Homemade Flour Tortillas

I have a thing for flatbreads, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Making your own flour tortillas is quick and simple, and I can promise that your efforts will result in soft, fresh and delicious vehicles for chicken, guacamole, and sour cream. They are so easy and tasty that I am confounded as to why I have been buying the dry, twenty-ingredient (most of which are mysterious) variety from the International section of the supermarket.

The supermarket sort do last longer – I’ll give them that. I’ve had a few tortillas, in their signature yellow zippered bag, sit for weeks on the counter and maintain their integrity as if I had just bought them. Highly suspicious, if you ask me.

The homemade counterparts really only taste incredible the first day. But luckily, they only take minutes to whip up, and the rolled-out dough can be frozen between sheets of waxed paper for fresh, homemade tortillas anytime!

Not only are they great for fajitas, but also for rolling into a lunch sandwich – try refried beans, avocado and red onions. Or for breakfast, smeared with peanut butter and wrapped around a whole banana.

I adapted this recipe from Gourmet magazine, where they cut in vegetable shortening, in place of the vegetable oil. This probably results in a flakier tortilla, but not worth the trans-junk. I’d be more quickly convinced to use lard, which is more authentic anyway. Not having lard on hand, the oil works great!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup warm water

1. In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour and salt. Add oil and warm water, stirring to combine. Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 3 minutes, until dough is smooth. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces, rolling each piece into a ball. Allow to rest, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes.

2. Once dough has rested, preheat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (do not use nonstick for this). Roll out each ball into a circle, about 6 inches in diameter. Cook one at a time in the hot skillet for about 60 seconds, flipping half-way through, when it starts to puff and a few brown spots have appeared on the first side. Keep warm by wrapping the stacked tortillas in a clean dishcloth.

  • http://www.danatreat.com Dana

    I’m convinced. Those look really terrific.

  • http://twitter.com/dreamchimes4 Nicole Walker

    I’m excited about this! I’ve been wanting to make my own tortillas for awhile…question, though: you say to not use a non-stick pan…does that mean not to grease the pan either?


    • Anonymous

      You need to get the pan very hot – which you can’t do with a non-stick pan (the coating comes off). The heavy cast iron distributes the heat perfectly. You don’t need oil, but you should always keep your cast iron seasoned (rub it with oil and seal it in over heat every time you use it).

  • http://fromscratch-withlove.com Andrea

    Crisco actually has a really good trans fat free shortening. It literally works just as well as their trans fat full shortening. And by definition, isn’t vegetable oil full of trans fats too?

    • Anonymous

      Re: trans free shortening – I’m still skeptical. I try to stick to honest, natural ingredients as much as possible rather than man- & science-made stuff.

      And no, vegetable oil is full of healthy fats, no transies. It’s only when they alter vegetable oil in a lab to make it solid at room temperature that we get the trans fat.

  • http://www.healthyfoodforliving.com Lauren

    I love that this recipe doesn’t call for lard, like so many for tortillas do! Homemade bread is so much better than store-bought, and we eat a lot of Mexican fare in our house. I can’t wait to make these!

    • Anonymous

      You won’t regret it! ;-)

  • http://squirrelbread.wordpress.com/ Heather

    we’re usually not flour tortilla people, but we did make them once from scratch and oh my … what an epiphany! far far far away from what you get in the store. these look good enough to pull off the screen and eat! thanks for sharing this post.



    • Anonymous

      Thanks Heather!

  • Ali @ His Birdie’s Nest

    OMG I didn’t know it was that easy! I’m pretty sure I’m making these tonight :) Thank you for the recipe.

  • http://nutmegdisrupted.com/ Redawna

    I really have to give these a try soon!
    They look fantastic!

  • Dmparker4

    I do this with four cups of flour, add 1 cup water (or enough to make it the dough, then 1 tbsp of butter per cup of flour used. Wrap it in saran wrap and let sit for 20 min. Then follow the rest of the directions. Makes 16 and they are yummy!!
    I didn’t know you could freeze the dough so I will try that. We put ours with paper towels in between them in a zip lock bag and they last about 3 days…they’re usually eaten up by then, so I don’t know if they last longer :)

  • http://littlemissbaker19.blogspot.com/ Berendina

    Oh this looks like a really simple sure thing recipe. I really want to try out making homemade tortilla chips without using store brought tortilla, so I’m going to try your recipe out and then bake them with seasoning. Should be really awesome with my leftover homemade seven layer dip :P

    • Anonymous

      Sounds delish!!

  • countryreim

    These were So Easy – AND GOOD!!
    In fact, my 8 yr old son requested I make these instead of a treat for a school party – now that’s a compliment!
    One question – mine don’t come out as flexible and soft as yours look.
    Am I cooking too long?

    • Anonymous

      Aww, I love it!!!

      Mine were very soft – were yours breaking when you folded them? They should be cooked in a pretty hot pan and they’re done really quickly – they’re still a bit translucent. Did you rest your dough?

  • Gutierrezuyleesa

    why r my flour tortillas yellow plz respond :)

    • Anonymous

      Haven’t the foggiest… you’re not using corn flour perchance?

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    I just made these tonight (for fish tacos) and they were fantastic! Totally making them again. Great site!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Kasey! Glad you liked the tortillas!

  • http://twitter.com/jessimartin84 Jessica Martin

    I tried this recipe last night and my taste buds thank you!! I can’t believe how easy these were to prepare.

    • Anonymous

      I know, right? I’ll never go back to bagged tortillas again…

  • http://dawningofjanuary.blogspot.com/ January

    One word…okay maybe two….AH-MAY-ZING and easy!

  • sunny

    I like thin tortilla’s and since its a flatbread I think it should be super fast. I modified this recipe and made it like you would a crepe.  Im talking 15 minutes.
    1-1/2 flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1-1/4 cup cold water
    1 egg white
    whisk till smooth
    using filled stew scoop (1/2 cup) pour onto one side of pan, and side to side manipulate spatula spread to      -cover pan
    Gas stovetop preheated to 8
    non-stick pan/no oil
    makes 5 -10inch tortillas
    recommend flattening with spatula while cooking 30 seconds per side
    separate finished tortilla’s with good quality paper towel
    If you have never mastered crepes…I think dont bother trying this one
    sorry no pictures

  • Thoroughly Impressed

    WOW! I just made these to make lentil burritos and they are amazing!!!  My first tortilla came out sort of thick and not as pliable, so for the rest of them I rolled them as thin as possible and they came out great; nice and soft and easy to roll.  Also I improvised to make some sour cream that was amazing and thought I would share: It just was mayonnaise (I used vegenaise) whisked with lime juice and dill weed.  They were really the best burritos I have ever had!! Thanks for the recipe :)

    • Anonymous

      Glad you liked! Isn’t it great how easy they are?

  • Ellen

    Made these tonight and they are so much better than the last (quite similar) recipe I tried, maybe it was the resting that helped or perhaps the absence of a leavener but they were light and folded really well with no tears! *happy dance* only trouble I had was a bit of charring so I turned the pan down and it was fine :p

    • Anonymous

      Glad you liked!! I actually like the charring!

  • Andrea

    Most recipes call for Baking Powder also. Why don’t you use this? If you were to add it, how much should be added and what does it do for the tortilla?

    • Anonymous

      I have never seen a tortilla recipe with baking powder. It would cause it to rise, which you don’t want… Try it without!

  • Mike

    Excellent! Thank you for your hard work on preparing the information for us. Prepared exactly according to the recipe although I used more dough per piece because I prefer my tortillas larger. The thinner you can get the dough rolled out, the lighter the tortilla will be. Great texture. Consistent to how I prefer my tortillas. Similar to Cafe Rio style.. Thanks again :)

  • Jules

    I have a crueset enameled cast iron pan – im hoping this will help and have the same affect as using a regular cast pan. Have you ever tried with enameled cast iron?

    • foodess

      It’ll work fine as long as you get it really hot!

  • http://twitter.com/casualbaker Sheena S.

    I just gave these a go, Jen, and they were delicious. Thank you!

  • Tracy Hughes

    Thank you so much For sharing this recipe I live in bulgaria and can’t buy tortillas these are so easy I use lard rather than veg oil and thy are wonderful why did I never make them before

    • foodess

      Aren’t they wonderfully easy? Glad you enjoyed!

  • Heather

    I just made these this morning for breakfast! Fantastic and so easy. However I do not own any cast iron skillets, so going against your suggestion – I did use my electric grill, which is non-stick (ouch! sorry 2 no, no’s). Anyway I set the temperature to it’s highest at 400 degree and placed my tortillas directly on the grill (no added grease – just dry). They cooked up great, nice browning on each side. I will definitely be making these often, they have so many uses. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Jade D.

    Hi! I seen and cooked this recipe today because I seen all of the raved reviews. They were absolutely delicious. But when I cooked them they were not flexible. :-/ I did not use a Cast Iron Skillet (don’t own any) I also did not use direct salt because I used a seasoning that has lots of salt in it already. How do I get them to become flexible?

  • Jade D.

    Hi! I seen and cooked this recipe today because I seen all of the raved reviews. They were absolutely delicious. But when I cooked them they were not flexible. :-/ I did not use a Cast Iron Skillet (don’t own any) I also did not use direct salt because I used a seasoning that has lots of salt in it already and I also used butter instead of veg. oil. How do I get them to become flexible?

    • foodess

      If they weren’t flexible, it sounds like there was too much flour – you should measure flour by gently spooning it into a dry measuring cup and levelling it off with a knife. Or else weigh it – 4 1/2 ounces (125 g) = 1 cup. Also, using butter might have changed things, because it has a higher moisture content than oil and less fat. Stick with the oil!

  • Namrata

    Made these today… just one word – – – AWESOME!

  • Tamsyn

    Just finished tucking into these! Divine! Used a frying pan with a tiny bit of sunflower spray and they turned out perfect!! Had some warm with hummus then when that ran out opted for a smoked salmon and feta. Amazing!! My housemates and I have been doing a home version of come dine with me – definitely won’t be buying wraps for the Quesadilla starter I have planned – thank you! xx

    • foodess

      Hi Tamsyn! So glad you liked!! Hope they’re a hit at your dinner party!

  • Diana Lili Meszaros

    Dear Foodess! Thank you so very much for this awesome recipe. It came out perfect, my boyfriend and I loved it!

    I think it is better to separate it into 5 instead of 10 pieces, makes bigger wraps, easier to handle.

  • Michelle

    Gonna try today. My kids love tortillas and they are expensive. Nice to make on own!!!!