Homemade Flour Tortillas Recipe

(4 votes)
30 Comments
9 minutes
June 2, 2023
Carole JonesJump to Recipe

Homemade flour tortillas that are super tender and soft every time. This easy flour tortillas recipe only uses 4 ingredients and the only tools you need are a bowl and a rolling pin. If you have ever wondered how to make flour tortillas at home, this is the post for you! Once you have homemade tortillas, I promise you that you will never go back to buying them at the store.

Homemade flour tortillas

Why I Love this Recipe?

My first try at homemade flour tortillas was over 10 years ago. They turned out decent but I knew they could be better, so I’ve been researching and experimenting until the recipe below was the end result. Flour tortillas don’t get any better than this!

Honestly, this tortilla recipe is super easy to make, even for someone who has never made tortillas before. It is one of the reasons I love making flour tortillas at home. No special tools or ingredients are needed for the most tender, soft, and flaky tortillas you’ve ever had.

Homemade Flour Tortillas Ingredients

In an authentic flour tortilla recipe, there are only 4 ingredients: all-purpose flour, salt, shortening or lard, and water. There are some recipes that use baking powder but if you make them correctly, there is no need for that extra ingredient. They will puff all on their own! 

  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable shortening or lard
  • Water
Authentic Homemade Flour Tortillas

How to Make Homemade Flour Tortillas?

The key to soft and tender homemade flour tortillas is to inhibit the development of gluten in the flour by “waterproofing” the flour. You do this by rubbing the shortening into the flour with your hands to coat the flour with the fat and secondly, by using 110-degree warm water which melts the fat. Now that the flour is coated in fat, when you gently work the dough, it is much less likely to create gluten, resulting in a tender, soft, and flaky tortilla.

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Rub the shortening into the flour and salt mixture by rubbing it gently between your hands.
  3. Mix in the water with a wooden spoon, being sure the temperature is 110 degrees before adding it to the flour mixture. 
  4. Knead the dough just long enough for it to come together, then divide into 12 pieces.
  5. Rest the dough for 30 minutes so it can relax and roll out very easily.
  6. Roll the dough into 8-inch circles.
  7. Cook tortillas on a hot griddle for 1 minute on each side.
Flour tortilla dough rolled out flat on marble countertop

How to Cook Homemade Tortillas?

You can cook flour tortillas on an electric griddle or on a nonstick pan on the stove. The key is to get the level of heat right. Usually, an electric skillet needs to be on high heat,  but closer to medium-high for a pan on the stove. The homemade flour tortillas should cook for about 1 minute on each side, creating large bubbles across the surface, and turn light brown before flipping and cooking for another minute.

If the flour tortillas are cooked at too high a temperature or for too long, they will turn hard and will crack and crumble when you fold them. If you’ve never made homemade flour tortillas before, it’s a good idea to plan to sacrifice the first 1 or 2 as you experiment with getting the right cooking temperature.

How to Use Homemade Flour Tortillas?

Well, besides eating them hot off the griddle, I’ve included a few of my favorite ways to use these amazing flour tortillas after you’ve cooked them.

  • Pork Carnitas are my go-to pork recipe as a filling for these tortillas. Between the amazing, caramelized pork butt and the tender homemade tortilla, you’ll never look at Taco Tuesday the same again!
  • Tortilla S’mores are always on the menu when we are grilling in the summer time! All the classic s’mores flavors wrapped up in a homemade flour tortilla and grilled until hot and gooey!
  • Chicken Tacos and Mango Jicama Salsa are another family favorite way to use our homemade tortillas. Just a different, more tropical take on our more traditional Mexican flavors.
  • Peanut Butter and Banana Sushi comes in a close second behind the Tortilla S’mores if you want my kid’s opinions on how to use the flour tortillas. They make these as after-school snacks or even pack them in their lunches.
  • Mediterranean Quesadillas might sound like a complete contrast in regional flavors, but they are outstanding! This vegetarian recipe comes together in just a few minutes and is crazy flavorful inside those amazing tortillas.
Homemade flour tortillas in a Towel

Equipment Needed to Make Tortillas

Many wrongly assume you need a tortilla press to make homemade flour tortillas. If you are making corn tortillas, then yes a tortilla press is necessary. But because of the gluten in flour tortillas, a press will be ineffective in getting a round, thin disc of dough. Instead, here is what you do need for success:

  • Digital food thermometer to be sure the water is at the proper temperature of 110-degrees before working it into the flour and shortening mixture.
  • Quality rolling pin to make perfectly thin discs of dough. 
  • Electric griddle is a must-have piece of equipment but is a nice-to-have. A griddle keeps a constant temperature and lets you cook two tortillas at the same time. 
  • Tortilla warmer is another piece of equipment that is handy but not necessary. I like using one to keep my finished flour tortillas warm for an hour. 

Homemade Flour Tortillas FAQs and Troubleshooting

Why are my Flour Tortillas Not Puffing?

Generally, homemade flour tortillas won’t puff for two reasons. First, your cooking surface is not hot enough. Homemade tortillas puff up as the water and shortening create steam inside the dough. So, if your cooking surface isn’t hot enough, then there won’t be steam.
Another reason your tortillas aren’t puffing is that too much gluten developed while mixing. So, be sure you thoroughly rub in the shortening into the flour, use 110-degree water, only knead the dough until it comes together, and don’t rush the resting phase.

Can You Freeze Uncooked Tortillas?

Absolutely! Uncooked homemade flour tortillas freeze very well. Roll out the tortillas as instructed in the recipe, then place parchment paper between each uncooked tortilla. Place them in a freezer bag and freeze until needed, up to 3 months. You can cook them directly from frozen or allow them to thaw before cooking. The frozen version will take a bit longer to cook, probably closer to 2 minutes on a side.

flour tortillas cooking on electric griddle
Why are my Homemade Flour Tortillas Hard?

If your flour tortillas are cracking and hard on the surface, it’s because you cooked them either too hot or for too long. Find that perfect cooking temperature that cooks each side of the tortilla in 1 minute per side. If the inside texture of the tortilla is tough, it’s because too much gluten developed. Be sure you thoroughly rub the shortening into the flour, use 110-degree water, and only knead the dough just until it comes together.

Can I Make Homemade Flour Tortillas with Lard, Butter, or Oil Instead of Shortening?

Yes, those versions of fat will work in homemade flour tortillas. Here’s my order of best to worst substitution. Lard would be the best substitute and provide the most authentic flour tortilla recipe. Because most people don’t keep lard in their pantry, the recipe is written using vegetable shortening instead. Butter is in second place but if you use it, work quickly when rubbing the butter into the flour because it will melt quickly. Last on the list would be using oil in place of the shortening. Because the fat is in liquid form, your tortillas won’t be quite as soft and flaky as they would be using shortening or lard.

homemade tortillas wrapped in a white towel next to a rolling pin
Is it Better to Roll or Press Flour Tortillas?

If you are making homemade flour tortillas, you need a quality rolling pin to get the disc of dough thin enough. The gluten in flour tortillas will make a tortilla press a fairly useless tool. You can press down as hard as you can and that dough will never get thin enough because the elastic strands of gluten will keep pulling the dough back in on itself. The tortilla press exists solely for making homemade corn tortillas, which have zero gluten in them.

Is it Cheaper to Make Your Own Flour Tortillas?

Yes, making homemade flour tortillas is not only less expensive but also a healthier option as well. To make your own flour tortillas costs around $0.16 per tortilla, compared to buying store-bought versions which run around $0.26 per tortilla. And, even if homemade were more expensive, they taste significantly better and are worth every penny.
As far as being the healthier option, store-bought tortillas also include preservatives to keep them shelf-stable for a long time. Great for the company making them, but not so great for you. So, start making homemade flour tortillas because they are so much better tasting, less expensive, and healthier!

Watch How to Make Flour Tortillas

Looking for More Great Mexican Recipes?

If you are here, it’s because you love amazing Mexican recipes as much as I do! So, let’s hook you up with three more before you go that will knock your socks off:

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Homemade Flour Tortillas

Homemade Flour Tortillas

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 4 reviews

My flour tortillas recipe is so simple and the homemade tortillas turn out soft and tender every time! Stop settling for the store bought ones!

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 tortillas 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water at 110 degrees

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add shortening and rub it into the flour with your hands until it is completely incorporated. It should have a cornmeal type texture.
  2. Be sure water is 110 degrees and add to the flour mixture. Mix together with a wooden spoon then dump onto a floured counter and knead just until the dough comes together. It will still be fairly lumpy. Do not knead too long or it will develop too much gluten.
  3. Divide dough into 12 pieces, roll them into balls, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to 3 days in the fridge. Don’t rush the resting or you won’t be able to roll the dough thin enough.
  4. Flour your counter and one dough ball well. Roll into a very thin 8″ circle. Cover with a towel and repeat. To help keep a round shape, be sure to rotate the tortilla often during rolling.
  5. Heat an electric skillet to high heat, or a nonstick pan on the stove to medium high heat. Cook tortillas on first side until puffed and lightly brown, about 1 minute, flip and cook another 1 minute. Remove from heat and cover with a towel and serve immediately.

Notes

You can freeze uncooked tortillas after they have been rolled out and before you cook them. Layer parchment paper between each uncooked tortilla, place in a freezer bag, and freeze until needed. You can cook them either from frozen or allow them to thaw first.

  • Author: Carole Jones
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 tortilla
  • Calories: 156
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 140 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.

30 comments

Ivy Danforth
6 years ago

I learned how to make flour tortillas in Chad Africa from a Jewish lady whose last name was Brown but married into a Mexican family. That is a lot of origins! She taught me how to stretch them over your open palm before cooking them. Extra touch but so much better. Thanks for the recipe

Carole
6 years ago

Thank you for your added insights Ivy!

Easyladys
4 years ago

All-purpose flour works best, but you can also make whole wheat tortillas by using whole wheat flour or a mixture of wheat bran and wheat germ.

Andrew C
4 years ago

I put in 2 3/4 cups water & mine was soup. Never turned to dough. Tried adding another cup of flower. Still soup

Carole
4 years ago

Hi Andrew! Looks like you made a mistake. The recipe is for 2 3/4 cups of flour and the water is 3/4 C + 2 Tablespoons. I hope you try them again because they are AMAZING!

Jane Lytle
4 years ago

The video displays the water measurement wrong. It says 2 3/4 + 2 TBSP water so perhaps that’s where he went astray

Alix
4 years ago

Yes Jane is right, the video captions are incorrect!

Patricia DeCroix
3 years ago

Wow! I’m glad I read these comments before making tonight! I thought the video looked so simple I would not have read the recipe and it would have been soup!! Because the measurements were exactly the same for flour/water, made it simple to memorize….whew. Thank you for the comments. Can’t wait to make these for the first time Cinco de Mayo !

JoElle
2 years ago

Made these delicious, easy tortillas just as directed. I used lard instead of shortening. The dough was easy to work with and puffed perfectly. Store bought tortillas just didn’t seem good enough for the pork carnitas I was making. So glad I found this recipe. Definitely a keeper!

Carole
2 years ago

Thank you JoElle! It makes me so happy to hear you loved this recipe and I appreciate you coming back to leave your review 🙂

Lori Smith
3 months ago

Carole, I am planning to make your tortillas this evening for dinner with our nephew and his fiance’. I’m wondering, if I roll them out mid afternoon and put them in the fridge, I would like to cook them closer to dinner time – I don’t have a tortilla warmer. Do you think that will work? Or if you have an idea about the best way to keep them warm without a warmer for 30-45 minutes, I would love your insight. Thank you in advance.

Carole Jones
3 months ago

I would follow the recipe up through the point of rolling them into balls. Cover them tightly in the fridge then when it is time for dinner, roll them out and cook them. If you roll them out too soon, they will dry out. To keep them warm after baking them, put them inside a clean towel, wrap the towel in foil, then put them in a warm oven.

Kat
1 month ago

Oh this recipe is amazing.They puffed beautifully and are so tender. I rolled them very thin and they tear so easily and are flaky! Not fall apart flaky but devine!

I used the same amounts as all in the recipe . Only one change. I used sunflower oil with one melted TBS of melted leaf pig lard. They turned out perfect and so tasty. Used the Kitchenaid mixer with dough hook to turn the oil into the flour inserting a spatula on the sides to knock down the flour. Added hot water as soon as all flour was incorporated into the oil and finished kneading until all pulled together

Wish I could send an image of them. I was so surprised that the oil worked so beautifully.
Thanks so much! I can’t even tell you how many flour tortilla recipes that have flopped!!

Kat

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