Homemade Flour Tortillas

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m always always trying to figure out how to make things MYSELF. Commercially made tortillas are usually loaded with bad fats and sodium–things I try to avoid. They also seem unreasonably expensive considering how relatively INexpensive their ingredients are.

I love learning how to make things and do things myself,  so it made sense to me to try to find a homemade alternative to store-bought tortillas. (I recall that all of my kids had very strong I-can-do-it-mySELF phases as they were growing up, so I guess that should tell me something!)

This is a very simple recipe. It takes a little time, but after making these tortillas a few times, I’ve decided that the time it takes is worth it. It also has made sense in our family to make several batches of tortillas all at once that I subsequently freeze to use later.

Flour Tortillas

  • 6 c. bread flour
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. olive oil

Measure the liquid ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add the baking powder and salt. Knead in the flour gradually. Knead the dough until is is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes if you’re using a mixer and about 7 minutes if you’re kneading by hand.) Let the dough stand for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 16-20 balls. Let those stand for another 10 minutes.

Roll each ball out flat with a rolling pin to form an approximately 10″ circle. They should be quite thin. If you have a tortilla press, that will work well too. Just adjust the size of the dough balls to fit your press.

Heat up a heavy, flat-bottomed skillet. Toast the circle of dough for 20-30 seconds on each side. The dough will cook that fast. You’re looking for some light brown spots on each side but NOT for any burning or scorching.

A note about the flour: the original recipe for these tortillas came from my dear friend, Jenny Bryk, and called for whole wheat flour. Since the last Kitchenaid disaster, I haven’t had a grain mill to grind my wheat berries, so my whole wheat flour use has gone way down. Thus, we just substituted bread flour for the whole wheat flour. You can use whole wheat flour if that’s your preference and you’ll end up with lovely whole wheat tortillas.

We’ve been using these flour tortillas to accompany our latest favorite dish, Chile Verde. My husband is putting the finishing touches on that original recipe that will be published soon here at My Sister’s Kitchen. I’ll come back and add a note to this post when that recipe is available.


13 thoughts on “Homemade Flour Tortillas

  1. Krista, I have never met anyone who successfully made corn tortillas. I would LOVE to learn how because I have wheat-intolerant kiddo that only eats corn tortillas. I’m searching for a good recipe.

  2. I LOVE making my own things! Sometimes not worth it, but sometimes a very surprising treat like my marshmallows. I will definitely be trying this. I know you use bread flour, but since whole wheat flour can work I assume AP flour will work as well? I can’t wait to be unshackled to Cruz Tortillas.

  3. I am so, so, so, so happy to have landed on your site at the precisely the time you posted homemade tortillas! Since we are living in Italy, tortillas are hard to come by and really, really expensive. But we love them and now thanks to you—we can have them often!! woohoo!!!!

  4. That photo at the top of the post should be in a cookbook. Really nice. And those look good, very consistent! I hear from Olga in Costa Rica that consistency is what’s difficult about making tortillas. I don’t know if she was referring to maiz or flour ones.

  5. corn tortillas?

    A cinch! We make them all the time, I’ve not had great luck with flour tortillas, will give this a try! To make a corn tortilla, you HAVE to use “Masa Harina” dough flour it would translate, but it is Corn flour mixture to make tortillas. Any REAL mexican market would have it in 2-10 lb bags. Add water, squash (much easier to roll out they don’t spring back like the flour ones do, simple in a tortilla press.

    I grew up in Mexico and to make them from scratch is a many day process. I watched it done, but don’t even remember the order of it all. Soaking the dried corn in lye, grinding by hand with a stone on stone metate, making a dough, grinding the dough again, and perhaps again… But the flavor is to die for! A world better than anything ever made in a machine.

    As much as I love them, I am happy to make the masa harina version, that is way yummier than the packaged ones. And simple to make.

  6. Pingback: make your own tortillas | Talk of Tomatoes

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  8. I never knew that enchiladas were made with a sauce until I was married. My mother always made her enchiladas with flour tortillas made with a chili powder, thus the tortilla had a red tint from the powder, any comment?, I have not been able to find, nor do I remember, the recipe.

    • David, I’m intrigued. I haven’t see or heard of enchiladas made the way that you’re describing. If you learn any more, I would love to hear more about this.

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