Homemade flour tortillas! Who can resist that soft yet chewy texture? The warm, fresh flavor of a homemade tortilla? Not me! If you’ve never had one before, I implore you to try it out.
I’ve made these a few times. In that time I’ve learned a few things…
First off I will admit, corn tortillas are a bit easier to roll out and work with than flour ones. You just press them and go. Since these ones are made with flour, you’ll roll them out pretty thin with a rolling pin. The gluten will want to be a little stubborn…and getting them perfectly round can be tough. But with practice you can perfect it. (and I gather so can I 😅) But getting a perfectly round tortilla isn’t completely necessary in my opinion; they look more “rustic” and “homemade” that way.
I find I’m not the best at making the big tortillas for burritos, so for these I’ll usually roll them out a little smaller for a “large taco” size.
What do I need to make tortillas?
Homemade flour tortillas really are just a simple dough with a little baking powder for leavening. All purpose flour, baking powder, salt, water, and fat. I like to use leaf lard and butter. You can use shortening, lard, or butter. That’s it! You can use a stand mixer to knead it, or use your hands. I’ll usually make small batches so I opt to hand knead it.
This recipe is pretty forgiving, but take note: Flour will absorb liquids at different rates. The amount of water will vary with the flour that you’re using and how humid or dry it is where you live. You’re looking for a soft, smooth dough that isn’t sticking to your hands. The amount of flour that I use works for me where I live; it’s not too humid but not super dry here in the Pacific Northwest. Add more water for dry climates and less water for very humid climates.
How many tortillas will it make?
The amount of tortillas you’ll get from this recipe will vary with the size that you make them. I’ll usually roll mine out to be about 7″ in diameter and can get around 10 tortillas that way. You can double the recipe or halve it…whatever floats your boat!
Now that you have all the tools and info you’ll need, let’s make these!
Homemade Flour Tortillas
- 240g (2 cups) All purpose flour
- 42g (3 Tbsp) Lard, butter, or shortening softened
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 118g (½ cup) warm water
To make the dough:
- Mix flour, baking powder, and salt
- Add softened lard, butter, or shortening. Mix well with a fork or your fingers until the flour is coated and the mixture looks sandy.
- Pour in half of the warm water and mix together. Keep adding more water, little bits at a time and stir until a dough forms and can start to be kneaded. (You'll know when you have enough water in your mixture when you don't have to add more flour as you knead. The dough shouldn't be sticking to your hands.) The dough should be smooth and soft. If it's sticking to your hands, add a tiny bit more flour. If it is tough and a little dry, add more water.
- Knead dough by hand for 7-8 minutes, or in a stand mixer for around 5 minutes. Your dough should be nice and smooth. (Windowpane test: Pull up a little bit of the dough and try to stretch it thin without it tearing. If it tears easily, knead it for longer. If you can see light through it and it doesn't tear, you've kneaded it enough) Rest in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for at least 15 minutes.
To cook tortillas:
- Heat a comal or cast iron skillet on medium-high. You want your pan to be very hot but not as hot as the sun. Divide dough into small or big balls. About the size of a golf ball will do for regular sized tortillas. If you're picky like me, bring out the scale to divide them equally.
- Roll out each dough ball on a lightly floured surface. Keep turning the round after every roll, adding a little more flour as you go to prevent sticking to the table. (light dusts of flour!) Roll out as thin as you can, until you see the color of the table through it.
- In you dry, hot pan (no oil), lay each thin dough round out. It should start getting little bubbles on the surface. Cook for about 40 seconds, then flip. Cook tortilla for another 40 seconds. You can flip once more if you notice any spots are still a little raw. You can also press on the top with your spatula to let those spots hit the pan better. Transfer cooked tortilla to a bowl lined with a tea towel and place the tortilla in it. Cover with a lid. This will trap the steam and keep them soft. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.