Homemade Tortillas

Since several of you have requested a recipe for homemade tortillas, I thought I’d share the one I’ve loved from the very first try. I’m still experimenting with using home ground wheat; so far hard white wheat has done well, but I’d like to try soft white wheat, and hard red wheat eventually.

Here ya go!

Flour Tortillas

Makes about 12- 8″ tortillas

  • 3 cups all purpose (or home ground) flour
  • 3 Tbsp shortening or lard
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

1. Mix the flour, shortening, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl, working the shortening in well.

2. Stir the water in a little at a time, until the dough becomes crumbly.

3. Using your hands, work the dough until it holds together in a ball.

4. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth.

5. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts.

6. Roll each piece into a ball, and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

7. While you are waiting, preheat an ungreased cast iron frying pan or griddle over medium heat.

8. Roll each ball of dough into flat 8″ circles.

9. Place the dough one at a time in the hot frying pan (or as many as you can fit on a griddle) and let cook until it starts to bubble up , it happens pretty quickly. Using a spatula, flip it over until it start to bubble up again on the other side. Pat it down a little with the spatula and allow it to rise up once more. It should be nice and toasty on both sides.

10. Keep the warm tortillas on a plate with a cover over them to keep them soft. I use a clear pot lid over the plate; keeps them fresh for several days.

My kids love to just eat these plain while they are still warm. For a sweet snack, I’ll rub warm tortillas with butter, drizzle them with a little honey down the center, and roll them up like a burrito. Very yummy!

UPDATE: A Reader Tip…

Our friend Lacey writes:

This is what worked the best for whole wheat tortillas.  I had a great batch that came out today with experimenting.  We purchase Montana Milling Inc. Hard White Wheat.  Okay, I made 2 batches today.  One I made with Crisco as per your recipe, and the second I made using Coconut Oil.  By far, I recommend the Coconut Oil. So, the changes I would make are to use 3 Tbsp. of Coconut Oil instead of Crisco.  It made the dough so moist and easy to work with.  I hardly had to knead it to make it smooth.  Also, when I went to roll it out, I was able to get it really thin.  To change things up, I also added 1 teaspoon of Chili Powder.  It did not make it hot, but just changed the flavor a bit.  Both of my small kids ate it without saying a word.  I am going to use Coconut Oil from now on and probably try using Olive Oil.  I just bet it would work fine.  See I mix the oil in with all the dry ingredient with my hands.  Oh, if you use the Coconut Oil, you might have to throw in a little extra flour, by hand, until it isn’t sticky.  It didn’t take much at all, but just added a little here and there until I could form in a ball without it sticking to my hands.

Sounds like something I need to try!! Thanks Lacey!

16 thoughts on “Homemade Tortillas”

  1. We use a recipe from a mexican friend that uses approx. 2/3c. oil,4-5c. flour,2Tb. baking powder,1tsp. salt,water to make a soft dough, and a little sugar. You mix with your hands and let set for a minimum of ten min. then roll out and cook on a super hot pan flipping every few seconds till slightly browned.yummy.There is no need to kneed these thankfully. The oil in the dough keeps them from sticking and if there isn’t enough you will know quickly. Then just add a little more. I just thought that you might want a second recipe to try. We love these so much.

  2. These were wonderful. I made them last night and I have them posted on my blog with a link back to you for the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Looks yummy! We have made these before and they tasted good!

    You might enjoy my daughter’s blog: http://emersonfamily.wordpress.com/
    She has some recipes on her blog with some from scratch ingredients as well as some sewing things she has done. she has a little boy who is one, so you have some things in common. Hope you get some new ideas!

  4. Kendra,
    Thanks. I will try my stainless steel then, and without the oil. I know what you mean about the Teflon surfaces–I bought a new stainless steel set last year and am trying to limit my use of the nonstick, hopefully on the way to totally phasing them out. I have heard that cast iron does improve the flavor, and would like to get at least a skillet soon. Do you clean yours following the recommendations of just rinsing it and using a brush on it as opposed to washing with soapy water and re-seasoning it after each use? I have read about people who have done both methods. I guess we are so used to scrubbing things with soap that it seems like you might not get it clean enough without. Which method do you use?

    Also, when you say the tortillas start to bubble up very quickly, and then you flip it over, how quickly do you mean–like within less than a minute? I guess it would help if maybe I tried it before I asked…!

    • Pam,

      Usually I just wipe out the cast iron with a rag, if it’s only grease in the bottom, or I might even just leave the grease in if it’s only a little. If there is food stuck on it, like pasta sauce or something, I wash it with really hot water (NO soap), dry it quickly, and spread a thin layer of Crisco over the entire inner surface.

      No, the tortillas won’t instantly bubble up… I guess it depends on how hot it is… I really just meant don’t walk away from it 🙂

  5. Kendra,
    I don’t have cast iron cookware yet…do you think it would be better to do them on my nonstick griddle or skillet as opposed to using a stainless steel skillet that would need to be oiled/greased?

    • Pam W,

      A stainless steel would work, but the flavor is always better on cast iron 🙂 I’ve also noticed that when I use my stainless steel, the tortillas tend to burn a little more in spots rather than just brown in spots. But I do NOT like nonstick (Teflon) surfaces… for health/safety reasons, so I’d have to say definitely use the stainless steel over nonstick. I wouldn’t recommend using oil though. It should work alright without it.

  6. I haven’t yet tried homemade tortillas, but I’ve been wanting to. Your recipe sounds very easy, so probably in the near future….

  7. You’re inspiring me to try this home ground wheat thing. My parents still have a ton left from Y2K preps. Maybe I’ll raid their stash and give it a try.

  8. Haha, I made tortillas for dinner tonight too! I’ve been doing hard white sourdough ones lately, and they’ve been yummy! They are definitely worth the effort once you read the package of storebought tortillas. It’s amazing how much yukky stuff are in those!

  9. How funny! I made tortillas today to have with dinner. Your recipe is pretty much the same as the one I did and you are right, they are good! 🙂


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