Homemade Flour Tortillas

Homemade Flour Tortillas

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I started this blog post almost six months ago, and I was beginning to think I was going to give up on making homemade flour tortillas. I have made these tortillas 4 times now with only a 50% success rate. I struggled to get these to turn out right, but was determined to get them to work one last time before I told you the story.

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

The first time I made these homemade flour tortillas was back in October, when I made those awesome steak enchiladas with Christina’s Refried Beans. That night David and I had a Mexican feast! The homemade flour tortillas turned out beautifully and we enjoyed them filled with the refried beans, steak and smothered in enchilada sauce. David and I were excited about the tortillas. They were better than the tortillas we had been buying from the store and I was eager to make more.

I ordered a tortilla press for the next time I made these homemade flour tortillas, because I expected this would become a habit. The tortilla press arrived and not long after that, I decided to make some more homemade flour tortillas, but this time with my new press. I was so excited about it and could wait to share my experience.

Disaster struck!! The tortillas wouldn’t press out on the press! Wait… let me rephrase that. They pressed out only to about 4-inches in diameter and then shrank, before my eyes to about 2-inches diameter.

At first, I thought it was the wax paper I was using to keep the surface of the press clean. I took another ball of dough from the bowl, placed it on the press and pressed it. I opened the press and I swear the dough winked at me and shrunk once again. I tried a few more times, even got out some aluminum foil to put on the press and used the press naked without any covering.

Each time the dough winked at me and shrank. I wasn’t in the mood for this dough. I threw it aside and grabbed some tortillas we just so happened to have in the fridge from another time. I’d try again another day. My pride was hurt and I was pretty pissed off.

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

The third time I tried to make homemade tortillas, I bought some tortillas for back up. I wasn’t sure what had happened the time before, but I didn’t want David and me to be without. I had a 50-50 shot of getting them right. Once again, that damn dough winked at me and shrank.

I worked with it a little and tried a few more times, before I threw it directly in the trash and got out the store-bought tortillas.

What the heck was going on? Why did this recipe work the first time and fail 2 times after?

I let some more time go by and this past weekend decided to try the tortillas again before writing a FAIL POST.

Success!!

Although I could not get them to work well using the press, I was able to get them to roll out with my handy ole’ Dollar Tree special plastic rolling-pin. I got usable tortillas and we warmed them up last night for our Meatless Monday supper.

You really need to treat yourself to these homemade tortillas at least once. You may even vow never to buy store-bought again. Tender, fresh and fluffy these tortillas use simple ingredients and have easy to follow instructions. Here’s how I made them:

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Using a dough cutter or two forks, add shortening and mix together, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

Make a well in the center of the mixture; pour in the water. Stir with a fork to mix together, until the dough starts to form.

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Begin to knead the dough. Don’t worry, it will start very crummy, but the more you work it the smoother the dough will get. 

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

Knead until dough is smooth; about 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle more flour, as needed if it starts to get too sticky. 

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

Place the dough in a bowl, cover, and place in a warm place to rest; about 30 minutes.

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Use a dough knife to divide the dough into quarters. Once the dough is divided into quarters, divide each quarter into thirds. You should now have 12 equal sized dough balls.

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

Use a rolling pin or tortilla press to roll/press out each portion of dough, about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Dust with flour if the dough starts to become sticky. Dust off excess flour with your hand, before cooking.

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

Preheat a cast iron pan to medium-high heat. Do not add oil or butter. The pan should be dry.

Place one tortilla at a time into the pan. Cook the tortillas until they start to puff up and turn lightly browned; about 2 minutes. Flip the tortilla; cook the other side until lightly browned. Place tortillas on a plate; cover with a towel to keep warm while you make the rest of the tortillas.

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

Use them in any of your favorite Mexican recipes.

Note: The tortillas will keep in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat before eating.

Homemade Flour Tortillas | TheMountainKitchen.com

I researched the issue with shrinking dough. I looked at 100’s of recipes online. They all used the same ingredients, with warm water and they all said to rest the dough. I knew the original recipe worked. The only thing I can figure is that during the winter the kitchen is much cooler and the granite countertops may have been a little too cool for the dough while resting. I used warm water. I worked the dough for several minutes until the dough was smooth and allowed it to rest for the proper amount of time. I even covered it to ensure it was free from drafts.

I don’t know why I struggled so much. I know I’m not a baker, but c’mon! I can follow a recipe. It was as if the tortilla press was cursed. I hope the curse is now broken because I will try making these again before I take my tortilla press to GoodWill. Yes, they really were that good!

H.E.L.P! If you have any suggestions about the issues I had with the tortillas, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Tender, fresh and fluffy these homemade flour tortillas use simple ingredients and have easy to follow instructions. Make some for your next Mexican feast!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword bread, flour, tortillas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Calories 104kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • ¾ cup water warm water

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Using a dough cutter or two forks, add shortening and mix together, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Make a well in the center of the mixture; pour in the water. Stir with a fork to mix together, until the dough starts to form.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Begin to knead the dough. Don't worry, it will start very crummy, but the more you work it the smoother the dough will get. 
  • Knead until dough is smooth; about 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle more flour, as needed if it starts to get too sticky.
  • Place the dough in a bowl, cover, and place in a warm place to rest; about 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Use a dough knife to divide the dough into quarters. Once the dough is divided into quarters, divide each quarter into thirds. You should now have 12 equal sized dough balls.
  • Use a rolling pin or tortilla press to roll/press out each portion of dough, about 6-8 inches in diameter. Dust with flour if the dough starts to become sticky. Dust off excess flour with your hand, before cooking.
  • Preheat a cast iron pan to medium-high heat. Do not add oil or butter. The pan should be dry.
  • Place one tortilla at a time into the pan. Cook the tortillas until they start to puff up and turn light brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the tortilla; cook the other side until lightly browned. Place tortillas on a plate; cover with a towel to keep warm while you make the rest of the tortillas.

Notes

The tortillas will keep in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat before eating.
Recipe adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Nutrition

Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 39mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you try this recipe? Tell us what you think!Give this recipe a star rating, leave a comment below and share pictures of your food with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter! We can't wait to see them! Don't forget to mention @TheMountainKitchen or tag #TheMountainKitchen!
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The Mountain Kitchen

Hi, my name is Debbie, Author and Photographer at The Mountain Kitchen, a blog that shares delicious homemade recipes using clean food ingredients, and stories about mountain life.
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