Classic Homemade Flour Tortillas are easier than you think! Try this simple, authentic recipe, and enjoy warm, soft, foldable tortillas right from your own kitchen. Perfect for snacks, lunches, and everyone’s favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes!
The Softest, Easiest Flour Tortillas Ever!
Tortillas are kind of a big deal in my house. I’m sure lots of you moms can agree! When you have kids, sandwiches are almost a food group of their own, and tortillas are a fun way to make a basic sandwich more interesting. Turn it into a roll-up! Turn it into a quesadilla! Or turn it into a strange, peanut-butter-and-jelly themed taco! (Okay, I am not a fan of that last one.)
And of course, tortillas make a great snack in their own right, maybe with a little butter and salt, a squeeze of lime, or just rolled up warm right off the pan. Yum.
And last, but definitely not least, tortillas are the base for all kinds of Mexican and Tex-Mex goodies: homemade enchiladas (more on that later), tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, burritos… However you serve them, tortillas are versatile and tasty, and oh, so good when made fresh.
If you’ve never made your own, no worries! Making tortillas at home is actually not that hard! I know that they sometimes have a reputation for being difficult, and to be fair, they do sometimes stick to the rolling pin, or to each other. But overall, tortillas are very simple to prepare, and definitely worth it! Take a look at this recipe, and I think you’ll feel inspired to give it a try.
What Ingredients Will I Need?
Okay, so one ingredient may stand out to you a little bit, here: lard! I know, it’s not very common these days to use lard in the U.S., but it was once very common! And it really does make a flavorful, authentic tortilla. However, if you don’t have lard or don’t want to use it, you can substitute vegetable shortening instead. The tortillas will still be awesome!
- Flour: Nothing fancy here, just ordinary all-purpose flour. I don’t recommend using gluten-free flour here, since the dough needs to develop a significant amount of gluten. However, if you try this recipe with gluten-free flour, let me know how it turns out!
- Lard: A small amount of lard (or vegetable shortening) moistens the dough, helps bind it together, and adds that soft richness you expect from a flour tortilla.
- Baking Powder: Some cooks don’t use baking powder, but it does add a nice lightness to the tortilla dough.
- Hot Water: A little hot water brings the dough together.
How Do I Make Flour Tortillas?
Okay, let’s talk about the process for making flour tortillas. There are definitely a few steps involved here, so if it’s your first time trying them, budget plenty of time so you won’t feel rushed. Here’s how you do it:
- Make the Dough. First, make the dough by crumbling together the flour, lard, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. I use my hands for this. Pour in the water, and stir to combine, until a dough forms.
- Knead the Dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface, and knead it for ten minutes. You could also knead it in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, for 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, knead in sprinklings of additional flour one at a time, until it’s very smooth but not dry. A dry dough will not make good tortillas.
- Let the Dough Rest. Cover the dough with a damp towel, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Divide the Dough into Balls. Cut the ball of dough in half. Then cut the halves in half to make four pieces of dough. Finally, cut each of those in half to make eight equal pieces. Tuck in the edges of each piece to form a ball.
- Roll the Tortillas. Cover the balls of dough with a damp towel, to keep them soft and pliable. Roll them, one at a time, into 8-inch circles, about ¼-inch thick. If you have a tortilla press, you can use that to press them into shape instead.
- Cook the Tortillas. Heat a comal or a large skillet over medium heat. You don’t have to grease it. Just add one tortilla at a time, and cook it until you start to see bubbles form. Then flip the tortilla and cook the other side for about 20 seconds, and flip again to cook the first side 20 seconds more. You should see large bubbles forming. Set the cooked tortilla aside, and cook the rest. Cover the cooked tortillas immediately with a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm and moist.
- Enjoy! Serve the tortillas however you like!
Helpful Tips and Hacks
Are you excited to try making your own tortillas at home? It is so rewarding! But before you get started, please take a moment to read these tips for the best tortillas, easily and simply.
- Tortilla Press: Hand-rolling tortillas is great, but they may not turn out as thin or even as you would like. A basic tortilla press makes it easier and faster to get the tortillas thin and round.
- Stack with Care: When stacking tortillas to cook or store, it’s helpful to have sheets of parchment or foil on hand to prevent sticking. Stack gently, and don’t press them down into each other.
- Skillet Tips: Keep the skillet at a medium heat. Too hot, and the tortillas will scorch before they cook through. You can also wipe the skillet clean if flour starts to accumulate in it.
- Do I Need a Comal? A comal is a flat griddle used for cooking tortillas and other dishes, and they are super helpful for this recipe. However, you can also make tortillas in a cast-iron skillet or griddle, or just your favorite stainless or nonstick pan.
Scrumptious Serving Ideas
Naturally, you could use these homemade tortillas to serve your favorite tacos, or just eat them warm and fresh by themselves! However, you could also make a truly special dinner with tortillas as the base. Try one of these sometime – you’ll be glad you did!
- Cheese Enchiladas: Cheese Enchiladas are a comfort food like no other. Your family will feel truly cared for when they taste this hearty, from-scratch recipe, especially when you use homemade tortillas as the base.
- Carnitas: A refreshing, satisfying twist on regular old tacos! These easy Crispy Pork Carnitas with Corn Salsa are even better on fresh homemade flour tortillas.
- Buffalo Enchiladas: This amazing Mexican-American take on enchiladas is perfect for game day or any day! You’ll love the spicy, tangy, savory flavors at play in Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas.
- Quesadillas: Another classic way to use tortillas. You’ll be amazed by how good a simple quesadilla can be with freshly made tortillas!
How to Store Tortillas So They Stay Fresh
These tortillas can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you place them in a storage bag and seal it while they are still warm, the steam in the bag will help prevent them from becoming hard. You can also reheat tortillas in a warm oven, if desired.
Can I Freeze Them?
Yes! Tortillas freeze well. Just stack them with squares of foil or parchment between each tortilla, so they don’t stick together. Stacks of 5 – 10 tortillas are usually the most practical. Place the stack into a large freezer bag, press out as much air as possible, and seal. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw to room temperature before serving or reheating.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup lard or vegetable shortening
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 cup hot water
- Add the flour, lard, salt, and baking powder to a large bowl, and use a fork or your hands to crumble it into a crumbly mixture.
- Pour in the water, and stir to combine, until a dough forms. Lightly flour a flat surface, and knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes, or in a stand mixer with the dough attachment for 5 minutes. Add only a small dusting of flour at a time, to prevent the dough from getting hard.
- Cover the dough with a damp towel, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, and tuck in the edges of each piece to form a ball.
- Cover the balls of dough with a damp towel. Remove one dough ball at a time, and roll in into an 8-inch diameter, ¼-inch thick disk (or if you have a tortilla press, you can press them into shape).
- Heat a comal, or a large skillet, over medium heat. Carefully add one tortilla at a time, and cook just until you start to see bubbles form.
- Flip the tortilla over, and cook for another 20 seconds, and then flip again and cook for another 20 seconds, until you start to see large bubbles.
- Cover the cooked tortilla immediately in a towel to keep warm, and repeat the cooking process with the remaining balls of dough.
- Serve as tacos, or with butter, salt and lime juice if you like!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 622mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 5g
More Classic Dishes
- Beef Picadillo
- Homemade Chorizo
- Mexican Chicken Adobo
- Homemade Tamales
- Chorizo and Eggs
- Homemade Pico De Gallo
- Arroz Con Leche
- Huevos Rancheros
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.