Homemade Flour Tortillas

flour tortillas 1

You may have heard about how easy it is to make your own flour tortillas, and rolled your eyes, thinking of how cheap they are (and they are), but considering that most bready things are infinitely better when they’re freshly baked, and if you find yourself with a myriad of taco stuffing possibilities but nothing to wrap them with, it’s worth the fifteen minutes of effort to set a stack of warm tortillas on the table. There’s nothing wrong with nibbling on one straight-up, for that matter – if you have little kids around, they aren’t crumby, and can be easily carried around and gnawed on. And if you spread one thinly with butter (while it’s still warm, if possible) and sprinkle it with cinnamon-sugar – well. Roll it up, even, for a slightly breadier version of a crepe. Or spread it with peanut butter and wrap it around a banana, housecoat-style. So much potential in a soft round of bread.

making flour tortillas

Traditionally, flour tortillas are made with flour and lard and water, and you’ll find all sorts of ratios out there. I settled on one close to what Bon Appetit has done – with slightly more water and a tablespoon of oil, plus some baking powder for a little lift. The dough is shaggy, then cellulite-y, but after a short rest it will be nice and smooth and beautiful to roll. Don’t add any extra flour – nor fat to the pan. You want them soft, not crispy.

making flour tortillas 2

Lard has less saturated fat than butter, so isn’t as scary as it sounds – but if you’d rather not, just use butter instead.

flour tortillas

Homemade Flour Tortillas


May 5, 2016


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup lard or butter, grated or cut into pieces

2/3 cup water

1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil


1In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the lard (or grate it in) and blend until well combined. Add the water and oil and stir until the shaggy dough comes together.

2Turn it out onto the countertop and knead for about a minute - if it's too sticky, shake a bit of flour over the countertop - until it's smoother. Cover with a tea towel and let sit for 20 minutes or so, just to let the gluten relax before you roll it out.

3Divide the dough in half, and then each half in half (and so on) to make 8-12 balls, depending how big you want your tortillas to be. Roll them out on an unfloured surface - this will allow you to get them really thin without them springing back, and will keep them from absorbing too much flour - until they're really thin. Set a heavy (cast iron is perfect) skillet over medium-high heat and cook the tortillas in the dry pan until they start to puff slightly and turn just pale golden in spots - you don't want them too brown too much, or those areas will be crunchy and won't roll. Each tortilla will take about a minute - pile them on a plate as you cook them. Wrap in a tea towel and serve warm.

4Makes 8-12 tortillas.


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4 comments on “Homemade Flour Tortillas

  1. JoAZ
    May 5, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Perfect recipe I use 1 tablespoon baking powder, no oil but I’m going to try this next time. I’m Mexican American and this recipe will make tortillas that taste like my grandmothers. Get a friend to cook them while you roll them out. Goes fast my husband is always game and we always have to taste one to be sure the tortillas are good!

  2. Dani
    May 5, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    You make them sound so easy! I will have to give this recipe a go. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Anonymous
    May 8, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Just made these and I have to tell you, I ate two just while I was rolling and frying. One with Ham and Cheese and one with just butter. They are flaky and delicious and oh so good!! Thanks!!

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