The Best Homemade Flour Tortillas

There are a few recipes that each cook has in her arsenol, that turn out perfectly without fail.  You know the ones, they are usually referred to as a "go to" recipe.  Well, this is my "go to" recipe for flour tortillas that I've used for years.  I've tried several, and while each one was good, it didn't leave me remembering how perfectly soft and delicious each one was.  Like this one. 

Some of you may think to yourself, "Why would I want to make my own tortillas?"  Sure, you can hop in your car, drive to the store, and pick yourself up a bag of ready made ones.  But where's the fun in that?  Besides, the  store bought tortillas are filled with preservatives and who knows what.  These homemade ones are filled with simple ingredients and you know exactly what's in it. 

Do I even need to bring up the most obvious point?  Have you ever tasted a homemade tortilla?  It tastes supremely better than anything old Wally World could serve you.  Trust me on this.  If for some reason you're one of those people, and you find making these is too much hassle, you can always make up a bunch and freeze them.  Or give me a holler and I'll make some up for you.  I only charge $100 per tortilla :

Joking aside, these really are simple to make and taste delicious.  They keep very well and maintain their supptleness, without turning dry and stiff.  Try them, you might never buy a bag at the store again:)

Homemade Flour Tortillas                            

(Prep: 30 min; Cook: 12 min; Servings: 12) 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon shortening
1/2 cup water

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add shortening and cut in with a fork, mix well. Add water and mix. If needed, add more water a tbsp at a time, until it comes together. I usually add about another 1-3 Tbsp.

Divide the dough and roll into 12 balls, let rest for 15 minutes.

Take a dough ball, and flatten with the palm of your hand. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, or I like to use a silicone baking mat. Roll the dough out very thin, until it becomes transparent, turning the dough a quarter turn with each stroke. It will be about 6 inches in diameter when finished.

Heat your skillet over medium heat, then place the tortilla in the skillet and cook the first side for about 20-30 seconds, until it just begins to turn golden. Flip and cook the other side for 20 seconds. Place cooked tortilla in a ziplock bag to stay warm while cooking the other tortillas. The steam from the cooked tortillas in the bag will prevent them from drying out.

*Tip: The secret to getting soft tortillas, is not cooking them for too long on each side. I cook mine for exactly 20 seconds each side over medium heat. After I have several tortillas cooked, I turn the heat down a little since the pan continues to heat while cooking. I roll and cook each tortilla separately. I find if I roll all of my tortillas first, the dough is so elastic that the tortilla will shrink up and become thicker than I want. If you want to roll all of the tortillas out first, you may need to reroll each one a little before cooking. These keep very well for several days in a ziplock bag.


Sandra said...

Those look perfect...I have to try this recipe, sounds so amazing!
Thanks for sharing!

Holly said...

These look so perfect!! I tried making tortillas once and they turned out thick and chewy-I'll have to try this recipe:)

Kim - Liv Life said...

Your tortillas look like a restaurant... actually better than many restaurants! I have never made my own tortillas, but after reading this I think I'd like to try. Well done!!

The Country Cook said...

Between you and Tina at Mommy's Kitchen highlighting how to make flour tortillas- I must make my own tortillas. I have never tried to do it before because I guess I always thought I needed a tortilla maker or something special. I definitely think I could do this and I know it would taste so much better than the store bought ones. Thank you for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

I've never made my own tortillas before. Yours looks absolutely perfect!

Evan @swEEts said...

Ever since my fiance discovered homemade tortillas he always has to make his own now! They're so easy and well worth the little extra amount of work!

twistedkitchen said...

Those look great! I've made a lot of corn with my tortilla press, can't wait to try these!

Angela@RecipesFromMyMom said...

Wow, I didn't realize it's this easy to make fresh tortillas. Really nice post.

Belinda @zomppa said...

These are perfect! Might be the swift kick I need to stop buying them.

Zoe said...

They are so perfect. I came across a Tortilla recipe once requiring the special equipment to shape the tortilla. Immediately, I just flip away from the page of the recipe. Now, I see how you rolled your tortilla, you have encouraged me to try making tortilla again.

Melody said...

they look delicious - and I can't believe how (relatively) simple :) looking forward to making them!

Randi said...

WOW. I cannot wait to try theses! Perfect!

MaryMoh said...

Love this. Must be so fun to make own tortillas. Time for wraps...mmm

Ang said...

I have only made homemade tortillas once and it was a disaster. However, I can tell by looking at your ingredients that mine was not that easy. I'm totally trying these! Thanks!!!

Susi's Kochen und Backen said...

Amber, your tortillas look amazing! I can't believe how thin you were able to roll them out without a tortilla press. I will have to give them a try with your recipe since Mexican food makes an appearance quite frequently in our home :o)

Anonymous said...

When I went to Disney Land they were handing out fresh baked tortillas from the Mission tortilla factory. They were delicious. I can only imagine how amazing these homemade ones are!

sara @ CaffeIna said...

I can actually think of many reasons for making home-made tortillas! Every time I buy them, they go bad and every time I want them I don't have them in the fridge. Now I know that next time I want to make dinner with tortillas I can just make my own. I was looking for the perfect recipe. thanks for sharing it!

Cheryl and Adam said...

We've made homemade tortillas for a while now, and you are right, no store bought can touch them. They have an authenticity of flavor which you can never find in a store. And really pretty easy, too! Love your recipe!

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

Your tortillas are beautiful! I haven't made them since I was a kid but I sure do love to eat them. Thanks for the recipe! :)

Renata said...

Perfect tortillas! I'm certainly giving this one a try! Do you think I can substitute butter for the shortening? Thanks!

Unknown said...

Hi Renata,
I can't be sure of the results if you substitute butter. I do think part of the secret to good tortillas is using shortening. If you're worried about the health issues of regular shortening, I use Spectrum non-hydrogenated shortening (made from coconut oil), and these tortillas were used made with the Spectrum non-hydrogenated shortening. You can always try the butter though, and see what happens. Sometimes the best results come from experimenting!


Renata said...

Thanks Amber for the information. I don't think I can find this kind of shortening here in Korea or in Brazil (my 2 home locations) but I'll keep an eye in the market, and meanwhile I'll try using butter and will let you know how it turns out. I'm sure it is definitely worth trying!

Terra said...

I always loved watching the woman in the kitchen at my favorite Mexican restaurants making homemade tortillas. They make it look so easy, and fun:) Since moving from Tucson, I truly miss some of my favorite restaurants. Some of the places, the tortilla was soooo thick, and delicious. YUM! This recipe looks wonderful!
Take care,

Monet said...

Hi sisters and I judge a Mexican restaurant based on their tortillas. I will go a long way to find a homemade tortilla, and it seems like yours are going to be making an appearance in my kitchen very soon! Thanks for sharing tonight. Such a lovely recipe and photographs. I hope you have a restful Sunday full of love and laughter!

Kate @ said...

Your tortillas look perfect!
This is very much like the recipe that I have. I tried making them without the shortening and it just did not work out... I learn fast :).

Chef Dennis Littley said...

hi Amber
on special occasions my mother would make homemade flour tortillas for me. They are so much better than buying store-bought tortillas especially what they sell in stores now. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us I have to say it's one thing I never learned how to make.

Sally Darling said...

I just found your blog tonight and I have to compliment you - it's just amazing! I can't wait to really take time and go through all the pages. Your photos are incredible! So talented!


I had to laugh when I saw this, because I have a good friend of Latin origin who always picks on me for not making fresh tortillas. She'll say, "You bake fancy desserts and you make homemade tamales, but you don't make your own tortillas?!?"

I've been avoiding them now just to irritate her--that's what friends do, right?

Maybe I'll give them a try this week and impress her at last. :)

Unknown said...

That is so cool you made these. I have only tried this with masa.

Bridget said...

they look really good - and legit!

Rita said...

These look wonderful. I totally get why you want to do this on your own. My mother in law always looks at me cross eyed when I make my own homemade refined beans.

Renata said...

Hi again, Amber!
I have just made the tortillas using butter and they turned out fabulous! I also used half whole wheat flour. Followed your steps, and it was just perfect! Will post about it soon and will link to this post.
Thanks so much for sharing!

Unknown said...

Hi Renata!
I'm so glad the substitutions turned out so well, I'll have to give it a try:)


Deborah Martin Salaroli said...

I´ve just coming from Renata´s blog and her tortillas looks perfect, as yours.
I loved you blog too.
Thanks for sharing your recipes with us.
If you can, come visiting me.
I´m just following you from now on.

AmyLynn said...

Hey! I just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog. There are a few recipes I have been meaning to try on here, and I just tried this one. These flour tortillas are delicious! I just barely had tacos for dinner with these fresh and yummy tortillas, and I will continue to use this recipe again and again!

Thank you for posting it!

Unknown said...

AmyLynn - I'm so glad you tried and liked these! They are definitely yummy :)

Phil said...

Hi - Probably a silly question: When you put them in a ziplock for a couple days, do you cook them first or cook them later.

Unknown said...

Hi Phil,
You cook them first, and they will keep for several days in a plastic bag. Just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them up.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if I can use oil instead of shortening with this recipe?

Unknown said...

Although I haven't tried using oil in place of the shortening, I'm sure it would work just fine. The texture and taste will be a little different. I actually use non-hydrogenated coconut oil shortening, which is much healthier than regular shortening. I hope this helps you!
Amber/Sprinkled With Flour

Anonymous said...

I've tried a few other recipes, and this was the best for me! I had some technique problems with the first few, but the ones that worked out well were perfect. I had always been rolling my tortillas too thick until I saw your post and and just how thin they should be.


Unknown said...

Hi Troy!
This is a really great tortilla recipe, and I'm so glad you liked it! Yes, the trick is definitely in getting them rolled out paper thin. :)

Josie said...

Tried this using Sno-cap lard (from Walmart) and they turned out really well! (I guess this is supposed to be the more traditional way from Old Mexico- my only complaint is that this brand of lard is hydrogenated- have to look for a non-hydrogenated option)
Have an allergy to soy in our house, and regular shortening is made from soybean oil. Didn't know that there was an option for coconut oil shortening, so thanks for posting that! Will check that out next time, as well as trying this recipe with butter...

Sarah W said...

How do you keep the tortilla from breaking when you put it in the pan?

Unknown said...

Hi Sarah, hmmm, I've never had any problem with the tortillas breaking apart. Your dough may need a little more water.

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