Homemade Flour Tortillas

Mexican meals are a staple in our household. I mean, when don't they satisfy? Give me a bowl of rice and beans any night, and I'm a happy camper. Having deliciously seasoned meat, cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and other toppings are all pluses, but honestly, I could do without most of them. 

But, while a very economic and humble meal is good every now and then, many times it is nice to spruce up a plain bowl of rice and beans with some tortillas on the side. Or, most times, a Mexican meal will simply call for them. So on those days, I will make homemade flour tortillas. 

Beneath the Crust: Homemade Tortillas

Like most baking and cooking from scratch, homemade flour tortillas seem a chore too much right off the bat. But, if you get into the habit, they really don't take much. From start to finish, I have made tortillas and assembled breakfast burritos within an hour. Homemade tortillas also freeze amazingly well, so I'll frequently block off a chunk of time, make a whole bunch, and then freeze them to have on hand for later. But most of all, they taste so good. Honestly. At the end of the day, standard store bought tortillas just aren't worth it to me anymore in the taste department.

So here's my basic recipe:

Homemade Flour Tortillas


  • 3 cups flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1/3 cup fat (I most often use olive oil, but the best is animal fat like lard, sausage grease, bacon grease, etc... These keep the tortillas soft and malleable, both when rolling out and after cooking when you want them to fit all those burrito fillings you've piled on. To achieve the same effect, I'll sometimes use butter. It is not the same though.)


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until a shaggy dough forms. Pour out onto the counter and briefly knead just until it comes together (don't expect much). Divide into 16 balls (I never am precise with size) and let rest on the counter for roughly 15 min.

  2. Heat skillet on medium to high heat. When dough balls have rested, roll one out as thin and as evenly in a circle as possible. (This is tough. Mine hardly look like circles most times. But this is where the animal fat helps with keeping the dough thin but not springing back or ripping.) Once you have rolled it out, place it on the skillet and cook until bubbles form, roughly a minute or two. Flip and cook on the other side until the tortilla reaches a golden brown. (I like a charred spot or two, but avoid overdoing it -- they can easily overcook and become brittle and difficult to roll up later.)

  3. While one tortilla is cooking, roll out the next one. Continue until all the tortillas are cooked. If using right away, stack tortillas on top of each other and keep covered with tin foil to maintain their warmth and malleability. Otherwise, store in a ziplock bag or wrapped in tin foil in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to at least a few months. Putting wax paper in between each tortilla will ensure none stick, but most times it isn't necessary.


Slightly adapted from this recipe.