Learn how to make soft flour tortillas at home, it’s so easy and cheaper than buying them at the store. Plus homemade flour tortillas taste way better than the packaged stuff — you’ll never want to buy them again!
What Are Flour Tortillas
Tortillas de harina or flour tortillas are a Mexican flatbread commonly eaten in the Northern states of Mexico. However nowadays, they have become popular throughout the whole country.
How Do You Make Flour Tortillas
Making flour tortillas at home is one of the easiest foods you can possibly cook!
You only need 4 ingredients and they are common pantry items everyone should have in their kitchen at all times. You need flour, salt, a fat (either oil or shortening or lard), and water of course.
The ingredients are mixed together, allowed to rest, shaped into small balls, rolled out into flat disks and then cook for a few minutes on a hot comal.
It’s truly so easy that even children can learn to make tortillas de harina at home!
What Makes This Recipe a Vegan Flour Tortilla Recipe
Traditionally many people used lard instead of vegetable oil to make flour tortillas.
Of course we don’t want to consume lard, a fat derived from the fat of animals, so oil is the best vegan option.
My recipe uses vegetable oil and I have also used olive oil and melted or liquid coconut oil with good results. Experiment to find your favorite.
Why Is Baking Powder Used in Flour Tortillas
Some people use baking powder so that the tortillas will have the air bubbles and make them puff up when they are cooking. It’s intended as a leavening agent — much like yeast with loaves of bread.
Do You Have to Use Baking Powder to Make Flour Tortillas
The short and quick answer is a firm no!
Well, every family has its own recipe and some people like to add baking powder to their tortilla mix, but there are plenty that chooses not to. I’m one that chooses not to and finds baking powder unnecessary in flour tortillas.
In the many years I’ve made homemade flour tortillas only a couple of times have I ever used baking powder, and I was not happy with the results.
I have found that baking powder actually makes the masa or dough tougher. It dries out the dough and makes it harder to roll out the tortillas.
How Do You Get Airy and Puffy Tortillas
I have personally found that the key to making flour tortillas light, airy and puff up, is to let them rest so that the flour has a chance to hydrate well. Then you want to also make sure that you’re mixing the ingredients well and the kneading will also add air.
Another trick is that when the tortilla is on the comal cooking, use a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. As you see the air bubbles appear you can gently press on then to help more air build up and create more airy tortillas. (Watch the video for a visual guide.)
How to Make Flour Tortilla | Vegan, Quick & Easy Recipe
- Equipment Needed:
- rolling pin,
- comal or griddle or large pan
- clean kitchen towel for covering the cooked tortillas
- bag or container with a lid to store the tortillas
- 2 cups all-purpose wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water maybe less or more*
- extra flour for dusting
- In a mixing bowl mix the flour and salt until well combined, make a well in the center, and add in all of the oil and half of the water. Mix until well the ingredients are coming together and little by little adding more water until your dough comes together and isn’t sticky. Please notice that depending on the conditions of your home you may need to add more or less water to get the dough to come together. Drizzle just a little bit of oil into the bottom of your mixing bowl, then place the dough back in the bowl, cover and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- After 10 to 15 minutes check on the dough. It should be soft, moist, stretchy, and easy to work with. If it isn’t then cover and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Divide the dough into small even-sized balls around the size of golf balls. Shape them into proper balls then place the little balls back into the bowl and cover. Place your comal/griddle/pan on the stove over medium-high heat. While you wait for it to warm up you can begin rolling out the tortillas.
- Dust your work surface with a little bit of dust, and also rub the rolling pin with some flour too. Place one dough ball onto the work surface, use your palm to flatten down. Then begin rolling and stretching out the dough into a circular shape and to 1/8th of an inch thick. Don’t stress it if your tortillas aren’t perfect circles — it’s the taste, not the shape that matters most. Carefully place your rolled out tortilla on the comal/griddle/pan and allow to cook for about 2 minutes or until you see the dough change color and air bubbles begin to form. (Please watch the video for a visual guide).
- Carefully flip over the tortilla and cook for about a minute or less — you’ll see more air bubbles for and it cooks rather quickly so keep an eye on it so that you can take it off the heat. The tortillas should be soft and little golden spots, but not be hard or crispy — they need to bend and roll with ease. Once cooked cover the tortilla in your clean kitchen cloth to keep warm.
- Next, roll out another dough ball into a tortilla repeating step number 3. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to time the cooking perfectly so that you can be rolling and cooking the tortillas at the same time without having to stop. Serve your tortillas warm as desired and store any leftovers in the fridge inside a plastic bag or a sealed container.
Troubleshooting Flour Tortilla Problems
- My Tortillas Turned Out Dry: Too much flour was added when rolling them out or not enough water was added when making the dough. Another reason is not allowing them to rest and let the flour hydrate properly.
- My Tortillas Crack When I Fold Them: Again it can be a water or hydration issue. Or if they’re rolled out too thinly they’ll tend to crack.
- What if I Don’t Want to Use Oil: You can use vegetable shortening instead. Use 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Some Of Our Recipes Using Flour Tortillas
- Bean, Spinach & Goat Cheese Burritos
- Zucchini Blossom Quesadillas | Quesadillas De Flor De Calabaza
- Healthy Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips
Flour Tortillas Are Comfort Food
One of my fondest childhood memories is of my abuelita spoiling, in her own way, her son-in-law, that would be my Papi (father). She would hear that he was coming to visit her and would go into her kitchen to prepare a special treat for my Papi.
She would make him homemade flour tortillas. I never saw her do this for anyone else and often wonder if she ever made them for any other son-in-law of hers.
My abuelitas tortillas were always so soft, warm and unlike any other I have ever tasted.
You may be wondering what the big deal is about flour tortillas, they are not commonly found in my hometown. Flour tortillas are not as common as corn on every Mexican table. They seem to be consumed the most in the northern states of Mexico and in Tex-Mex cuisine.
My mother also makes amazing flour tortillas, and it was a special treat we had every once in a while or when we ran out of corn ones.
I would watch my mom prepare the dough, divide it into small balls and roll them out so fast that she could almost keep up with us scarfing them down.
I was too busy eating and being a rebellious teenager to see the exact ingredients and appreciate the work that goes into making tortillas. But at least I could acknowledge that my mother’s tortillas were the best tortillas ever made by anyone in the US, period!
It was because of these fond childhood memories that one day I decided to learn to make my own flour tortillas. It’s been nearly a decade and I can proudly say my own are pretty darn good.
♫Music By♫ Nicolai Heidlas from HookSounds.com
Royalty Free Music from HookSounds https://www.hooksounds.com
(*recipe updated April 2020)