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Homemade Flour Tortillas

So, it’s the summer and 1/2 of our household is away.

It’s hot.

I am bored.

I am a nurturer by nature with no one to nurture. Well, there’s the dog – Zena. And she will take absolutely as much attention as you are willing to give to her. She will always say yes to a snack or a meal or to go out and ‘do’ something. Though our ideas of ‘doing’ something are polar opposites.

I have a lot of time on my hands.

Just when I was about to give into despair and yet another day of watching the Real Housewives of some horrible place that I wouldn’t want to be lest they be my neighbors, I found The Secret Recipe Club. Simple premise. Join. Get an email with the link of the blog you are assigned. Hop over to that blog. Find a recipe you like. Use it for inspiration, make it exactly, or tweak it to your suiting. Blog about it. How much fun is that!

For my first go at this, I was assigned the wonderful life adventures of Adventures in All Things Food. Very nice blog indeed.

Scrolling through the days and weeks of this blogger’s life, I came across a recipe for both flour and corn tortillas! Both of these have been on my wish list of things to try, though I had bookmarked a recipe from Rick Bayless’ book Authentic Mexican – which, by the way, is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

And besides, I had a new TOY! A tortilla press! The choice was now simple! Flour tortillas!

  • 12 oz (about 2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 5 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening (or a mixture of the two)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup very warm water

Simple ingredients, right?

Add the flour and shortening (or lard) to a large bowl.  Use a pastry cutter (or your fingers) to work the fat into the flour – you want it incorporated completely. 

NOTE: I am pastry cutter stupid. They do not work for me. Yes, simple. hold it and smoosh into the flour and butter, or lard or shortening and kep doing that. Nope. The solid gets stuck in the cutter part. It is a mess and then I get into a very. BAD. MOOD. I started with the pastry cutter and ended with my hands!

Combine the salt and water in a measuring cup and pour about 3/4 of the water over the flour and shortening mixture.  Use a fork to stir to stir together until all of the dry ingredients are moistened, adding the rest of the water (and even a little more), if needed. 

Turn the dough onto your work surface and knead until smooth – it’ll only take a minute or two.  The dough shouldn’t be very sticky, but if it is, add a tiny bit of flour to your hands so you can work with it.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.  Put them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.  This rest time helps the dough relax so it’ll be easier to roll.

Set a heavy skillet (I used cast iron) over medium to medium-high heat. 

NOTE: I used a cast iron grill pan.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, set on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 7-inch circle.  Add only enough flour so you can work with the dough – it will be quite thin by the time it reaches 7 inches in diameter.

NOTE: I used my new toy. I will have to make the dough balls smaller. TOo much came out the sides and was too thick. But smooshing them makes for fun in the kitchen!

Transfer to the flattened tortilla to the preheated pan – you will hear a sizzle when you place the dough in the pan and should see bubbles forming across the surface almost immediately.  Cook for 30-45 seconds on the first side, then flip and cook 30-45 seconds on the other side.  The tortilla should be golden brown and might have a few dark spots, but you don’t want to over cook it or it will be crisp rather than pliable.  Transfer to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel.

Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, and continue stacking them under the towel.  Serve warm, or let cool then wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature for a few days, or pop in the freezer.  Reheat in the microwave wrapped in damp paper towels.

Makes 12 tortillas

NOTE: These are SO good! I had one immediately with butter. Had one with my dinner and then stopped myself by putting the rest in the freezer!



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33 Responses

  1. Andrea, those tortillas look gorgeous. I’ve been meaning to try making these for ages and these have inspired me to do just that. The Secret Recipe Club does indeed sound like fun so I’m going to take a look at that too.

  2. I love tortillas, I don’t have a tortilla press so I have to roll them out… a lot of work but it’s a bit like gardening I suppose, rolling back and forth is good thinking time.

  3. Great job! I am glad to have helped you use your new toy. We are addicted to warm & fresh tortillas in this house.

    So excited you got my little blog in the exchange. It is my first time doing the Secret Recipe Club again. Now I am off to take a peek around your blog as well. Have a great week.

  4. Oh, how yummy!!! Great job with the SRC, Annie! Love your new toy.

    PS…I had trouble with my linky thing until I removed the first and last lines from the html (if that makes any sense). Then the photos will appear.

  5. I tried this once years ago with a press and it didn’t go so well. Your pictures are convincing me I need to give it another go. They look beautiful.

  6. Oh, yes, I love your tortilla press. Now that you have it you will have to make lots of tortillas. 🙂 I know what you mean about the pastry cutter. It just seems like another gadget that doesn’t work. I use my hands, too!

    • I took mine from my grandmother’s when she passed away – along with all her old kitchen gadgets. I have never quite gotten the handle on this one though! I don’t think she did either!

  7. They look excellent! I’d love to try them.

  8. what nice recipe!!

  9. Ohhhh I love your tortilla press! I have made these but had to roll them out by hand….total pain, but still very much worth it. Yours look divine! This was my first month with the club, too – isn’t it great? Glad you meet you!

  10. You have a tortilla press?! That’s so cool! I tried homemade tortillas once but they turned out too thick so I’m crazy jealous of your tortilla press. The tortillas look like the turned out delicious!

  11. Looks wonderful!

  12. These are on my to-do list as weel. I think it needs to be done sooner than later. These look perfect!

  13. Wow these look great. I have never tried making flour tortillas before.

  14. I love this recipe. I’ve had great luck with, minus this weekend when I tried it with whole wheat flour and totally overcooked them. Yours look great! And I like how close to circular the tortilla press gets them… mine always end up looking like rectangles or hearts.

  15. Wow! Totally authentic looking! I have been meaning to take part in the Secret Recipe event and always forget to enroll. I was thinking of ordering a pastry cutter but maybe not now…

  16. Fresh homemade tortillas are the Best! I’ve made Bayless’ recipe myself. It awesome!

  17. These look wonderful and I probably would have eaten the entire batch with butter, YUM.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Holy Guacamole.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

  18. In India, this forms a part of our daily meal. Whole wheat flour is also used.

  19. They came out beautiful Annie…there is nothing better than a homemade flour tortilla…they usually disappear as soon as they come off the griddle…
    I usually roll out the flour by hand and use the press for corn…speaking of which I have no idea where my press is…
    Hmmmmmm…I have not made them for a very long time….gotta look ……you have inspired me!

  20. I love simple recipes like this. I will have to dig out the tortilla press one of these days again to try it out! and i agree with the pastry cutter comment…always seems to be a PITA for me too. lol. hands are a much better tool! welcome to SRC. Heather from http://www.itsyummytomytummy.blogspot.com

  21. These look awesome, and your part about the pastry cutter is so true! I always end up with my hands too 🙂

  22. I have a new toy in my wishlist, a tortilla press.

  23. I keep telling myself I want to make homemade tortillas. Glad to be part of SRC with you!

  24. I would enjoy these warm with PB or a pat of butter. So fun to be in the Secret Recipe Club with you.

  25. […] Bakers Edible Containers was the most beautiful.    2.  Most Popular Post: Surprising to me the Flour Tortillas was the second most popular post.  The first was the Homemade Vanilla that you’ll see in […]

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