Only four basic ingredients are needed for this flour tortilla recipe. Making homemade tortillas is worth the extra effort because they taste so much better than store bought tortillas. Try this simple homemade flour tortilla recipe and you will know exactly what ingredients you and your family will be eating.
With all the Anaheim and Jalapeño peppers in the garden this year, I know I am going to be sharing several of our favorite Mexican inspired recipes. I wanted to be sure to include my go-to flour tortilla recipe. We use these homemade tortillas for many things from fajitas, breakfast burritos, enchiladas, and soft tacos to simply wrapping up a salad for an easy to eat lunch when we are on the go.
Ingredients to Make Flour Tortillas
The ingredients used to make flour tortilla are simple, basic pantry items: Flour, salt, water, and cooking fat.
Flour: This recipe uses unbleached all-purpose flour for a soft, pliable flour tortilla. However, you can use other types of flours with some slight adjustments:
- Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas: Using spelt or white whole-wheat flour will give your tortillas a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Add an extra 2-3 tablespoons of water for softer dough. Also let the dough rest for up to 30 minutes to hydrate the flour, develop the gluten, and make the tortillas easier to roll. The tortillas will be less puffy and slightly denser than using regular flour, so be sure to roll them nice and thin before browning.
- Gluten Free Flour Tortillas: Replace the all-purpose flour with 1 3/4 cups rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca starch, and add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. You’ll need to adjust the water slightly to get a pliable dough that is easy to roll.
Salt: The salt is simply added for flavor and can be left out if you are watching your sodium.
Water: Warm water right out of your tap is fine.
Cooking Fat: I tend to use extra-virgin olive oil because it is easy. I always have it in my pantry and it combines effortlessly with the other ingredients.
Traditional flour tortillas are made using lard. Lard is rendered back fat or leaf fat from pigs. It’s rather difficult to find in my area and I am not likely to render my own very often. Bacon fat works too but adds a rich, bacon-y flavor that can overpower depending on how you are using the flour tortilla. Thankfully, olive oil and even butter works just as well in this recipe.
Tips for Making Flour Tortillas
- Mixing the dough: A food processor makes it easy to form the dough, but you can also mix and knead by hand. If mixing by hand, knead for at least 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth.
- Let the dough rest: After mixing the dough, it is important to let it rest for at least 15 minutes before rolling. This rest period allows the gluten to develop resulting in more pliable dough that will be easier to roll. If you find your dough springing back as you roll it, it is too elastic and needs more time to rest. Simply cover it with a towel and let it rest 5 minutes longer.
- Use a hot skillet: Make sure to preheat your pan and that it is hot before browning your first tortilla. If you place your tortilla on a cold skillet, it will dry out and stiffen up instead of remaining pliable. If you end up with a stiff tortilla, break it up and use it for dipping into homemade salsa.
How to Make Flour Tortillas
Step 1: Prepare the tortilla dough
In a food processor, combine the flour and the salt. Add the lard or butter if using and drizzle in the water. If you are using olive oil, combine the oil and water and drizzle it in. Process until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead several times until the dough is smooth. Add additional flour if the dough is wet, and extra water if dry. Form the dough into a ball, cover with a towel, and let it rest for at least15 minutes.
Step 2: Divide the dough into eight portions and roll into balls.
Step 3: Roll out your tortillas
Sprinkle flour on your surface and rolling pin. Flatten the dough ball, and use your rolling pin to roll each ball into an 8 or 9-inch circle. Sprinkle with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Step 4: Cook the tortillas in a hot pan
Cook the tortillas in a pre-heated, dry skillet. The tortilla is read to flip when it begins to bubble and form light brown spots. Flip and cook on the other side until it is puffy and browns in spots.
Step 5: Keep your tortillas warm
Remove the flour tortillas from the skillet and cover with a clean towel to keep warm until you are ready to serve.
That’s it! It should take about a half an hour, and you have fresh homemade tortillas.
How to Store Flour Tortillas
Store extra tortillas in a zipper bag at room temperature for 24 hours, refrigerate up to a week, or freeze for longer storage.
- To refrigerate, place the tortillas in a zipper bag and store in the refrigerator for about one week. Warm the tortillas before using.
- Freeze the flour tortillas for longer storage. Layer the tortillas on baking sheets and freeze. Once solid, stack the frozen flour tortillas, place in a freezer zipper bag, and store flat in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Warm the tortillas before serving by reheating individually in a hot skillet or wrapped in foil in a warm oven. Thaw the frozen tortillas, and then warm before serving.
Homemade Flour Tortillas Recipe
- In a food processor, combine 2 cups of flour and the salt. Add the lard or butter if using and drizzle in the water. If you are using olive oil, combine the oil and water and drizzle it in. Process until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead several times until the dough is smooth. Form into a ball, cover with a towel, and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat a cast-iron skillet, griddle, or frying pan over medium heat.
- Divide the dough into eight portions and roll into balls.
- On a lightly floured surface, flatten the ball and use a rolling pin to roll each ball into an 8 to 9-inch circle. Sprinkle with flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- In the preheated skillet, cook tortillas over medium heat for about 30 to 45 seconds on each side or until you see some light brown spots, and the tortilla is puffy.
- Transfer the tortillas to a plate and cover with a clean towel to keep warm. Yield: 8 tortillas.
You May Also Like:
- Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Green Chile Sauce
- Chili Lime Beef-Steak Fajitas Recipe
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Chili-Lime Chicken Fajitas
- 10 Tips to Growing Peppers in Colder Climates
- How to Grow a Salsa
- Grilled Tomato Salsa
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