Despite what you may think, Homemade Flour Tortillas are well within your reach. Only 5 ingredients and 15 minutes of hands-on prep stand between you and perfectly tender, pliable flour tortilla from scratch! This no-lard tortillas recipe is a snap to make with basic pantry ingredients and tastes a million times better than the store bought variety. Plus it’ll save you a few bucks; and just wait till you try them with your favorite tacos, quesadillas, burritos and more!
Update: This recipe for tortillas was originally published in September 2014. I made updates to the post below to include more information about flour tortilla ingredients and how to make flour tortilla from scratch.
About this tortillas recipe
Have you ever bought a package of flour tortillas at the store only to come home, make some tacos or a quesadilla, and feel utterly disappointed by the icky, gummy mess in your mouth? Me too, friends. Well today, WE TAKE A STAND! No more sad, tough, chewy, raw flour-tasting flatbreads for us.
This super simple tortillas recipe is easy enough for even a novice home cook to tackle and it yields a stack of the most gorgeous, tender, RICH, fresh-tasting tortillas you’ve ever tried. Seriously, they taste just like my favorite Mexican restaurant.
Why you’ll love these flour tortillas!
- Quick & Easy. Lean how to make flour tortilla from scratch the easy way! This flour tortilla recipe is super quick and simple to prepare, requiring basic ingredients and 15 minutes of hands-on preparation.
- Budget-Friendly. You can make restaurant-quality, fresh Mexican tortillas from scratch with ingredients you probably already have hanging around your kitchen.
- Made With Just 5 Ingredients. Yup, just five ingredients to make the best tortilla dough – flour, oil, baking powder, salt and milk or cream.
- Use a stand mixer or your hands. Make no-lard tortillas using your stand mixer or simply knead the dough with your hands.
- Superior To Store-Bought In Every Possible Way. Nothing compares to homemade, and tortillas are no exception – the flavor is just sublime!
So, before you go running for the hills at the idea of making flour tortillas “from scratch,” give this easy recipe a shot. I have a feeling you’ll surprise yourself in the best way!
Flour tortilla ingredients
As promised, you only need 6 simple ingredients to make flour tortillas from scratch, one of which is WATER (which I don’t count). And, can get all the tortilla dough ingredients from your regular grocery store. Here’s what to grab:
- All-Purpose Flour – Using all purpose flour gives gives tortillas the perfect amount of chew without ending up gummy.
- Substitute: If you prefer chewier Mexican tortillas, you can swap out 1 cup of AP flour for bread flour. Or, if you don’t want to buy bread flour, choose an AP flour with a higher protein content for ideal gluten production.
- Salt – A little bit of seasoning goes a long way towards making these tortillas extra tasty.
- Baking Powder – For leavening.
- Vegetable Oil – Unlike some flour tortilla recipes that call for lard, I swap in easy to find (and vegetarian!) vegetable oil.
- Substitute: You can use any neutral-flavored oil you prefer, such as canola oil, to make Mexican tortillas.
- Hot Water – Using water that is 140F or hotter will help to evenly distribute fat and assist with the process of gelatinization where the starch in the flour turns to gel and helps keep moisture in the tortilla dough even while cooking. It will also keep too much gluten from forming, ensuring your tortillas are tender, not tough. Science is neat, amirite?
- Warm Milk or Cream – Heavy cream, half-and-half or whole milk replaces some of the richness you’d find in tortillas made with lard while keeping things totally vegetarian-friendly. Plus, dairy aides in the tortillas browning during cooking.
- Substitute: For vegan flour tortillas, simply swap in melted vegan butter.
How to make flour tortilla from scratch
Learning how to make flour tortillas isn’t as difficult as you might think. Here’s how it’s done by hand:
- Mix dry ingredients: Gather all your dry flour tortilla ingredients and mix them together in a large bowl.
- Add wet ingredients one at a time: Slowly add the oil and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Then, slowly add the warm water and warm milk, mixing until thoroughly combined and dough starts to come together.
- Knead dough: Dump the tortilla dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic.
- Rest: Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Portion tortilla dough: Divide the dough into 18 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Set the flour tortilla dough balls aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Rest again: Cover the tortilla dough balls and let rest for at least 20 minutes.
- Flatten: Working with one dough ball at a time, use your palm to flatten the tortilla dough into a fat hockey puck. Switch to a rolling pin and roll the dough out to form a 6 to 7-inch flour tortilla.
- Cook: Place the raw tortilla into a hot cast iron pan and cook until bubbles form on the top of the tortilla dough and the bottom forms beautiful brown blisters. Flip the tortilla over and cook on the other side until golden blisters form.
- Keep warm: Transfer your warm Mexican tortillas to a plastic bag and seal until ready to eat.
(See recipe card for how to make flour tortilla from scratch with a stand mixer.)
FAQ: Tortilla dough
Is it cheaper to make homemade flour tortillas?
YEP! At my local grocery store, the only worthwhile brand of flour tortillas is about $3.50 for 10 measly taco-sized tortillas. By contrast, my flour tortilla recipe yields 18 taco-sized pieces for a fraction of the cost (about $1.75). Even better? You can adjust the size of the tortillas to your needs, making 10 jumbo burrito-sized ones if you prefer.
Why do my tortillas shrink after I roll them out?
Ooops! Sounds like you didn’t let the dough rest for long enough. Resting allows the gluten strands to relax after kneading. When they’re relaxed, they won’t shrink.
Why are my homemade tortillas coming out hard?
If you don’t have your griddle or skillet hot enough, the moisture will eventually evaporate from the tortilla dough as you work to get it to cook all the way through. Make sure the cooking surface is nice and hot, I recommend medium-high heat. The flour tortillas should only take about 1 minute (1 minute 30 seconds – tops) per side to get nicely charred spots and fully cooked tortillas.
Serving Mexican tortillas
Flour tortillas are the wraps of choice in our household. From fajitas and taco night to breakfast bakes and even desserts, there’s an endless way to use up flour tortillas. Below are a few of my family’s favorite ways to use them.
P.s. They’re also the perfect accompaniment to just about any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal you can think of!
12 ways to use flour tortillas
- Crispy tortilla cups: Press your tortilla into 10-ounce custard cups to form a bowl and bake. Fill with yogurt, berries and granola.
- Breakfast Tacos: Personally, my favorite breakfast. Scrambled eggs, lots of cheese, leftover veggies and a fresh, homemade tortilla. Yum.
- Tortilla Chips: Cut the tortilla into wedges, brush with oil, season as desired and bake to create crispy chips to go with your favorite salsa and guacamole.
- Crunch Wrap: If you aren’t into crunch wraps, try the Tik-Tok tortilla hack, which involves slicing the tortilla from the center out, multiple toppings and a perfectly crunch wrap.
- Sandwich Wraps and Pinwheels: Not into toasty sandwiches, make a classic wrap or pinwheels instead. They’re especially great for lunchboxes and brown bag lunches.
- Tacos: One of the easiest ways to use your homemade flour tortilla – make tacos!
- Fajitas: Little parcels of tender fajita meat, veggies, and cheese are even better when made with fresh tortillas.
- Stacked Enchilada Casseroles: Skip the prep time it takes to roll and stack your enchilada instead.
- Pizza: Tortilla pizzas are perfect for your older, slightly stale tortillas. Top with salsa and cheese, bake and enjoy.
- Burritos: The traditional way to use up a tortilla – make a burrito. Wrap them up and freeze them to have on hand for quick meals.
- Quesadillas: Crispy, cheesy quesadillas are a great way to use up any leftover meats or chicken you have hanging around your fridge.
- Cinnamon Chips: Same idea as tortilla chips, just use melted butter and cinnamon sugar.
Storing flour tortilla recipe
The best thing about this flour tortilla recipe is that your tortillas will be SUPER fresh when you make them. They’re best when eaten the day you make them, even better if they’re still warm from the griddle.
Pro tip: If you don’t have one, a tortilla warmer is a worthy investment — it’ll keep your tortillas warm on the table, and can also be used to microwave any leftovers!
Any leftover Mexican tortillas can be kept in a resealable bag (with all the air pushed out) at room temperature for 2-3 days. If you’d like them to last longer, I suggest separating the pieces with wax or parchment paper, sealing them in a plastic bag, and placing in the freezer for up to a month.
To reheat, use a microwaveable tortilla warmer or a dry griddle/skillet over medium heat.
Alright, friends. That’s a wrap! (See what I did there?) Let me know in the comments how you use these Mexican tortillas! I always love hearing about your creations! Cheers, until next time!
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More homemade bread recipes!
If you love this homemade tortillas recipe, try these delicious carb creations next:
- New York Bagels
- Soft Dinner Rolls (Quick!)
Recipe: How to make flour tortilla from scratch👇
Tortillas Recipe (How to make flour tortilla from scratch)
- 1 Whisk
- 1 Large Mixing Bowl with Wooden Spoon OR Stand Mixer
- 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour – spooned and leveled (375 grams)
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/3 Cup Neutral Oil (SEE NOTES)
- ½ Cup EACH: Warm Water + Warm Whole Milk (substitution: 1 cup warm water) (SEE NOTES)
- Optional: ½ - 1 tsp Granulated Sugar
- Mix dry ingredients: In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, baking powder and salt (plus sugar if using). Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Slowly add oil: Fasten the paddle attachment to your stand mixer. With the mixer on low, slowly stream in the oil. Once all the oil is added, increase the speed to medium-low and mix until flour resembles soft crumbles, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. (See notes for making tortilla dough by hand.)
- Add warm water + milk: Switch to the dough hook attachment. With the mixer still at medium-low speed, slowly pour in the warm water and mix until the water is totally absorbed. Then, slowly stream in the milk and mix until the dairy is absorbed.
- Mix flour tortilla dough: Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 3-4 minutes. (Note: Dough will be slightly sticky.)
- Rest dough: Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a tight ball. Cover with plastic or a damp tea towel and let rest at room temperature for 10-30 minutes Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Portion tortilla dough: Divide the dough into 18 even portions. Working with 1 small portion of dough at a time and keeping the rest covered to prevent drying, gently roll it into a ball between the palms of your hand. Transfer tortilla dough ball to the parchment lined pan and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat process with the remaining dough balls. (Tip: You don’t need to be perfect. To make quick and easy work of portioning the tortilla dough, begin by halving the dough ball. Then, keep halving each half of dough until you get 18 individual pieces.)
- Rest again: Cover the tray of tortilla dough balls with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes (or up to 2 hours). (Note: The longer you let the dough rest at this post, the easier it will be to roll out each individual tortilla.)
- Heat skillet: Heat a dry cast iron skillet, or heavy-bottom pan, over medium-high heat.
- Roll out tortilla: Working with one dough ball at a time, and keeping the rest covered to prevent drying, transfer a ball to your lightly floured work surface. Gently flatten the ball into a fat hockey puck using the palm of your hand. Switch to a rolling pin, and working from the center out, roll the dough out into a 6 to 7-inch tortilla. (Tip: Make sure you flour your work surface as needed. Flip the dough over and rotate it 45-degrees clockwise often. Do not over-roll the dough or it will become stiff. Think of rolling the dough as like coloring in a coloring book – you want to stay INSIDE the lines, or within the dough circle. Don’t roll PAST any of the edges.)
- Cook tortilla: Transfer the raw tortilla to the preheated pan. Cook – undisturbed - until the tortilla forms bubbles on top and the bottom is lightly browned in spots, about 1 minute. Flip the tortilla and cook on the opposite side until the tortilla is blistered with golden spots all over, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer the cooked tortilla to a large sealable plastic bag to prevent drying and keep warm. Repeat the rolling and cooking process with the remaining tortilla dough balls. (Tip: Every stove top is different. When cooking tortillas, make sure you adjust the heat as necessary to lightly brown the tortilla without burning it.)
- Use: Tortillas are best when enjoyed warm, as soon as possible after cooking.
- Oil: I typically use a neutral oil such as vegetable or canola. However, you can use a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil is you prefer a savory flavored tortilla.
- Hot liquids: Your water and milk need to be warm to help make the dough pliable and easy to roll and shape. I recommend heating your water to about 140-150°F and your milk to about 120-130°F.
- No stand mixer? No problem!
- Step 1: Follow recipe as instructed.
- Step 2: Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the oil and mix, stirring from the bottom of the bowl up, until all the oil is incorporated.
- Step 3: Next, add the warm water and mix until incorporated. Then, add the warm milk and mix until incorporated again. Continue to stir until the dough forms a loose ball.
- Step 4: Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Step 5: Continue with recipe as directed.
- Storing warm tortillas: I recommend placing your warm tortillas into a large resealable bag and sealing it. The warm, moist environment keeps the flour tortillas super pliable, soft, and warm. However, you can also wrap them in a clean towel.
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David Harrloe says
I’ve been looking for a recipe for tortillas that called for heavy cream I substituted vegetable oil for lard. The end results were very good they taste great & chewy just like I like them. Oh by the way I made them with out a mixer I made them the old fashion way.