How to Make Tortillas

What does a Texan do when she doesn’t want to go to the store to get tortillas? She makes her own! Mexican food (and TexMex of course) is part of the culture here in Texas. If I leave the state for even twenty-four hours, I have to go out for Mexican food as soon as I return. I’m avoiding going to the store right now but I was desperately craving Mexican cuisine so I made my own tortillas and you know what? I’m never going back to store bought! Tortillas are so easy and FUN to make. Here’s how.

Homemade Tortillas

These take very little skill and few ingredients. I used canola oil, which is cheap, flavorless, and always on hand in my pantry. Plus they taste way better than store-bought tortillas! I’ve used these for fajitas, tacos, breakfast tacos, and even fried them up for the best quesadillas ever.

Homemade Tortillas

Homemade Tortillas

The only tricky part about this is making sure the dough looks right before you try to roll out tortillas. With all bread-like items, you can’t have too sticky of a dough. It won’t work. The exact amount of flour will vary based on your elevation and atmosphere. Start with three cups and add a tablespoon at a time more until the dough comes together in a ball. You should be able to touch it without having dough stick all over your hands.

Homemade Tortillas
Dough is a ball
Homemade Tortillas
Dough disks

Don’t fret about rolling these out. They don’t have to be perfect. Many recipes I saw online suggested you roll out all sixteen disks. What kind of a kitchen do those cooks have? Who has the space? I suggest using two cutting boards when making these: one to keep your cute little flattened disks on and one to roll out two at a time. While one tortilla cooks, roll another one out.

Homemade Tortillas

Homemade Tortillas
My two-board setup

Note: you cook these in a dry skillet. No oil! No butter! You’re not frying them. They should be white with a few brown spots when you flip them. If they’re darker than that, turn the heat down. If there aren’t any brown spots, turn the heat up.

Homemade Tortillas

Homemade Tortillas

This would be a really fun activity for kids. I know little me would have loved helping my mom roll these bad boys out! Or at least, rolling the dough into balls and flattening them. I hope you love making these as much as I do!

Homemade Tortillas

Homemade Tortillas
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola (or vegetable) oil
1 cup warm water

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 1/3 cup of canola oil and mix at a low speed. Add 1 cup of warm water and mix at a medium speed until the dough forms a ball. If it does not form a ball, add up to half a cup more flour one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. You can’t work with a dough that’s too sticky!
  2. Transfer dough to a  floured board. Divide into fourths, then keep halving until you have sixteen equal pieces. Roll into balls, then flatten the balls with your palm. Rest for about fifteen minutes.
  3. Heat a pan large enough to fit a tortilla. A cast iron or nonstick skillet works best. Flour a second board, coat two disks at a time in flour and roll out the two disk using the second board. These don’t have to be perfect circles. Don’t stress about it. They’re homemade tortillas! Let them look homemade.
  4. When the pan is heated, set one disk in the pan and set the timer for one minute. Don’t use any sort of oil in the pan. You’re not frying them. While one tortilla is cooking, roll another out on your second board with the other disks queued up. After one minute, flip and cook the second side for about fifteen seconds then transfer to a covered dish to keep warm while you cook the other tortillas. That’s it! How fun was that? Keep them stored at room temperature for two days or in the fridge for a week.
  5. Note: it should only take a little over a minute to cook each tortilla. They should be white with a few brown spots. If  the spots are almost black, turn the heat down. If there are no spots when you flip it, turn the heat up. 

Here’s a quick video on how to make tortillas:

Need a good filling for tortillas? Check out my Pork Carnitas recipe! Great sides: Mexican Zucchini, Mexican Street Corn Salad.

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Homemade Tortilla Recipe

Homemade Tortilla Recipe

Happy cooking,

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