The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Homemade Flour Tortillas


Homemade Tortillas

The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Homemade Flour Tortillas

There are a few sacred grocery items that we all have to have on hand at all times. For me, there are several. Eggs. Yogurt. Extra-sharp cheddar and extra-virgin olive oil. Unsalted butter. Good coffee and creamer. Wine, of course. Certain paper products, like paper towels. And flour tortillas. But since we live in the sticks without a Trader Joe’s right around the corner, I have to make a weekly trek to Earth Fare to procure my organic ones.

Tortillas are so handy for so many purposes – breakfast burritos, lunch wraps, a quickie pizza base, enchiladas and chimichangas – it’s one convenient item that I happily pay for. But, a few months back with soft tacos on the menu, sure as the dickens that I had my prized stash way in the back of the produce crisper, I opened the drawer, dug around and found it empty. I was not a happy camper. Nothing can bum you out like an out-of-stocker that you were counting on for dinner that is rapidly approaching. I weighed a few options – taco salad instead? But I was craving soft tacos. Spicy beef tucked into a warm tortilla, brimming with crisp toppings and topped with a generous dollop of guac and sour cream.

I thought, “Seriously, how hard could it be to make a really good tortilla?” It’s a pretty simple dough, so, I measured some flour, added a little salt and baking powder, cut in some vegetable shortening and trickled in some hot water. Rolled out the tortillas and griddled them over a hot flame. And, after just one fabulous bite, I mentally crossed store-bought tortillas off my perpetual list of those Must-Have-on-Hand items because after tasting a hot, fresh, homemade one, I couldn’t possibly go back to the kind in the plastic bags ever again.

The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Homemade Flour Tortillas
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Breads, Sides
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, preferably non-hydrogenated
  • ¾ cup hot water

  1. Have 8 squares (each about 10-inches) of parchment paper handy. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture has pea-sized lumps. Drizzle in the water, tossing the flour mixture with your hands as you pour. Add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until you have a slightly sticky dough. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Flour your work surface; evenly divide the dough into 8 balls. Use a floured rolling pin to roll out each tortilla into a circle, about 8 inches in diameter (roll from the center out, much like pie dough). Place it on a piece of parchment paper and place another piece of parchment paper on top of the tortilla. Continue rolling the remaining balls of dough, separating each with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Heat a dry nonstick griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Use the parchment paper to lift off one tortilla and place it in the skillet – parchment side up. Remove the parchment paper and cook the tortilla about 1 minute per side, until it puffs slightly and begins to brown. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Serve immediately or keep warm in aluminum foil or a slow oven until ready to serve.

…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:

Planning: Keep the cooked tortillas in an airtight container in the refrigerator; reheat in a dry skillet. You can also freeze them; place in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and gently reheat.
Product Purity: There are some organic options for non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, like Spectrum and Earth Balance, available at whole foods markets.
Presentation: Remember, homemade foods, like tortillas, are supposed to look homemade, which is, in my humble opinion, what makes them so appealing.

© 2013 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.


You might also like:

Chicken Enchilladas with Green Chile Sacue

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sauce


Homemade Tortilla Chips

Homemade Taco Shells

Homemade Taco Shells


Like the photo? Check out how it was made In the Studio.

Content and photography © 2013 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted in Breads and Baked Goods, Cooking, The Stock Pot and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Homemade Flour Tortillas

  1. Pingback: Cinco De Mayo Fabulous Fiesta Foods - The Cottage Market

  2. Deb Hathaway says:

    I was wondering if you could use a food processor to combine everything… kind of like making a pie dough? I’m squeemish about ‘cutting in’ shortening.

    • Hi, Deb – Yes, you can use your food processor like you would for a pie dough. Just use the pulse button to cut in the shortening; add the water and pulse until the dough just comes together.

  3. Purabi Naha says:

    This is gorgeous and so healthy! I love tortillas and your filling looks delicious!

  4. akiasi says:

    I’ve been eyeing a tortilla press for some time now (on Amazon). It would be nice–not to mention impressive–to make tortillas for the family from now on. We spend a small fortune on corn tortillas, so this recipe is right on time.

  5. Yes, one of those items that is “must have” in my fridge too. I love your recipe, very simple and I am happy too see that it doesn’t required tortilla maker. Delicious picture!