These Homemade Flour Tortillas are made with just 4 ingredients and require no special tools. Light and airy, they’re better than anything you’ll buy at the store and perfect for all of your favorite Mexican dishes that call for tortillas.
Easy Flour Tortilla Recipe
Depending on what dish I’m making, I’ll use my recipe for corn tortillas or this flour tortilla recipe. Once you make homemade flour tortillas, you’ll never buy packaged tortillas again.
These flour tortillas are light, airy, and so easy to whip up. The dough just needs to rest for 20 minutes and unlike the corn tortillas, you don’t need a tortilla press.
The great thing about making homemade tortillas is that you only need 4 ingredients, plus hot water.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Flour – Just simple all-purpose flour. Use the spoon and level technique for accurate measuring.
- Salt – For flavor.
- Baking powder – While you can make flour tortillas without baking powder, I always include some. It gives them a little lift and puffiness.
- Lard – Lard is ideal for making flour tortillas. It provides a mild flavor and very airy texture. I also find it makes rolling and shaping the dough the easiest. However, you can use vegetable shortening (such as Crisco) or even softened butter.
- Very hot water – You may need more or less than the amount stated in the recipe, as described in the tips section below.
How to Make Homemade Flour Tortillas
Making homemade tortillas is a pretty straightforward process without needing any special equipment. And quick, too, as the dough needs to rest for just 20 minutes. Here’s a summary:
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details and don’t miss the helpful tips and video below.)
- Combine the lard and flour. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder, then work the lard into the mixture until you have fine crumbs.
- Add the hot water. Slowly pour the water in a little at a time. Drizzle some water, mix, then drizzle some more as needed to form a sticky dough ball that pulls away from the edges of the bowl.
- Knead the dough. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 5 minutes, until soft, elastic, smooth, and no longer sticky.
- Divide into balls. Pinch off 14 golf ball-sized balls of dough. Roll into a ball, pressing and tucking just a bit until smooth, then place on a baking sheet.
- Let rest. Cover with a lightly damp, warm towel and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough. Place one dough ball on a work surface, dust with flour, and press flat with your fingers. Then use a rolling pin to roll it out until you have a super thin 6-7″ circle.
- Preheat the griddle. Get a comal, nonstick skillet, or griddle very hot over medium-high then lower to medium. Be sure to use one that’s wide enough for the whole tortilla to fit without curling.
- Cook the tortilla. Place the tortilla on the hot skillet and cook for 20 to 30 seconds, until little bubbles appear on the surface and you see light brown spots. Flip and cook for an additional 20 to 30 seconds. Flip one last time for another 10 seconds. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Tips for Success
Making tortillas from scratch can seem a bit overwhelming but I promise it’s not as hard as you think. Here are a few tips to help you out.
- What’s the easiest way to combine the ingredients? I find it’s just easiest to combine all the ingredients by hand, but you can also use a pastry cutter, fork, or wooden spoon. Or a stand mixer with the dough hook.
- Add the water slowly. Make sure to use hot water and add a little at a time. If you add the water too fast, the dough will not combine properly.
- Let the dough balls rest. Make sure to let the dough balls rest for 20 to 30 minutes before rolling. This relaxes the dough and gluten strands, making it easier to roll.
- Be sure to roll the dough out enough. Properly rolling out the dough is key to having it bubble up and get puffy when it hits the hot pan. The tortillas should be ultra-thin, and practically translucent. If you try rolling the dough and it shrinks back up, let the dough rest for another 20 minutes.
- Avoid using excess flour. It’s ok to lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour, but try not to use too much or the tortillas could end up dry.
- Regulate your heat. If your pan is too hot, the tortilla will develop black spots. Alternatively, if it’s been 30 seconds and your tortilla is still flat, it could be that your pan isn’t hot enough.
- Have patience with your first few tortillas. Cook your tortillas too long and they will become too hard and crack later. But if they’re not cooked enough, they will be doughy or crack later. There are a few factors that could affect how long to cook the tortillas for: whether you have a gas or electric stove, the type of pan you use, and altitude. Just keep practicing and adjust as necessary.
- Let bubbles form. For light, airy tortillas, let bubbles form before you flip.
How to Easily Keep Tortillas Warm
As you cook your tortillas, you’ll want to keep the others warm after cooking. This will trap some of the heat and allow them to steam a little so they stay soft and pliable. There are a few different ways to do this:
- Use a tortilla warmer.
- Wrap them in a dry kitchen towel.
- Place them on a baking sheet and transfer to a 175F oven.
Can I Use This Recipe for Larger Tortillas?
This recipe makes 14, 6 to 7-inch tortillas, but you can make fewer tortillas that are larger. Just pinch off bigger balls of dough and roll them out 9 to 10 inches. The rolling and cooking method doesn’t change.
Ways to Use Flour Tortillas
Homemade flour tortillas are amazing right off the heat with a little slab of butter. They of course can be used in all of your favorite Mexican dishes that call for flour tortillas. I use them frequently in these dishes:
Video: Easy Flour Tortillas
- Counter. Store tortillas in an airtight container or Ziploc bag on the countertop for up to 3 days.
- Can you freeze flour tortillas? Yep! To freeze, allow to cool then place in a ziploc bag. Seal, getting as much of the air out as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw and warm gently in the microwave.
More Mexican Recipes:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup lard (see note below)
- 1 cup very hot water , or as needed
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add in the lard (or shortening) and using your hands, work it into the flour until you have fine crumbs.
- While mixing with your hands, start pouring some hot water into the dough a little at a time (being careful since it’ll be hot). Drizzle in some more water, then mix. Drizzle again and add more water if needed to form a sticky dough ball – it’ll pull away from the edges of the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured clean work surface. Knead for about 5 minutes until soft, elastic, and smooth and no longer sticky. Press with a finger and if it bounces back, it’s ready.
- Pinch off 14 uniform pieces of dough (about golf ball-sized balls.) Roll each piece into a ball, pressing and tucking just a bit until it’s smooth, then place onto a baking sheet. Once you’re done with all 14 balls, cover with a lightly damp warm towel and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
- On a very lightly floured surface, place one ball of dough, dust with flour and press it flat with your fingers. Then using a rolling pin, roll out a circle from the center outwards without reaching the edge – roll the dough once, rotate 45°, roll again, and repeat until it’s halfway rolled out, trying to keep it as round as possible. As it gets larger, flip the dough over and continue rolling until you have a super thin 6-7” circle, or until your dough begins to look almost see-through.
- Get a comal, nonstick skillet, or griddle very hot over medium-high, then lower to medium heat before you start cooking the first tortilla.
- Set a tortilla on the hot skillet and cook 20 to 30 seconds or until little bubbles appear on the surface and you start to see blistering/ light brown spots. Flip and cook another 20 to 30 seconds, or until the bottom is slightly golden. Flip one last time – this is when you should see the big bubbles – and cook for another 10 seconds.
- Stack on a plate and cover with a dry kitchen towel to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Once all the tortillas are cool, transfer them to a resealable Ziploc bag to keep them from drying out. (Notes for proper storage are included in the article above.)