How we make flour tortillas from scratch! This easy recipe relies on flour, salt, water and fat. They are soft, pliable and perfect for folding or wrapping.
Watch the Video
Making Flour Tortillas at Home
Our kitchen is always stocked with tortillas — both corn and flour — but I have to tell you that my favorite kind of tortilla is a freshly made one! That’s why we started experimenting with making our own. Freshly made, still warm from the pan tortillas are truly the best. I always jump at the chance of being the tortilla flipper so that I can sneak a tortilla for myself before sharing with the rest of the family. For corn tortillas, take look at our favorite corn tortilla recipe.
Making your own stack of flour tortillas is simple, here’s a quick overview (the full recipe is below)!
You only need four ingredients to make flour tortillas:
- Warm water
- Fat like oil, lard, shortening or butter
Some recipes swear by adding baking powder to the dough for softer flour tortillas, but after trying them with and without baking powder, we leave it out. It certainly doesn’t hurt to add it, but we just didn’t find that it made that much of a difference in texture.
Baking powder didn’t make much of a difference in the flavor or texture of the tortillas, but we did find four things that did!
- Dissolve the salt in warm water before adding to the dough.
- Roll (or press) the tortillas into very thin discs.
- Get the heat right — medium to medium high is perfect.
- Transfer the cooked tortillas to a towel or tortilla warmer.
Our first few batches of tortillas were fine, but not great. It was after discovering these tips that helped us make soft, chewy bubbly flour tortillas.
Dissolving the salt into the warm water helps to season the dough. I especially recommend doing this if you are using a coarser salt. Rolling the tortillas very thin and getting the heat right makes sure that bubbles start to form (our video shows just how large these bubbles can be). It’s these bubbles that create the perfect texture. Finally, transferring the warm tortillas to a dish towel and covering them (or using a tortilla warmer) helps to soften them even more.
Use these homemade tortillas to make one of the following recipes:
- Spicy Cauliflower Burritos
- Spinach Feta Breakfast Burritos
- Garlic Citrus Chicken Fajitas
- The Ultimate Fajitas with Chicken, Shrimp and Steak
- Crave-Worthy Vegetable Quesadillas
Storing Homemade Tortillas
As I mentioned above, tortillas really do taste best when made fresh, but these flour tortillas do keep well. I simply keep mine in a resealable bag and try to eat them within a day or two. If I have extra, I freeze them.
Fresh homemade flour tortillas are in their softest state when warm so if you have room temperature or cold tortillas, we recommend reheating them in a skillet until they are warm and pliable again.
How to freeze flour tortillas: Store them, stacked with a small sheet of parchment paper between them, in a freezer-safe bag or container.
Soft Flour Tortillas
How we make flour tortillas that are soft, pliable and perfect for folding or wrapping. We incorporate a few tricks in the recipe for the best results. Dissolving the salt into the warm water helps season the dough. I especially recommend doing this if you are using a coarser salt. Rolling the tortillas very thin and getting the heat of your pan right makes sure that bubbles start to form (our video shows just how large these bubbles can be). It’s these bubbles that create the perfect texture.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup very warm water
5 tablespoons neutral flavored oil, melted shortening, melted lard or melted butter
- Make Dough
1Add the salt to the warm water and stir together until the salt has dissolved.
2In a large bowl, use a fork to combine the flour with the oil (or other fat) until it looks crumbly. Pour in almost all of the salty water and stir until a shaggy dough forms. If the mixture seems dry, add a bit more of the water.
3When the dough comes together, transfer to a floured work surface and knead until smooth, two to three minutes. Cover with a clean dish cloth and leave for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour or two. Resting the dough makes rolling it out easier.
4Divide the dough into ten equally sized blobs and then shape into small disks. Use a rolling pin to roll each small disc into 8-inch rounds or use a tortilla press. The thinner the better, here. If you happen to get 9-inch tortillas, don’t worry! We also don’t worry too much about making them perfectly round. (See our video to watch us do it.)
5Stack the rolled tortillas with a piece of parchment paper between them. Alternatively, you can roll and cook the tortillas at the same time. Roll one tortilla out, then while it cooks, roll the next tortilla out.
6Make ahead: Divide the dough into smaller balls (this recipe makes ten 8-inch tortillas), wrap them very well, and then place into the refrigerator up to three days. About thirty to forty minutes before you are ready to cook the tortillas, take the balls out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature before rolling them out.
- Cook Tortillas
1Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the first tortilla. Within 20 to 30 seconds, you should start to see it puffing up with bubbles forming.
2When the bottom of the tortilla has some brown spots, flip it and cook until the second side is browned in spots and the tortilla looks dry around the edges. Each tortilla will take 1 to 2 minutes to cook. If this is taking a long time, increase the heat. If the pan starts to smoke or brown the tortillas too quickly, turn the heat down a bit.
3Transfer the cooked tortilla to a dish towel and cover it then continue with the remaining tortillas, adjusting the heat as needed.
4Store leftover tortillas in a resealable plastic bag for a day or two or freeze if needing to store longer. Fresh homemade flour tortillas are in their softest state when warm so if you have room temperature or cold tortillas, we recommend reheating them in a skillet until they are warm and pliable again.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Neutral oil: We simply mean to use an oil that is lighter in flavor like avocado oil, vegetable oil, grape seed oil or safflower oil. You can use a light and fruity olive oil or coconut oil, just keep in mind that the tortillas will pick up their flavor.
- Whole wheat flour tortillas: Substitute whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour. You might find that the dough needs a dash or two more water.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. Calculations included vegetable oil.