20 June 2017

Homemade Tortillas

I promised to try out tortilla recipes and report back a while ago, didn't I? Like, somewhere around spring break? I may have passed the acceptable "better late than never" threshold here, but... at least I have a well-tested recipe for you? The last time I made them, Matt said, "You can make these any time you want to!" So I think we have a pretty good recipe here.

Well, I'm making another batch tonight, so I figured I'd get some photos and finally post the recipe. It takes a few steps, so it's certainly not as quick as using store-bought tortillas, but it's not all that complicated. And in my opinion, there's a world of difference in flavor between a store-bought tortilla and a homemade one fresh out of the skillet; I came down with an awful headcold today, and despite feeling like staying sprawled on the couch all afternoon, the prospect of having to eat store-bought tortillas for supper was enough to get me into the kitchen.

Flour Tortillas

3 cups flour*
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup lukewarm water
5 Tablespoons coconut oil (solid)

Mix together flour(s) and salt, and cut in the coconut oil until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water and knead several times until the dough is smooth. Divide into 16 to 20 balls of equal size and let rest at least ten minutes, up to two hours.**

Heat a skillet or griddle to 400 degrees F. Place one ball of dough on a lightly-floured counter and roll out to a 6" to 8" circle-ish shape, as thin as you can easily get it without the dough tearing. (If you only made 16 balls, you should be able to get larger tortillas.) Lay tortilla on the hot skillet and cook for 30 seconds on each side. While it cooks, roll out the next tortilla; repeat process. (If you have a large enough skillet, cooking two at a time really helps speed the cooking along.) Stack cooked tortillas in a towel. Serve immediately.

Once cooled, leftover tortillas keep well in the refrigerator in a ziptop gallon bag for at least a week. Reheat in the microwave before trying to roll them; they'll tear if they are cold, but they roll up perfectly when warm.

*I've used straight all-purpose flour, straight spelt or whole wheat flour, and blends of the two, and all of them have worked fine. I prefer at least one cup of whole grain flour, but use whatever you prefer.

**I have not found any particular advantage to a shorter or longer rest time, but as you get up to the two-hour mark, the dough starts to dry out, so letting it go longer than that would make it harder to roll thin.


  1. Well, I for one am excited to try this recipe, belated though it may be!

    You know, whenever I have free time. :p

  2. I made these a couple of days ago and they turned out MUCH better than my previous attempts at tortillas. :) Though that might have more to do with my having obtained a cast iron skillet than anything else. (Cast iron is SO GREAT. I can't believe it took me 27 years to jump on that bandwagon.)

    1. I'm so glad they turned out well!

      Ooh, tell me about the skillet! I've been dragging my heels forever about actually using one, but you're the second person today to talk about how great they are, so maybe I just need to go for it. Are they really as hard to maintain as I've been afraid they are? What would happen to it if you cooked, say, eggs for breakfast and everyone had to run out the door immediately and you had to wait a few hours to wash it? Would it be horrible? Some mornings, I barely have time to rinse a pan and throw it into the dishwasher...

    2. By happy coincidence, I did that just this morning! :p

      So far I've had no trouble getting stuck on food off using a shake of coarse kosher salt and one of those plastic mesh things.

      And if you clean it when it's "fresh" you can pretty much just wipe it out with a sponge so it doesn't take long at all.

    3. Wow, that does sound simple! I may have to give cast iron skillets a try.

  3. Well I am super late to the party, but I just want to chime in and say you should definitely try cast iron! It's sooooooo awesome!

    And I have been meaning to look for a tortilla recipe, so thanks for making that easier!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! And, you're welcome. :-)