Flour tortillas

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 cups warm water
2 TBSP oil (can reduce to 1 TBSP)

Combine flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine (or mix by hand). Combine warm water with oil and gradually mix in. Pulse just until a ball of dough forms, then remove from food processor and knead for 10-20 seconds (knead only enough to combine the dough. Tortilla dough will not roll out well if gluten is developed. It does not need to be kneaded like bread dough, think of the dough more like a biscuit dough that just needs to be well combined).

Divide into 6-8 rounded balls (a little smaller than a golf ball) and allow dough to rest for 30 minutes under a damp cloth. Flour surface and roll into a thin tortilla. Roll dough into an even oval shape, turn 45 degrees, then roll into a larger oval, turn 45 degrees and roll into a nice round shape. If you don’t get the tortilla thin enough after your three rolls, repeat rolling dough into an oval shape, then turning 45 degrees until you get a 9 inch thin round shape.

Preheat a large skillet to medium heat (this could take 5 minutes or more), then cook each tortilla for 1 minute (20 seconds on one side, then flip and cook for 20 seconds, flip once more and cook for an additional 20 seconds). The tortilla should bubble a little and should have light brown spots. Store warm tortillas under a dry cloth while the others cook. Freezes well.

I've gone through a dozen rolling pins over the years and have finally found my favorite- a wooden dowel from Home Depot! We met a women from Mexico that had been rolling out tortilla's since she was 3 years old (yes, this is her recipe- isn't it the best?). Her favorite rolling pin was the handle of a broomstick her husband cut off and sanded for her.

I bought a 1 1/4 inch dowel and cut it 14 inches long and lightly sanded it. It's perfect and has made tortilla's, pie crusts, sugar cookies, etc. so much easier to roll out!

I prefer to roll the tortillas as I cook them. I roll them out next to the stove and immediately place on the hot pan to cook. While the tortilla is cooking, I roll out the next tortilla. If you are making tortillas for the first time, it can be helpful to work as a team with two people. Have one person rolling the tortillas and the second person standing at the stove, flipping the tortillas. Once you are used to rolling the tortillas, it is easy to do alone.

Here is a great youtube video that shows how to roll out the dough into a nice round shape.


Irina said...

I've made these too, but I read to use baking powder which made them puff up... your look more like it...

Rebekah said...

This recipe looks great. I've made tortillas before, but had serious trouble with my tortillas either burning or the pan smoking too much. Do you use any kind of oil for cooking these?

Emily said...

Hi Rebekah, I admit that making tortillas are my least favorite task in the kitchen- but nothing can beat the taste of homemade tortillas.

It took me a little while to find a pan that could hold up to the abuse. I use a flat All-clad nonstick griddle for my glasstop stove. When I upgrade to a gas stove, I'll prefer to use a cast iron flat griddle.

Once you find a pan that can handle the heat, you'll loose the problems of uneven cooking and actual smoking.

I cook mine at medium and get some nice brown spots on the tortillas (which I want there) but they never burn. However, at the end of a batch the house will smell like burnt tortillas (the smell goes away quickly).

The women from Mexico that I got this recipe from gets the same burnt smell in her house too so I assume its from cooking so many at a high heat.

Don't use oil on the pan, just cook them dry (it will be the flour dust on the tortilla that can cause the burnt smell). Good luck!

Rebekah said...

Emily - THANK YOU! I look forward to trying this. We love Mexican and tortillas are a staple in my house. :)

Emily said...

Hi Rebekah, give them a try. At first, your tortillas will look like the shape of Idaho or Texas but it gets easier and they will get rounder. They will taste so good, your family won't mind the funny shapes at first. :)

I just saw a cast iron flat circle griddle at Walmart for $9.00- it would be perfect for these. Good luck!

Amanda said...

These are great. I'm making them for a second round tonight. I've been happy with them doing so well in the freezer too!
I'm going to look into buying a tortilla press because I love the home made taste, but not the work that goes into rolling. lol

Emily said...

Hi Sunchips! Glad to hear you gave them a try. I used a tortilla press for the first few years I made them, then switched to the stove.

An electric tortilla press like the one I had (here is a link) doesn't get hot enough to cook them how they are supposed to be. It was better than nothing, but very challenging to use and get it to work right. Keep practicing and they will get easier to make.

Also be sure to let the dough rest for a long time so they roll out easier. Good luck!

Holly said...

I've made 3 of your recipes in the last 3 days Emily! I'm so glad I came across your blog. I have been looking for a way to get rid of some of the processed food we eat and you have done all the homework for us. I also LOVE the way you detail things out for people like me that are very intimidated about making bread recipes. I love your "things bread makers assume you know" section.

Anyway, I did this recipe with my hubby. I had a few tortillas and a few crowns, devils and maybe one Texas. ha Eventually, I'll get the right shape. But, we all loved the recipe. I might try the 1 T of oil next time just to see the difference. We used a cast iron round pan and after about 3 tortillas, the pan finally heated up enough to make your timing right. Again, we are amateurs.

Only question is what do you do with your rolled out tortillas before you cook them?...or are you cooking and rolling at the same time. We did 4, cooked 4, rolled 4, cooked 4. Is there a better way?

Emily said...

Hi Holly,

So glad to hear you enjoyed the tortillas and thank you for all the sweet comments. I’m glad to hear that my blog has helped and you have enjoyed the recipes. Don’t worry, with practice your tortillas will come out round and you’ll get less the shape of Texas. Cast iron pans take a lot longer to warm up. I use an All Clad flat skillet pan and let it heat for 5 minutes or so to get it hot. You may need to let your cast iron heat even longer before you start. You may also find that it gets too hot if you are cooking a lot of tortillas in a row. Adjust the heat if needed to keep it from browning the tortillas too quickly.

As far as timing, I roll out a tortilla right next to the stove, then place it right onto the hot pan to cook. While it cooks I roll out a second tortilla. If I get ahead, I’ll have one tortilla read to go when I start a second one. If you are working as a team, you can have your husband watch the cooking tortillas and flip them. Then have you focus on just rolling the tortillas.

It is easier to roll out the tortillas if you use the full amount of oil and the dough is on the wetter side (instead of more dry). I would recommend waiting until you feel very comfortable rolling the tortillas before you reduce the amount of oil.

Good luck! I love your feedback.

Thanks, Emily

Amy Dansie said...

Hi Emily,

I am going to give this a try. My family should own stock in tortillas with as many as we eat. I am wondering what your advice is for whole wheat tortillas. Any idea how that would work out?

Thanks for helping to learn how to BEST!! I hope all is well. I just had someone from another ward call to see if I can do their quarterly meeting on food storage in September. Killer. Good times.

Jessica said...

I made your tortilla last night and they were AMAZING. Both my husband and I were pleasantly surprised! I love your blog...thanks for all the great tips and recipes!

Anonymous said...

I have purchased the all purpose flour for this recipe but am wondering if I need to add any baking powder. Thanks

Emily said...

No need to add any baking powder. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Emily I tried the recipe without the baking powder and the tortillas were the best I have ever tasted. I made two batches because I substituted half of the flour in one batch with stone ground whole wheat flour. I never imagined I would enjoy a good whole wheat tortilla. I live where all our grandmas rolled handmade tortillas daily and this recipe is easier to make and even healthier and tastier. My girls loved it. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

Emily said...

I'm so glad to hear you had great luck with the tortillas! Thanks for the follow up.