Homemade Tortillas

by Shawnda on August 18, 2010

in Bread,Cinco de Mayo,Lighter & Healthier,Mexican & TexMex

We grew up down the road from a really neat lady, Martha. Our house was her youngest daughter’s second home. And her house was mine and my sister’s second home.

If we showed up early enough on a Saturday morning, we were greeted with a bowl of chorizo and scrambled eggs and a stack of warm, homemade flour tortillas. And if I was really early enough, I’d be greeted by a flour-dusted kitchen table and Martha in a flour-dusted apron. And then I was handed a rolling pin.

There is no substitute for a homemade flour tortilla. They’re fluffier, more tender, and tastier than what you can get at the store. They make everything taste better. In Houston, you can get fresh flour tortillas in some of the larger, “nicer” grocery stores. If you’re not near one, you can find a carniceria (a Mexican meat market) in many strip centers to get your fix. Or you can just make your own.

The whole process, start to finish, takes less than 30 minutes. You can do completely it by hand or keep those just-painted nails dough-free by using your food processor.

Flour Tortillas

Soft, fluffy homemade tortillas are only 30 minutes away!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaping tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp shortening, lard, softened butter, or olive oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water

Instructions

  1. Pulse the flour, baking powder, and salt a few times in your food processor fitted with the dough blade.
  2. Add the fat and process until the mixture is uniformly crumbly.
  3. With the food processor on, slowly stream in the water, just until the dry ingredients form a ball and starts traveling around the bowl (you might not use all of the water or you might need a little more).
  4. Let the dough knead for ~30 seconds. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl, be soft and not overly sticky. (You can most certainly do this by hand with a pastry cutter, a wooden spoon, and your hands.)
  5. Turn out onto a flour-dusted surface and divide dough into golf-ball sized portions (I weighed mine out to 2 oz each).
  6. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Heat a large, dry saute pan over medium high heat.
  8. With a rolling pin, roll the dough balls into thin rounds, dusting the top with just enough flour to keep the tortilla from sticking to the rolling pin.
  9. Lay tortilla flat in the heated pan and cook on each side for ~20 seconds, until the bubbled areas brown.
  10. Keep covered with a kitchen towel to keep warm and pliable. Eat warm.

Notes

Yields: 12 tortillas

Adapted from multiple sources

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Nutritional Information
Calories: 146.2 | Fat: 5 | Fiber 1
WW Points: 3

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 katie August 18, 2010 at 8:31 am

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and bonus points for the use of the food processor.

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2 Sharlene August 18, 2010 at 8:32 am

I’ve never made my own tortillas before but your recipe definitely makes it look easy and doable. I always love making dinners completely from scratch and I’ll use these for my next Mexican night. Thanks!

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3 Rachel August 18, 2010 at 10:02 am

What a great idea! I am so going to try this!

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4 megan @ whatmegansmaking August 18, 2010 at 11:41 am

I’ve tried my own tortillas a few times, and they’ve been good, but not great. I think I need to use actual lard. I just bought some, so I’m trying your recipe next. beautiful pictures by the way :)

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5 Joanne August 18, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I’ve always been afraid of making my own tortillas but now that I see they only take 30 minutes…that’s shorter than bread baking! Have to try these.

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6 Memoria August 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Funny that you made these recently. My girlfriend’s friend from Ensenada, MX and I made some flour tortillas this morning. They were huge and fantastic. Your tortillas look great!

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7 Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox August 19, 2010 at 10:52 am

Wow. I’ve always thought they’d be harder than this. Thanks for talking us through it. Wondering if whole wheat flour would work. Hmmm.

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8 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf August 19, 2010 at 10:58 am

I’m pretty positive there’s nothing better in the world than fresh tortillas.

There’s not much food in the world I’m truly snobbish about, but I’m definitely a tortilla snob. They look amazing!

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9 Dotty August 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm

These look great!

I’m wondering, though, how long do they stay fresh? Can I save some leftovers to use as a wrap for lunch the next day?

Can you freeze them after they’ve been fried? If so, any recommendations on how to re-heat them?

Thanks so much!!

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10 foodiebride August 19, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Dotty – they’ll keep ~3 days in a ziploc bag on the counter. Since it’s just the two of us, I typically throw the bag in the freezer and just take out what I need. I reheat them in the microwave either in the ziploc bag (if they are the last in the bag) or taken out and wrapped in a damp paper towel.

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11 Joyce August 19, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I eat a lot of store bought tortillas because I thought making them would be quite challenging. Well, it might be still a challenge since I don’t have a food processor but I love the idea that this recipe only uses 5 ingredients and takes only 20 seconds to cook!

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12 Sarah@buttered-up.com August 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I’m definitely going to be making these! They look a lot easier than I ever thought and your photos look so appetizing. Thanks for sharing. Awesome stuff.

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13 Kutzika August 19, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Hello,

Can I use butter instead of lard ot shortening?

Thank you

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14 foodiebride August 20, 2010 at 7:30 am

Kutzika – I have no experience substituting butter but I did see a couple of mentions on other online recipes that you could substitute butter. If you try it, I’d be interested to know how it turns out!

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15 Debs August 20, 2010 at 12:32 am

Lovely. I’ve had tortillas on my ‘to make’ list for ages now. Thanks for the reminder & sharing your recipe.

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16 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking August 20, 2010 at 11:09 am

Wow, this is impressive! I bet the taste is like nothing you get from the grocery store, that’s for sure! Wonderful photos and recipe… Thanks for sharing!

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17 Dotty August 21, 2010 at 7:15 am

Thanks for the feedback!

Can’t wait to try them :)

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18 Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) August 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I’ve been eyeing the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for homemade tortilla’s, but now I might have to compare recipes and try it out! Thanks for sharing!

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19 sarah k. @ the pajama chef August 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm

i made homemade tortillas once & it was fun but they weren’t as good as i had hoped. i’ll have to try your recipe though- it looks much easier. :)

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20 Abby March 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Where do you find lard? :)

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21 foodiebride March 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm

It’s usually right next to the shortening and vegetable oil. If you have an expanded International aisle, you might find it there, too. I’ve been using room temp butter lately with good results!

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22 Suzie the Foodie April 14, 2011 at 6:17 am

These were quite good but it really would have helped if there were instructions on width and thickness. Still, I was very pleased with the results but will make them with canola oil next time so they are healthier. Thanks for the recipe, I really wanted to learn how to make these!

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23 Natalie May 5, 2011 at 9:59 am

My neighbor grew up in Mexico, when her family came to the United States her mother learned how bad lard was for you. She altered the recipe to substitute 1/3 cup of oil (any kind really) to make the tortillas more heart healthy. Generally she used olive oil, I use vegetable oil because it usually tastes the same and I have run into some bad tasting olive oils.

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24 K&B December 14, 2012 at 1:04 am

I think Im going to try to make this someday, it looks delicious !

ratedkb.wordpress.com

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25 K&B December 14, 2012 at 1:05 am

This looks delicious, I’ve never tried home made tortillas before !

ratedkb.wordpress.com

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26 Colleen M. March 16, 2013 at 11:42 am

I don’t have a food processor. Do you think you could just use your hands to get the butter/shortening to a crumble and use a stand mixer to mix it up with the water?

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27 foodiebride March 16, 2013 at 11:51 am

Absolutely.

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28 Auriya April 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I couldn’t find tortillas in the stores that were not filled with plastic (hydroginated oil) or wood pulp (cellulose) so I decided to make my own. The last recipe I tried was good but a little hard. I will try this one tonight and see how a different recipe and a batch worth of experience will serve me.

Thanks for sharing the recipe, and I like that it has the nutrition info as part of it! Thanks for doing that.

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29 Kacey April 10, 2014 at 8:09 am

Since making these tortillas, I have not gone back to store-bought! So easy and delicious, the only part that takes me some time is rolling them out (but even that is minimal.) I omit the baking powder and use hot water. Thanks so much for the delicious recipe!

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30 Sal June 7, 2014 at 6:55 pm

So Good . Loved this recipe. Used unsalted organic butter and slightly rounded tsps. of salt. Perfect

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