How to Make Flour Tortillas

Skip the trip to the store and make fresh tortillas at home.

Tender, flavorful and simple to make, once you know how to make homemade flour tortillas, you may never pick up store-bought again. Made with a simple 4-ingredient dough and a quick sizzle in a dry, ungreased skillet, making fresh homemade tortillas is easier than you may think.

The key to their tenderness and flavor is lard. While shortening or extra-virgin olive oil will do in a pinch, lard lends much more richness and tenderness to the dough. So grab that lard and skillet and get sizzling with some homemade tortillas!

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1 Mix Dry Ingredients & Lard

Combine 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup lard and mix it in with your fingers until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Or, pulse 4 – 5 times in a food processor, taking care not to over mix.

Tortillas are traditionally made with lard because of the flavor and tender texture it creates. An equal amount of shortening or extra-virgin olive oil may be substituted.

2 Add Water

Add 3/4 cup cold water and mix until the dough just comes together.

3 Knead Dough

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead with the heel of your hand about 5 to 10 times until it is smooth and elastic. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

4 Divide Dough

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.


5 Roll Out Tortillas

With floured hands, gently pat each dough ball into a flattened disc. On a floured surface, roll out each ball into a very thin 7-inch to 8-inch circle.  Don't worry if the tortillas aren't perfectly round!

6 Cook First Side

Preheat a dry, ungreased skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, place one tortilla in the center of the pan. Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute until the tortilla has browned spots and puffy bubbles. The tortillas should be cooked until slightly golden, but not crisp.

To cook properly, ensure your pan is hot before adding tortillas. The tortillas should sizzle quietly when placed in the pan. If they don't sizzle, the pan isn't hot enough. If the pan smokes, it is too hot.

7 Flip & Finish Cooking

Flip the tortilla and cook on the other side for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until golden brown. Place on a plate or baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel to keep tortillas warm. Repeat the cooking process with remaining tortillas. 

Enjoy warm tortillas with your favorite dishes!

About Kitchen Is My Playground

Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on PinterestFacebookTwitter or Google+.