Monday, March 15, 2010

Homemade Flour Tortillas

The difference between pre-made, packaged tortillas and homemade are like night and day.  Packaged tortillas are rubbery, bland and most often just used as a vehicle for whatever fillings we choose to put in them; edible wrappers at best.  Homemade tortillas are so much more than that.  They are soft, slightly puffy, flavorful, and the aroma is almost intoxicating.  Well made homemade tortillas are seldom just a vehicle.  Regardless of what you are serving them with, they almost always become the star of the meal. 

Once you start making your own tortillas and you see how easy they are, it will become difficult to purchase those pre-packaged ones.  Your family will complain, trust me.

Flour Tortillas:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
7 tablespoons shortening
1 cup hot water

*Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand (and by hand, I mean with your hand and fingers squishing and mixing)
*Knead for approx 3 minutes until it is a smooth ball
*Invert the bowl over the ball of dough and let it rest for 15 minutes
*Separate into small 1.5 oz (golf ball size) pieces and roll into a ball
*Put them in a bowl and cover while you roll each one out
*Flatten ball with your hand
*Roll out into an oval, turn 1/4 turn and roll again, repeat until it is a rough circle (doesnt have to be perfect)
*Cook on a hot griddle or pan (I use a cast iron skillet)
*It takes about 3 to 4 flips
*Stack and cover with a towel

This is what the dough looks like after you knead it
Golf ball size portion

Flatten out
Turn and roll again


  1. Have you tried this with whole wheat flour? Would it change the liquid amount? I find whole wheat flour requires a bit more water.

  2. Hi Min! I have not tried it with whole wheat. I think if you do half whole wheat, half white, it would work fine. If you want it completely whole wheat, you definately want to add a little more water and you probably would want to sift the whole wheat flour a few times. It would be a denser tortilla. These are pillowy, not really that chewy.

  3. Can you substitute the shortening with something else?

  4. akm, absolutely. You can substitute with an equal amount of vegetable oil.


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