How to Make Flour Tortillas

5 from 5 votes

Learn how to make homemade flour tortillas from scratch without a press with this easy recipe! Just 5 ingredients, a rolling pin, and a cast iron skillet!

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Learn how to make flour tortillas at home that are thin and soft with the most perfect chew! Now, I know what you’re thinking: “I need a tortilla press for that, right?” Well, guess what? You absolutely don’t! With just five simple ingredients and a little bit of elbow grease, this step-by-step tutorial will have you rolling out soft, tender, and oh-so-delicious homemade flour tortillas from scratch in no time!

Stack of homemade flour tortillas slightly wrapped in a towel with rolling pin nearby.

Table of Contents

  1. WHY learn to MAKE FLOUR TORTILLAS FROM SCRATCH
  2. Ingredients to make FLOUR TORTILLAS
  3. HOW TO MAKE FLOUR TORTILLAS
  4. TIPS FOR making tortillas without a press
  5. recipes to make with homemade tortillas
  6. HOW TO REHEAT & STORE flour tortillas
  7. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  8. MORE cooking tutorials:
  9. Homemade Flour Tortillas Recipe

Making tortillas at home is a labor of love that requires patience and practice but is totally worth it. And once you get the hang of it, making tortillas at home will be like second nature.

The best part about making homemade tortillas is all the delicious food you get to stuff them with, such as chicken fajitas and sheet pan steak fajitas. And you don’t have to limit tortillas to dinner only – try it in this breakfast tortilla wrap. Once you learn this cooking skill, the serving options are endless!

WHY learn to MAKE FLOUR TORTILLAS FROM SCRATCH

  • Homemade tortillas taste best. Nothing beats freshly cooked tortillas straight from the skillet. Plus, tortillas made at home are often healthier than store-bought because you can control the quality of the ingredients and avoid any preservatives or additives.
  • Cost-effective option. Making tortillas from scratch is more economical in the long run. The individual ingredients used to make tortillas are reasonably inexpensive and easily accessible.
  • Always be ready for tacos. Learning to make tortillas at home ensures you will never be left without them when a soft taco craving hits. With this recipe, you will always have a delicious base for a taco filling of your choosing!

Ingredients to make FLOUR TORTILLAS

  • All-purpose flour: Provides texture and structure to the dough and gives the tortillas that slightly chewy consistency.
  • Baking powder: Acting as the leavening agent, the baking powder gives rise to the tortillas and makes them softer by creating air pockets.
  • Salt: This everyday kitchen staple has the crucial role of strengthening the gluten in the dough, giving it a more elastic texture. It also enhances the overall flavor.
  • Unsalted butter: Using cold butter is essential in a tortilla recipe because as you work the butter into the flour mixture, it creates small pockets of fat that melt in the heat of the skillet, resulting in a more tender tortilla.
  • Whole milk: Adds fat and richness to the dough, creating more tender and flavorful tortillas. The fat in the milk also helps keep the tortillas soft and pliable.
Ingredients for recipe: milk, cubed butter, salt, baking powder, and flour.

HOW TO MAKE FLOUR TORTILLAS

You only need a food processor, a rolling pin, and a cast iron skillet to make these tortillas at home. The process is straightforward: mix the dough, let it rest, roll it out, then cook the tortillas.

Make the dough

  1. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture.
  3. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. With the food processor running, stream in the milk and mix until wet dough forms.
4 image collage making dough: 1- dry ingredients in a food processor, 2- butter cubes added, 3- mixture after butter is chopped in, 4- after processing to show a soft dough ball.

Work the dough

  1. Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface.
  2. Knead until a smooth dough forms.
  3. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rest at room temperature.
  4. When ready to form, transfer the dough onto a floured work surface again, then cut it into equal pieces.
  5. Roll each piece into a ball.
  6. Cover all pieces with a tea towel and allow to rest.
6 image collage preparing dough: 1- dough ball on floured surface, 2- hands kneading dough, 3- dough resting in a bowl, 4- after resting returned to floured surface cut into 8 equal pieces, 5- hands rolling into a dough ball, 6- dough balls covered with a towel.

How to pan fry homemade flour tortillas

  1. Once rested, roll each dough ball into a large, thin round.
  2. Heat a dry, seasoned cast iron skillet or griddle. Add a tortilla to the hot pan and cook until golden brown with a few dark spots.
  3. Flip the tortilla and cook on the other side.
  4. Cook the remaining tortillas and serve warm.
4 image collage making recipe: 1- flattening dough ball into a flat tortilla with a rolling pin, 2- flour shell in a skillet, 3- after flipping, 4- plate of cooked flour shells.

TIPS FOR making tortillas without a press

  1. Don’t rush the resting process. Resting the dough relaxes the gluten, making it easier to roll out the tortillas without tearing. It also allows the dough to hydrate well, resulting in a softer and pliable tortilla with a chewy texture and better overall flavor.
  2. Use parchment paper to prevent the dough from sticking. If your dough sticks to the rolling pin or work surface, you can place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to create a barrier.
  3. Make sure your pan or griddle is hot. Tortillas cook very quickly, so starting with a very hot pan is essential. You can test if the skillet is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water. If it sizzles and evaporates right away, the skillet is ready. If you’re new to cast iron cooking, check out this helpful post on Cooking With Cast Iron.
  4. Keep the tortillas warm. As you cook the tortillas, keep them warm in a tortilla warmer or clean kitchen towel. This will prevent them from cooling off too quickly and becoming brittle.

recipes to make with homemade tortillas

Spoon adding chicken fajita mixture into a homemade flour tortilla with extra shells in the background.

HOW TO REHEAT & STORE flour tortillas

Store flour tortillas in an airtight container in the fridge.

You can reheat your flour tortillas in the microwave by loosely wrapping in a damp paper towel and microwaving them for 30-second intervals until warm. Tortillas can dry out very quickly in the microwave, so don’t skip the damp paper towel.

Or you can warm them in the oven. You’ll want to wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in a preheated 375˚F (190˚C) oven until warmed through.

HOW LONG WILL flour tortillas LAST IN THE FRIDGE?

Homemade tortillas can last up to a week if stored properly.

CAN I FREEZE homemade tortillas?

Yes, you can freeze homemade tortillas for up to 3 months. Layer the tortillas between parchment paper and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Remove from the freezer and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

My tortillas are not coming out round. How can I improve my shaping technique?

Don’t worry if your tortillas aren’t perfectly round at first – it takes some practice! Here are a few tips to help you improve your technique:
-Roll out the dough evenly from the center outwards, rotating it 45 degrees after each roll to maintain a circular shape.
-Use a light touch and even pressure when rolling to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin or surface.
-If you’re still having trouble, try using a round template (like a plate or lid) to trim your tortilla into a perfect circle after rolling it out.

Can I use another fat instead of butter in flour tortillas?

Yes, you can use other fats such as lard, vegetable shortening, or coconut oil instead of butter. However, keep in mind that different fats may affect the texture and taste of the tortillas, and measurements will vary.

How do I know when the tortillas are done?

Tortillas cook quickly, and you must be careful not to overcook them. You will know that the tortillas are done when they have slightly browned spots and have puffed up a bit. They should be pliable and not crispy or hard.

Stack of homemade flour tortillas on a plate with small dishes of lime wedges and chopped cilantro nearby.

Learning how to make tortillas at home is a skill you will not regret developing. Some things are better when made from scratch – these tortillas are a perfect testament to that. Make your own homemade tortillas and enjoy them with your favorite stuffing, whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

MORE cooking tutorials:

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Homemade Flour Tortillas

Learn how to make homemade flour tortillas from scratch without a press with this easy recipe! Just 5 ingredients, a rolling pin, and a cast iron skillet!
5 from 5 votes
Servings 8 tortillas
Calories 157
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour plus more for kneading and rolling
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cubed
  • ½ cup whole milk

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse 3 to 4 times. Add butter cubes and pulse 10 to 12 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • With the food processor running, stream in the milk and process until a wet dough forms.
  • Lightly flour a work surface and transfer the dough on top. Knead until a smooth dough forms, about 3 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour.
  • Lightly flour your work surface again, then cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then cover with a tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Once rested, roll each dough ball into a large round that is almost paper thin and 7-inches in diameter.
  • When all the dough has been rolled out, heat a dry, coated cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. You can test if the skillet is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water on the skillet. If it sizzles and evaporates right away, the skillet is ready.
  • Working with one tortilla at a time, place on the hot skillet and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown with a few dark brown spots.
  • Serve warm, or reheat in the microwave before using.

Notes

Storage: Tortillas can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge. Warm in the microwave. You can also freeze homemade tortillas for up to 3 months. It’s best to separate them between sheets of parchment paper and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container.
Tips:
Allow the dough to rest. This is important as it relaxes the gluten, making it easier to roll it out.
Use parchment paper. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin or work area, place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to create a barrier.
Use a hot skillet. Make sure your pan is hot before cooking the tortillas. You can test by sprinkling a few drops of water – if it sizzles and evaporates, it’s ready.

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 93mg, Potassium: 50mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 244IU, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Mexican

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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe and instruction as I am so sad of throwing mouldy bread that my adult children fail to use up once opened .
    Whenever I purchase wraps from the store they always get used quickly and I miss out.
    This is wonderful for me, I have a lot of all purpose flour to use.
    I do not have a cast iron skillet can I use my griddle plate cast iron on my gas stove top?
    Can I add cumin, fresh finely chopped corriander or cardamon seeds to my dough or will they cause burning when I cook the tortillas/wraps/chapattis.
    Is there any difference between tortillas,flat breads,wraps and chapattis?
    I am growing fresh herbs tomatoes red onions cucumbers mint lettuce rocket watercress garlic since I suffered a serious accident at work and look forward to many exciting new recipes that I have not eaten before .
    English food is quite often so lacking in taste.
    Lastly does this recipe work with other types of flours such as wholewheat buckwheat.coconut.rice flour.and seeded flours? Thank you warmest regards Felicity
    Please can you post some advice about which spices can be used together to ensure a flavoursome but not very hot(chilli) taste as my tongue blisters .
    Also please,please I would love some recipes for delicious fresh ingredients sauces to add to dishes I always over flavour and end up with e erything having the same taste .
    I loved north African Algerian,Moroccan , tunisian flavours and Persian Lebanese too but I cannot recreate them .a friend did a beautiful dish with chicken, onions, capsicum peppers, garlic Harrisa dried limes,tomatoes and steamed cous cous above it but I cannot re create the taste also a similar dish with lamb on the bone and rice with dried limes .

    1. Hi Felicity, you can use the cast iron griddle instead of a cast iron pan, that should work fine. I have not tested this recipe with spices or different types of flour so I am not sure how the tortillas would turn out. I would try making some homemade 7-spice or harissa to add some flavor to dishes. If you like garlic toum is a really delicious sauce. As far as recipes go there are a lot of easy Lebanese recipes on my site that you can start with like mujadara!