homemade flour tortillas

i love taco bell.

i know, i know. taco bell is not good for your health.  the meat in their tacos probably isn’t even real meat.  but still it’s sooo good.  in fact today i had some taco bell for lunch and it was delicious.  my favorite is their crunchwrap supreme.  yum!

i often have cravings for mexican food – whether the fake kind from taco bell or other fast food chains or more real kind that you can make at home or get at an actual restaurant.  so this weekend, when i had a craving for tacos i remembered that i had seen a recipe for homemade tortillas on an awesome blog called pennies on a platter.  then off i went making my own tortillas.  win!

but as you can tell above, i am not so good at rolling out tortillas.  they are all kinds of funny shapes (similar to the pita bread that i made a while ago) and the edges are all jaggedy.  but that’s okay because even though they looked a hot mess they were perfect with the fajitas we made for dinner that night.  they are super fresh with soft, flaky layers.  sounds pretty good right.

and you know what?  flour tortillas are actually fairly easy to make.  i was definitely surprised.   plus they are made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.  i can’t wait to practice  making some more so my tortillas can look prettier like store bought ones.  ooo and maybe even try to make corn or whole wheat tortillas.  i’m excited!

the dough starts with some flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  just pulse a couple times to get everything combined.

then add in the fat – i used shortening but you can also use lard (yuck!), butter, or olive oil.

pulse until the mixture is evenly crumbly.

now you’re going to slowly pour the water into the food processor while it is still going.

keep mixing until a ball of dough forms.  it should be sticky but shouldn’t stick to your fingers.

turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface.  then divide the dough into 2 oz balls.   i used my kitchen scale to help ensure that each ball was evenly sized.

the recipe said that you would get 12 balls, but i only got 11.  oh well.

then cover the dough with a dish towel and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.  isn’t this a super cute dish towel?  i got them for free from cath kidston when i was in london.  love!

now it’s time to roll out the ball of dough into tortillas.  try to make them thin, but not too thin and do your best to roll them out into a circle.  mine all looked like funny ovals and misshapen blobs.  haha.

finally, cook the tortillas in a large pan over medium high heat.  they only need about 15-25 seconds on each side.

to keep your tortillas warm, stack them on a plate and cover with a clean dish towel.  serve immediately or cool them completely and store the tortillas in a ziplock bag.

though i still love me some taco bell – making my own homemade tortillas will be a great way for me to satisfy my mexican food cravings. 🙂

Homemade Flour Tortillas

from Pennies on a Platter


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons shortening, cut up into sections (or use lard, softened butter, olive oil)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup warm water


  1. Pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the fat and process until the mixture is uniformly crumbly, about 5 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. With the food processor still on, slowly stream in the water, just until the dry ingredients form a ball and starts traveling around the bowl.
  3. Knead the dough for about 30 more seconds, until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl and is tacky.  If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour and continue to knead.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface or pastry mat.  Divide the dough into 12 golf-ball sized portions, about 2 ounces each.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.  I use a cast iron skillet.
  6. Working with one dough ball at a time while keeping the others covered with the kitchen towel, pat the dough ball into a disk.  Dust the top lightly with flour then use a rolling pin to spread it out to a very thin 8-inch round.
  7. Carefully transfer the tortilla to the heated skillet and cook each side for 15 to 25 seconds, until the bubbles are browned.  Be careful not to cook too long as they will turn crispy. Also watch the temperature of the heat and turn it down if necessary.  Keep somewhere between medium to medium high.
  8. Transfer to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel to keep pliable.  Repeat for remaining dough balls.
  9. Serve immediately, while warm, or store for later use.  To store, keep in a zip-locked bag on the counter for up to 3 days.  Or, store room temperature tortillas in the freezer in a freezer bag.  Rewarm wrapped in foil in the oven, or between paper towels in the microwave.

Printer Friendly Recipe: Homemade Flour Tortillas

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  1. Glad you gave these a try and liked them! Great job! I love the sense of accomplishment after making these, each time. 🙂


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