If I could eat only one type of carb for the rest of my life, it’d be flour tortillas. Hands down.
I’m pretty excited to share this recipe with you today. It’s a cinch to make at home and light-years tastier than the packaged variety. Promise.
After coming back from Austin, TX, AKA the land of queso, breakfast tacos, street tacos and tacos tacos, we were craving tortillas hard. So I did the only thing I knew how. I made a batch of these bad boys and we ate ‘em up. These warm discs of pillowy pan-fried goodness filled that empty void we’d had lingering in our stomachs ever since we left.
Homemade flour tortillas FTW
I’ve been making this recipe exactly the same way for over a year now and it always comes out great. It’s very forgiving.
Actually, I lied, I’ve made this recipe different ways (with different flours and slightly different levels of salt and different fats) for the past year now and it comes out great every time. How’s that for a sales pitch?
Read on for some alternatives if you’re looking to make these healthier and/or vegan.
The recipe formula for stellar homemade tortillas is simple: flour + fat + liquid + salt (+ sometimes baking powder, if I feel like measuring out the teaspoon).
Nothing fancy here, just use AP and you’ll be good.
I’ve tried different options but my favorite is still butter. Alternatively, you can use any type of vegetable oil → I’ve used coconut oil and grapeseed oil in the past and both work pretty well.
Honestly, it didn’t occur to me to try anything different from plain old tap water in this recipe because the tortillas are plenty flavorful with just that. But if I was in the mood to experiment, I’d probably try some vegetable broth or maybe even a combo of water and milk. Watch out!
Use whatever salt you have. ‘Nuff said.
Yes, you do need to roll these out with a rolling pin. That’s the part that takes the most time. I’ve researched if they can be done successfully in a tortilla press (without the use of plastic or any other single-use material) and I’ve found varying reviews. So, I continue to roll them out with a pin.
I guess we should add “muscle” up there ^ in the recipe formula. 💪🏼 😂
They don’t require a lot of muscle to roll out, just a bit. Roll them out as thinly and evenly as possible. Perfect circles don’t matter, the less perfect the better, I say. Plus, imperfection makes them “rustic.”
And you shouldn’t need too much extra flour during the roll-out process either. In fact, you should use as little extra flour as possible to keep them soft and tender when they cook.
And the cooking process?
Even easier. Heat a large heavy skillet to medium-high heat. Get it good and hot.
Splat your first rolled out tortilla directly on the pan (without additional oil) and watch it cook up within seconds. It’ll balloon up with big and small bubbles and that’s how you know you need to flip it. Flip it, cook for a few more moments on the other side and remove from the heat.
If you’re making a stack of them (and this recipe yields twelve 12” tortillas) keep the cooked tortillas on a plate wrapped in a damp cloth to keep them warm and soft.
And that’s pretty much it.
Rarely do we cook all twelve of our tortillas at once. Once you separate out the dough into individual balls, those can be stored in the fridge for a few days before cooking.
You can also store the balls of dough in the freezer and defrost them as needed.
Cooked tortillas will keep in the fridge for a couple days but I’d recommend reheating them on a pan with a little water to steam them back to life.
I really hope you like this tortilla recipe. It’s become a true staple in our home, and we don’t miss the store-bought kind one bit. Let me know in the comments if you’ve made these and what you think.
*Recipe from Bea Johnson’s book Zero Waste Home.
If I could eat only one type of carb for the rest of my life, it’d be flour tortillas. This recipe is a cinch to make at home and light-years tastier than the packaged variety.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1 cup warm water
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
- Incorporate the butter into the mixture and mix with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs
- Add the water and combine until a soft dough forms
- Separate into 12 small balls
- Roll out each ball as thinly as possible and cook in a pan over medium heat for 20 seconds on each side
Once you separate out the dough into individual balls, those can be stored in the fridge for a few days before cooking. You can also store the balls of dough in the freezer and defrost them as needed. Cooked tortillas will keep in the fridge for a couple days but I’d recommend reheating them on a pan with a little water to steam them back to life.