homemade flour tortillas

by amy on 25 January 2012

you know what makes me happy? mexican food. i’m super lucky because there’s a darn tasty mexican restaurant in walking distance from our house. due to the delightfully walkable proximity of mexican food, it’s no surprise that i rarely cook mexican food at home. instead, i put on my shoes + make the 5-minute stroll to a glorious place where margaritas, guacamole + enchiladas are delivered to my table in a matter of minutes. ah yes, that is a heavenly place indeed.

but, inspired by my one-new-dinner-a-week challenge for 2012, i decided to try cooking mexican food myself + put quesadillas on this week’s dinner menu. i made a grocery list + the first thing i put on there? flour tortillas, of course. then i remembered seeing homemade flour tortillas on my friend ashley’s blog. i figured, if i’m going to do something new by cooking mexican at home, why not go all out + make the whole meal from scratch, tortillas included? so that’s what i decided to do.

and the result? they turned out fabulous! i was surprised at how easy they were to make – the dough came together in less than 5 minutes, + they were a cinch to roll out into pretty circles. they cooked up quickly + easily – the entire process took me less than an hour from start to finish. + the flavor? simply delicious + tons better than the store-bought version. they’re also awesomely customizable – you can make tiny ones for mini soft tacos, giant ones for oversized burritos, + everything in between. i’ll be using the standard 8” ones pictured here for my first ever attempt at quesadilla-making tonight — wish me luck!

homemade flour tortillas

makes 12 tortillas, adapted from mexican made easy, as seen on kitchen meets girl

ingredients

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup shortening (i used vegetable shortening)
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup lukewarm water

directions

in a large bowl, blend the flour + shortening until the mixture resembles fine meal.

in a small bowl, mix the salt + the water until the salt has dissolved. using the dough hook attachment of a stand mixer, add water to the flour mixture, mixing until the liquid is incorporated. mix for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth. if you don’t have a stand mixer, stir the liquid into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, then knead by hand.

divide the dough into 12 equally-sized pieces + roll each into a ball.

roll each ball into a thin 8 inch round – i rolled mine out as thin as i could get ‘em — this keeps them soft + pliable once they’re cooked. after i rolled them out to circles, i took an 8” salad plate, turned it upside down on top of the circles, + cut off any excess around the edges. voila! perfect circles.

cook each round in a heavy non-stick pan over medium-high heat, flipping once, until puffed + golden on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per tortilla.

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joanna@DrizzleofSunshine January 25, 2012 at 8:24 am

I was planning to make carne asada tacos this weekend! This would be perfect with it. Thanks for posting this. My hubby is Mexican and I know he would appreciate this.

2 amy January 25, 2012 at 8:37 am

that’s awesome, joanna! i looove carne asada tacos – i’m hopping over to your blog now to see if the recipe is there! + by the way – two tips for these tortillas – make sure you roll ‘em as thin as you can, so they’re nice + soft. also, make sure your pan/griddle is nice + hot before you put on the first tortilla – they cook up way quicker + prettier when you start with a well-heated pan. enjoy! + report back! =)

3 Joanna@Drizzleofsunshine January 25, 2012 at 8:45 am

RE: I will definitely try these and let you know how it is. Yes, the carne asada tacos recipe is worth trying! I made them for my hubby who is a taco fanatic and he said they were some of the best he’s ever had. They are the real deal.

Another great recipe I have if you like Mexican food is Bunelos (on my blog). They are pretty much like fried tortillas with cinnamon and sugar! OHHHH! So good!

4 amy January 25, 2012 at 8:55 am

ooh, i’ll definitely look up the bunuelos. i bet my husband would loove those (he’s a huge sweets fan). thanks for the tip!

5 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel January 25, 2012 at 9:00 am

It’s hard to believe these are so easy to make! I had no idea.

6 amy January 25, 2012 at 9:13 am

i didn’t either – i figured they’d be super labor intensive + involved. apparently not! i love it when that happens. =)

7 Leah | So, How's It Taste? January 25, 2012 at 9:44 am

I’ve been wanting to try making these. I’ve heard the flavor is outstanding compared to store bought. Yours look so authentic!

8 amy January 25, 2012 at 9:45 am

the flavor is definitely superior to store-bought + the texture is lovely, as long as you roll them out thin enough. the first one i made too thick + while the flavor was delicious, it wasn’t as soft + flexible as i wanted. after that one, i got the hang of the rest of ‘em easily. we should have a party where we make these + some delicious mexican food, + practice our spanish. =)

9 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl January 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

I’m sooooo glad these turned out so well for you–don’t you just love ‘em? Your pictures turned out great, too…after seeing these, I’m thinking I need to make another batch this weekend!

10 amy January 25, 2012 at 9:49 am

thank you SO much for sharing the recipe, ashley! i really was surprised at how easy they were to make + how delicious they turned out. can’t wait to see the awesome quesadillas that they make tonight!

11 Steph@TheChickpeaChickadee January 25, 2012 at 9:50 am

These look fabulous. So light and yummy!! I’ve made corn, but never flour tortillas. Living in TX you would think I would know how to make them :) I think the problem is the pre- made are so easy to get around here.

12 amy January 25, 2012 at 9:55 am

i think corn tortillas are going to be the next kind that i try, maybe for homemade enchiladas? you should definitely give these a try one day – they’re such a cinch to make! i bet the pre-made ones you can get in texas are delicious + way yummier than what i can get around here, though!

13 Julie at Burnt Carrots January 25, 2012 at 11:34 am

These look delicious and I love it that they don’t have all the crap the store bought ones have. Yes! Please do corn tortillas next! I cannot find any that are fresh and aren’t made with GMOs.

14 amy January 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm

i know, right? that’s becoming my number 1 reason for making things from scratch that i’d normally by pre-made — not to prove that i can do it (which is admittedly nice), but because i can control exactly what ingredients go in there. i will *definitely* be trying corn tortillas soon, because i love love love enchiladas. i’ll put ‘em on the to-make list for the next few weeks!

15 Julie @ Table for Two January 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm

You know what makes me happy? you & mexican food :) i LOOOOVE it! so delicious and I think it’s great you made homemade tortillas! you’re just on the homemade bread train! it’s great!!

16 amy January 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm

aww, shucks. =) all this homemade breadmaking is getting to be seriously fun! i still need to try your homemade pretzels, preferably accompanied by a homemade beer-cheese dip. mmmm.

17 Ally Garner January 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm

How did you get yours in such perfect circles without a tortilla maker?? They look so pretty. I tried making them once several years ago and they promptly landed in the garbage. It was an epic fail, haha. I bet your homemade ones taste sooo much better than store-bought. I’m gonna have to give your recipe a try!

18 amy January 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm

excellent question! after i rolled mine out to roughly 8” circles, i took an 8” salad plate, turned it upside down on top of the circles, + cut off any excess around the edges. voila! perfect circles. =) i’ll add that note to the directions, too – thanks for asking! hope your next attempt at homemade tortillas go amazingly well. =)

19 Ally Garner January 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

A salad plate? So genius!! Can’t believe that never occurred to me before. I could probably use a pizza cutter to quickly trim the edges too. Such a great idea Amy – thanks for your help! Will DEFINITELY be making these tortillas for our next Mexican night.

20 amy January 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm

yup, i used a pizza cutter to trim the excess, too! super quick + easy. =) good luck!

21 natalie (the sweets life) January 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

so impressive–yours look so authentic! i love making things from scratch–need to try this. i made english muffins last weekend and they were awesome!

22 amy January 25, 2012 at 2:14 pm

thanks so much, natalie! i can’t wait to see the english muffins on your blog – i hope you’ll post ‘em. i would love to try making some!

23 Kelly January 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I love tortillas, but I’d love even more if I could find a recipe where they weren’t made with shortening/lard (and were equally as delicious). We use tortillas weekly for different dinners, etc. I’ve started buying the lard-free kind at the store, although I haven’t pronounced a complete ban of the original. Just trying to avoid trans fats, they scare me.

Either way, yours look great!

24 amy January 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

hey kelly, when i was looking through different tortilla recipes online, i think i came across a few that were trans-fat/shortening/lard free. give me a minute + i’ll link to any of the good-lookin’ ones that i can find — i’d like to see how they are, too!

25 amy January 25, 2012 at 2:54 pm

hi again Kelly, here are a couple of the trans-fat-free or low-trans-fat tortilla recipes i came across:
fat-free flour tortillas
texas flour tortillas
you’re right – it’s almost impossible to find a tortilla recipe that is trans-fat free. you should develop a recipe for one – it looks like there are tons of people online looking for one! =)

26 Renee January 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I am like you in that I rarely cook Mexican at home. But when I do I probably look at every tortilla on the shelf trying to find the ones without a bunch of additives & such. This solves that problem. I did not realize they were so quick and easy to make. I’ll have to try it for myself. Plus I like how you can make them as big or as small as you want.

27 amy January 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm

i know – they’re so much quicker + easier than i expected them to be! hope they turn out fabulous for you if you give ‘em a try! =)

28 Elina (Healthy and Sane) January 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I’ve made homemade tortillas twice already and they were honestly a fail. They seem to be too doughy even though I even bought a press. I’m going to try this recipe because they really are fun and I’m not in love with the store bought stuff. Thanks for sharing (gorgeous pics btw!)

29 amy January 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm

thanks for the kind words, elina! if they’ve seemed too doughy in the past, try rolling them really thin this time – i rolled mine as thin as they could get without breaking + that resulted in great, flexible, non-doughy ones. hope they work out for you this time with this recipe!

30 Christi's Chirps January 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Hi, Amy–Mexican food is simply the best! But, these homemade tortillas are sure to make it even more superb! I have been wanting to make these myself, but just haven’t yet. You’ve inspired me to get it on my menu soon!

Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Christi

31 amy January 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm

that’s awesome, christi! i’m going to use them tonight to make quesadillas + am hoping they’ll be perfect for that. i’ll report back. =) and do let me know how they turn out for you!

32 Cassie January 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

these are awesome, Amy. I have always wanted to try them at home, just haven’t gotten to it. i love that they only have 4 ingredients!

33 amy January 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm

is that great? + for me, they were four ingredients that i already had at home. score! =)

34 Jessica @ Cajunlicious January 26, 2012 at 9:36 am

My husband keeps telling me I need to learn how to make these so thanks for posting!

35 amy January 26, 2012 at 9:49 am

you’re so welcome, jessica – hope they turn out fabulous for you when you try ‘em!

36 Jackie @ Domestic Fits January 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I adore homemade tortillas! I make them with the bacon fat that I save from Saturday Morning breakfasts. I love your One New Dinner a Week challenge, such a great goal :)

37 amy January 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm

aren’t they awesome?! i can’t believe it took me so long to try making them. + i love that you use the bacon renderings to make yours – what an amazing flavor they must have. yum!

38 Rachel @ The Avid Appetite January 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Tortillas have become a major go-to food for me, but I’ve never made them myself. I had no idea it was so easy! These look amazing. I can just envision eating them warm with a little cheese :)

39 amy January 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm

aren’t tortillas just made for cheese? we made ‘em into chicken quesadillas for dinner last night + they were delicious! i’ll be posting that recipe on the blog as soon as i type it up. =)

40 Jess January 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Wow, I’ve always been afraid to make tortillas because most recipes have lard in them… but I sure love to eat fresh tortillas! And Mexican food is NOT the same without margaritas!!!!

41 amy January 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm

aren’t fresh tortillas the tastiest?! + you are sooo right about margaritas!

42 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts January 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I have never made fresh tortillas before, but it is on my list of must tries. Yours look perfect! I could live on Mexican food!

43 amy January 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

aww, thanks erin! i did think they turned out surprisingly purty. =)

44 Katia January 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm

wow, I’ve never thought of making them myself, what a great idea! I love Mexican food, thank you for the recipe!

45 amy January 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm

you’re so welcome, katia. you just can’t go wrong with mexican food, especially if it’s all made from scratch!

46 Raven Heart January 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I just made these for dinner tonight for the first time and they were a success. By cutting the excess off,I was able to make 13 instead of 12. It took me about an hour to make them. Then I made homemade guacamole. Tyson has great chicken fajita meat already cooked, so it was easy to put together after the tortillas were made. I think these will go faster the more you make them. Thanks Amy for posting so everyone could enjoy the recipe. It was very easy to follow.

47 amy January 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm

that is so wonderful to hear! they do definitely go quicker as you get used to making them. awesome tip about using the excess scraps to made an additional tortilla or two, by the way. i’m so happy that they were part of your delicious dinner!

48 Krissy @ Krissy's Creations January 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Flour Tortillas are one of my FAV things to eat. They are soooooo much better homemade. Yours looks absolutely incredible. I’d love to have one now slathered simply with butter!

49 amy January 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm

thank you so much, krissy! if only you lived closer, i’d hand-deliver the one tortilla we have left (slathered in butter, of course). we ate almost a dozen of ‘em way quicker than is probably normal! =)

50 AikoVenus January 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm

These look super delicious – I like to make mine with half a cup of white whole wheat to make them healthier! I absolutely love your photos as well ! ^^

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