Homemade Flour Tortillias

Breads, Mexican | 16 comments

I learned something new and fun in the kitchen during our trip to Utah – how to make homemade flour tortillas. I’m hoping to get a tortilla press soon so I can make them at home. I’d love to learn how to make corn tortillas someday too.

My aunt has an electric tortilla press similar to this, but you can also use a simple cast iron press to flatten the tortillas. Instead, you’d just fry them up on the stove. Homemade tortillas are so good, and actually pretty simple to make. It would be a fun activity to do with a friend or a child who was up for helping (kids can roll the balls). With such cheap ingredients, why would you ever want to purchase store bought flour tortillas again?

I brought bell peppers from my garden that I knew needed to be picked and eaten before we would return, so we decided to make these homemade tortillas and had grilled chicken fajitas one night for dinner. It was a delicious meal! I wish I had taken more pictures of the beginning of the process, but I was busy chopping onions and peppers before I realized that this would make a great blog post.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

  • 3 c flour (we used fresh ground whole wheat)
  • 1/3 c oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • water

Whisk the salt and flour together in a bowl. Mix oil with flour by rubbing it with your fingers. You want to make pea sized bits, similar to how you would if you were cutting butter into flour with knives.

Add 1/4 cup of water, no more than 3/4 cup, at a time to the flour and oil mixture. Stir with a large fork until flour forms large clumps.

Sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour. Remove dough from the bowl and kneed for 2-3 minutes, until dough forms one large, smooth ball.

Pinch off golf ball sized, or larger if you like, pieces of dough. Roll into round balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Gently pat ball to flatten into a small circle (not tortilla sized). Place circle on tortilla press, close lid, and quickly bag it with the attached handle three tips. It is important to for the hits to be fast and forceful.

At this point you would cook the tortillas on a frying pan at medium heat until golden, flipping part way through so both sides are evenly browned. If you plan to cook the tortillas on an electric press, check the manufacturers instructions for specifics on working with your machine.

**I’ve noticed that some recipes use hot milk instead of water. Also, some add anywhere from 1-2 tsp baking powder. These are a thin tortilla, if you want a more substantial feeling tortilla go ahead and add the baking powder in with the flour and salt.**

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    RecipeGirl - August 17, 2009 @ 10:02 pm

    I've wanted to do this for so long. My son has Spanish class each week, and last year they invited the parents to come for a party. The teacher made homemade tortillas w/ Masa. It looked so easy, and they were so good! Nice job w/ these!


  • 2
    oneordinaryday - August 17, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

    What a great tutorial. I'm wishing I had a tortilla press so I could try my hand at it. They look awesome!


  • 3
    Maria - August 17, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

    Thanks for posting these! I can't wait to try them. We've tried to make them once before and it was a disaster! Do you think a press is necessary?


  • 4
    Katie @ goodLife {eats} - August 17, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

    Maria – the press seems pretty necessary to me. How did you do it last time? Roll with a rolling pin? My aunt says that banging it really fast and forcefully is important, and I don't know what other way you can get that kind of result.


  • 5
    sweetbeets - August 17, 2009 @ 11:55 pm

    Yummy! I haven't made these for a while but I used to just use a frying pan. I would roll out the balls into circles (sort of!) and cook on high heat for a brief time on each side. You know it's time to flip when the one side starts to get a few brown spots. I like how your recipe uses oil instead of butter. Great tutorial and thanks for the reminder of how good homemade tortillas are.


  • 6
    Marci @OvercomingBusy - August 18, 2009 @ 12:14 am

    We eat so many tortillas in our house! My daughter and I have been wanting to make them for some time. You make it sound so easy! We'll have to try soon.


  • 7
    SnoWhite - August 18, 2009 @ 2:29 am

    these look delicious! I have made my own version using a rolling pin – although the press would likely be a huge blessing in making these guys round and flat – you certainly can make them with a simple rolling pin.


  • 8
    Kara - August 18, 2009 @ 3:02 am

    Great tutorial! I've made them in the past and have been meaning to do it again…they are SO good made with fresh ground whole wheat! Thanks for the motivation…love your blog!


  • 9
    the southern hostess - August 18, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

    I'm so impressed! These look great.


  • 10
    Patricia @ Brownies for dinner - August 18, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

    My boyfriend just mentioned homemade tortillas this morning. Your tutorial is great thanks!


  • 11
    angela@spinachtiger - August 19, 2009 @ 2:24 am

    I'm inspired. Homemade tortillas is now on my to do list.


  • 12
    Doneza - August 19, 2009 @ 9:22 am

    Just stepped in your site. I like it! The photos are very helpful. I love flat breads and everything in it.


  • 13
    Kristilyn (The Domestic Goddess) - August 20, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

    Can you make these without a tortilla press? It looks like a great recipe, even if we don't have tortillas all too often. Thanks!K


  • 14
    Katja of Skimbaco - August 22, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

    I've always wanted to try making tortillas at home, thanks for easy to follow tutorial!


  • 15
    Nanette - August 28, 2009 @ 11:35 pm

    Oh I have to try these! I'd love to be able to make ww flour tortillas because the ones I've tried at the store are pretty bad. Thanks for the recipe!


  • 16
    Heather Brandt - September 09, 2009 @ 12:36 am

    I've made tortillas successfully without a press but they are not as pretty or uniform in size. What kind of press do you use/recommend?heatherlbrandt (at) verizon (dot) net


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