It’s time to ditch the store bought tortillas and make your own! These simple homemade flour tortillas are soft, tender and flavorful.
While homemade tortillas may seem intimidating, once you’ve made them, you’ll be a pro. You’ll also never want to eat a store bought tortilla again!? These easy homemade tortillas are perfect for Crazy Delicious Beef Enchiladas, Chicken Broccoli Quesadillas, or Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas.
Authentic Restaurant Style Tortillas
I grew up in a small town in northern California. We were surrounded by lots of really good Mexican food. When we went out to eat my dad would always request tortilla soup, chips, salsa, and fresh flour tortillas. They were amazing, especially with a little pat of butter on them.
I now have a hard time buying store bought tortillas. They’re just not the same… at all. So when we make carnitas, fajitas or enchiladas, homemade tortillas are a must! In the past I’ve used this recipe, however, since I can’t have dairy/soy right now I set out to find one that was oil-based. I tried a few versions with canola oil and baking powder, but ultimately found success using shortening (affiliate link for non-hydrogenated shortening) and ditching the leavening agent completely.
They came out perfect. Not too dry or crisp, not too soggy or bland. The method is simple, straightforward and can be done in advance. While these are definitely best when eaten fresh, they reheat beautifully! You can double the batch and stash some away in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week. I find it easier than making them again.
How to Make Flour Tortillas
MIX & KNEAD. Just mix the dough in a medium size bowl with a wooden spoon or dough whisk (affliliate link). Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
DIVIDE. Divide the dough into balls. You can make (16) 6-inch tortillas or (12) 8-inch tortillas. Of course if you want bigger ones for burritos, you’ll probably only get about 6.
REFRIGERATE. Place the balls onto a parchment or wax paper lined plate or baking sheet. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will help the gluten relax and prevent the tortillas from shrinking after being rolled.
ROLL. Roll each tortilla nice and thin. They will puff up!
PREP. Place a medium skillet over medium heat and add ½ teaspoon of canola or avocado oil. Use a paper towel to evenly coat the pan and remove any excess.
COOK. Cook the tortillas one at a time. They will need about 1 minute on each side. You’ll know they’re ready to flip when they begin bubbling up. They should have small brown spots on the bottom as well.
Don’t worry if your tortillas feel a little stiff. You can place them into tortilla warmer (affiliate link), non-stick pot with a lid on, or a large zip lock bag lined with paper towels. This will help them soften up.
Note: You don’t need to boil water for this recipe, just get the hottest water you can from your tap. Keep in mind you will be using your hands to knead the dough, so don’t scorch your hands!
Can you use wheat flour? You can use wheat flour in this recipe, but you may want to add more oil than the normal recipe. Whole wheat flour tends to dry out baked goods easier, hence the more oil that would be required. Add another ½ tsp of oil or so.
Store: We like to store our homemade tortillas in the fridge in an airtight ziploc bag. This way they will last for about a week.
Freeze Tortillas: Homemade tortillas can be stored in the freezer for up to 8 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before using.
Freeze the Dough: If you make too much dough and want to freeze some of the dough balls, it may mess with the gluten and not yield the normal results. But to freeze the dough balls, lay them out on a tray and freeze until solid. Then place the balls in an airtight ziploc bag and keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Use homemade tortillas in any of the following recipes:
Homemade Flour Tortillas Recipe
- 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 11/2 tsp coarse kosher sea salt
- 6 tbsp shortening - cut into 6 pieces
- 1 cup hot water - I used the hottest water I could get from my tap, no need to boil
- 1/2 tsp canola oil - or avocado oil
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the shortening. Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until a coarse mixture forms.
- Pour in the hot water and mix with a wooden spoon or dough whisk. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Divide the dough into equal size balls. 16 6-inch tortillas or 12 8-inch tortillas.
- Place the balls onto a parchment or wax paper lined plate or baking sheet. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Using a rolling pin, roll each ball until it's nice and thin. They will puff as they cook, so make sure they aren't thick.
- Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of canola or avocado oil. Use a paper towel to evenly coat the pan and remove any excess.
- Cook the tortillas one at a time. They will need about 1 minute on each side. Flip when they begin to bubble up. They should have small brown spots on the bottom.
- Place cooked tortillas into a tortilla warmer, non-stick pot with a lid on, or a large zip lock bag lined with paper towels. This will help them stay soft until used. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.