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A stack of fresh homemade tortillas on a baking sheet with the top tortilla folded over
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Homemade tortillas taste delicious and are incredibly inexpensive! This recipe will help you make perfectly soft tortillas that go with anything.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Budget-friendly, DIY, Pantry Staples
Servings: 14 tortillas
Cost: $0.05 per tortilla / $0.70 per batch

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Hand towel

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for your work surface
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • cup vegetable oil

Instructions

Make the dough

  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
    Tortilla ingredients: flour, hot water, oil, salt, and baking powder
  • Dig a little well into the center of the flour mixture, and then pour in the hot water and oil. Whisk just until the liquid is incorporated, at which point it will become too sticky to whisk anymore.
  • Switch to a spatula or wooden spoon and continue mixing the dough until it forms a sticky, shaggy ball.
    Mixing up the tortilla dough in a metal bowl

Knead the dough

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, then knead it for 5 to 8 minutes or until the ball is smooth. Be careful not to add too much extra flour at this step. Try to keep the dough just sticky enough that if you let it sit on the work surface for more than a few seconds, it will get stuck. Avoid sticking by moving the dough ball quickly as you knead, picking it up and turning it frequently.
    Kneading the tortilla dough until smooth

Form dough balls

  • Pull the dough apart and roll it into 14 round balls (about the size of golf balls). Don't bother weighing each ball to make sure they're exactly the same size. Doing so will cause you to pull off and add little bits of dough to get the right weight. These additions and subtractions will create folds in the dough balls, and the tortillas will be irregularly shaped when you roll them out. If you don't end up with exactly 14 balls, that's okay.

Let the dough balls rest

  • Dip the bottoms of the dough balls in a touch of flour, set them on a baking sheet, and cover them with a damp towel. Let them rest for 30 minutes. This will allow the gluten to relax, making the dough stretchy and easy to roll out.
    Tortilla dough shaped into balls, resting on a baking sheet

Roll out the dough balls

  • One at a time, place the dough balls onto a lightly floured work surface and flatten them into a disc. If the dough moves around a lot while you try to roll it out, you have too much flour. If it's difficult to peel the rolled-out tortilla from the work surface, you don't have enough flour.
    Tortilla dough flattened into a disc, ready to be rolled out
  • Roll out the dough into round circles a little less than 1/8-inch thick. When rolling out the dough, always start with your rolling pin in the center of the tortilla and move outward. The key is to make gradual movements in all directions to achieve a round shape. If you think of the tortilla like a compass, first start in the center and roll north. Then pick up the rolling pin, go back to the center, and roll south. Then roll east, then west, then northeast, then southwest, etc. If you start to get an oblong shape, roll a little more in the opposite direction. A sudden, strong movement in one direction can give your tortilla a tail. If your dough springs back when you try to roll it, let it rest for 10 more minutes.
    Tortilla dough rolled out with a rolling pin

Cook the tortillas

  • Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove to medium heat. Allow several minutes for it to evenly heat up. If you flick a drop of water into the pan and it sizzles and beads up, then the pan is ready.
  • While the skillet heats up, make a tortilla warmer by laying a piece of foil on the counter and then placing a hand towel on top of the foil. The foil should be roughly the same size as the hand towel.
    Tortillas staying warm in a towel lined with foil
  • Cook the tortillas one at a time. Lay each tortilla in the skillet and let it cook for 1 minute or until bubbles form all over the surface. Then flip the tortilla with your fingers or tongs and cook it on the other side for about 30 seconds more. You want to see light brown spots and no translucent, doughy-looking parts. If you see dark brown or black spots, turn the heat down a tad.
    Tortilla cooking in a cast iron skillet

Keep the tortillas warm and moist

  • After removing each tortilla from the skillet, place it on the hand towel, and then fold the towel and foil in half to enclose the stack. Let the tortillas cool in there completely before refrigerating or freezing.
    Tortillas staying warm in a towel lined with foil

Store the tortillas

  • Store the tortillas in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. You can also freeze them for up to two months. Before freezing, cut small squares of parchment paper to stick between each tortilla. Then wrap the stack in plastic wrap and stick it in a ziploc bag. The parchment paper will prevent the tortillas from freezing together, allowing you to take only the number you need out of the freezer. Otherwise, you'll have to defrost the whole stack to separate them, and the tortillas that you stick back in the freezer will get a tough, gooey texture.