good to begin with, and the taste or texture is off. Add to that the fact that they seem to be rising in price to exorbitant amounts that are ridiculous for the amount of ingredients that go in and how many you get in a package, and making them on your own couldn’t be a better way to go.

Soft Homemade Flour Tortillas

4 1/2 cups – 5 cups (20 oz.) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for rolling out
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 – 2 cups hot water (should feel hot to the touch around 100 degrees F)

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add the softened butter and whisk into the flour well until fine crumbs are barely visible or rub in with your fingers. The butter should basically disappear into the flour mixture.

Pour in the hot water starting with only the 1 3/4 cups and stir with a fork or wooden spoon and stir briskly till the dough comes together into a shaggy dough that comes together but is still a bit loose. Stir in additional water as needed to bring the dough together. It should still be shaggy at this point with some flour streaks. You’ll work these in a bit in the kneading.

Scrape the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead just until the dough just makes a smooth ball, just a couple of turns. If the dough is still sticky add just enough flour to dust the dough till it’s just barely tacky to the touch.

Cut the dough into 16 pieces and roll them into balls, set each one aside on the floured surface and flatten them a bit. Cover all the balls with a slightly damp towel or spray lightly with some oil and cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for about 30 minutes – don’t rush or skip this step, it is important to let the dough rest, so that the tortillas roll out smoothly, and easily. You don’t want tough dough that is hard to roll out, and shrinks back when you do roll it.

Heat an ungreased cast iron griddle or skillet over medium high heat till hot. While getting the dough balls ready to roll out.

Roll out one piece of dough at a time on a floured surface using a wooden rolling pin. Sprinkle the surface to keep the dough from sticking as well as your rolling pin and roll the dough thinly to about 8″ across. Lift the rolled out tortillas up off of the floured surface carefully and try not to tear them, you can use a floured large spatula. Keep the remaining dough pieces covered until ready to cook. I like to roll one tortilla and get it on the griddle, come back and roll the next one, flip the first one, take it off and then put the new one on. It all goes faster that way. Just don’t forget to flip your first tortilla, it’s okay if it gets some darker spots on it, but you don’t want to burn. Keep in mind that your griddle it’s very hot, and the tortillas are going to cook very quickly.

Cook each tortilla on the pan for about 30 seconds on each side until a little bubbly and browned. Wrap each cooked tortilla in a clean cloth to keep it soft and bendable. Repeat with each dough ball. Serve hot or allow to cool completely before wrapping the tortillas in a plastic bag or plastic wrap to store. Use the tortillas within one week.
14-16 oz hot water


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Emily May 5, 2014 at 11:22 pm

I absolutely LOVE homemade flour tortillas! YUM!

Betty May 6, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Homemade tortillas are the best! Yours sound just perfect 🙂

Adelina Priddis May 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Ooo I think I know where I’ve been going wrong now! I’m giving this a try!

Holly May 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm

So, I made a huge batch again yesterday and smoked my kitchen out because I forgot butter has a lower smoke point. I don’t want to lose the butter flavor so I will probably cook them on lower heat for a bit longer next time, or just sub part of the butter with veg oil. I’d love to know what you think if you make them!

Keren May 26, 2014 at 8:39 am

Wow. This looks good. Looks like a time consuming activity but worthwhile… How do you get it so thin? Might give this a go with vegan butter hmmm

Holly May 26, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Definitely worthwhile. Most of the time involved is just hands off waiting time. You can easily sub some veg shortening (I like spectrum) or even a light veg oil. I haven’t tried with anything else. The most important parts are to stir the fat in to the flour until it is very fine and not clumpy and to really let the dough rest before rolling and cooking. I roll the tortillas out on a lightly floured board until they are pretty thin. It may help to use a smaller rolling pin too.

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