Homemade Flour Tortillas

I got a new toy!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Well, actually, I got it awhile ago, but this weekend was the first time I’ve gotten to use it because my life is JUST.SO.CRAZY.BUSY.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

HOWEVER. I was craving some thick, fluffy, homemade tortilla-y goodness. So I busted out the tortilla press and away I went! (ps WOW a hundred pictures of tan-colored tortillas can get real boring real fast. BUT HEY there’s a pretty, colorful taco picture at the end. So there’s that).

Homemade Flour Tortillas

It’s actually very easy to make your own flour tortillas. Especially if you invest in one of these tortilla presses. The dough is very springy (much like this pierogi dough) so rolling it out by hand can be a pain. And make your arms hurt. But when I use the press, the dough is much less likely to spring back on itself and my tortillas are much quicker to make and much better about holding their shape. I picked this one up for twenty bucks at Crate and Barrel over Christmas, although before that I’d been eyeing this one from Amazon for quite awhile. (It was Christmas. It was an impulse buy. What can I say).

Homemade Flour Tortillas

All you have to do to transport yourself to homemade tortilla land, though, is throw some flour on your press (or on a cutting board, if you’d rather roll it out by hand with a rolling pin! It’ll take a bit longer but works just fine):

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Then roll up a ball of dough that fits in your palm:

Homemade Flour Tortillas

 And put it on the floured side of your press. Make sure to flour the top of your dough, too, so that it doesn’t stick to the top of the press!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Then flip the top piece down onto the dough,

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Then pull the handle back over the top of the press, and push down for about 20 seconds (to make sure the dough is all stretched out and will hold its shape!)

Homemade Flour Tortillas

And voila! A beautiful, raw tortilla. Set the formed tortillas on a floured tea towel until you’re ready to cook them.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

To cook the tortillas, heat up a dry pan (I used cast iron) until it’s feelin’ HOT HOT HOT. Then cook tortillas for 30-40 seconds on each side, until they’ve developed some pockets of a nice, brown, crispy color.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

See?? How easy was that? These tortillas are a bit thicker than what you might be used to, but they are great for tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, you name it! I’m in love. Look, here’s one in action: (Recipe comin’ atcha later this week!)

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Homemade Flour Tortillas (With a tortilla press!)
YIELD: 10-13 tortillas
  • 3 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (some folks like to use lard, but I prefer Crisco)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 and ½ cups water (you probably won’t need it all!)
  1. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and vegetable shortening. Work through the mixture with your hands, breaking up the shortening until the mixture is incorporated and has a slightly mealy texture.
  2. With the dough hook on your mixer (or by hand, if you prefer) stream in about 1 cup of the water and stir until it has been absorbed by the flour. Then, add water a tablespoon at a time while your mixer kneads the dough (or add a tablespoon of water, then break and knead by hand for a minute to incorporate it) until you have a smooth dough. Dough should be smooth and elastic, but not sticky. I used a little under 1 and ¼ cups of water when I made these, to achieve the right consistency. If you add too much water and the dough is too sticky, even it out by kneading in another tablespoon of flour.
  3. Roll the dough into balls that fit comfortably in your palm. Using a tortilla press or a rolling pin, roll each ball of dough out into a round tortilla shape.
  4. Heat a large, flat pan (preferably cast iron) over high heat until it is HOT. Cook tortillas for 30-40 seconds on each side until they’ve browned up a little bit. Serve immediately or store them in the fridge and reheat whenever you’re craving a quesadilla.

Homemade Flour Tortillas



  1. says

    Yes, traditionalist will tell you that you can only roll out flour tortillas and will have a complete meltdown if you even dare mention the word “press”. I do let my dough rest for an hour after kneading it and that seems to help with the springiness of the dough. Also, a bit of wax paper helps keep the dough sticking as well and avoids a huge flour mess which, I tend to make.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Candy says

    Thank you for letting us know that it is ok to use a press for flour tortillas, some websites act like that is the unpardonable sin. As I am getting a bit older, rolling tortillas has become a bit of a chore, look forward to trying a press. There is a cast iron press I have my eye on.

    • Jessie says

      Thanks, Candy! I am all for using a press – it saves me a ton of time and a ton of mess! Hope you like the pressing method!

  3. Dianna Lara says

    I take a large zip type freezer bag and cut off all 4 sides. U end up with 2 pieces. I put one piece on press. Put tortilla ball centered and 2nd piece of freezer bad on top and press. No fuss no clean up

  4. Tom T says

    Just finished making these, substituting 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1 cup warm water. Probably too much oil, but the texture and flavor were better than any I’ve made before. Since my press is cast iron, I tried pre-heating it and cooking the tortillas right on it. I pressed them for 1-2 seconds, then let off the pressure and continued cooking. They came out about as thin as rolled, and it was so much easier! Thanks for posting this recipe…I’ve always wanted to try this. I see many tortillas in my near future. :)

    • Jessie says

      I’m glad you liked them! I love the idea of cooking them right on a cast-iron press. Thanks for letting me know how they turned out!

  5. Art says

    You have accomplished what I have always wanted to do.
    Keep up the good work.

    You might want to try using Coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, it really improves the flavor.

  6. AkMom says

    Sooooooo, I just made my first ever batch of homemade tortillas using a different recipe, and got to thinking about a tortilla press.
    Everything I read had the dreaded “OMG no!!” response to using them for flour tortillas.

    You say it works just fine? I’m thinking I know what I want for Christmas.
    Thank you!

    • Jessie says

      It works great for me! The thing about flour tortillas is the dough has a tendency to spring back on itself, but the alternative to the press is rolling them out by hand (which I hate) so this works great for me! I just make sure to put a lot of pressure on the tortilla for a good 20 seconds or so when I press it, and generally it doesn’t spring back too much. I also make sure to flour both sides of the press so the tortillas don’t stick, and I’ve been really happy with the results. You could also probably use a pasta roller to roll the tortilla dough if you don’t have a press and don’t want to roll it by hand – but I haven’t gotten around to trying that one yet :)

    • Jessie says

      I haven’t tried it with butter yet, but I think it would work alright. Just be sure that the butter is cold and cut into small chunks, much like when making biscuits. Melted or even room-temperature butter can change the makeup of the batter, so I’d stick with cold butter and avoid overworking the dough. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

  7. James says

    For a healthier alternative, use olive oil. Crisco is closer to plastic than any kind of food, and lard is….well, just gross.

    • James Peach says

      Although lard is actually the traditional way to make them and many agree is the most delicious. Shortening is definitely a healthier option, and if you use butter flavored shortening it tastes better than regular shortening. I’m not sure if you’ve dealt with much raw fat, but it’s primarily solid. I also would find it hard to get an authentic Mexican flavor out of olive oil.

  8. Allyson says

    I’ve made tortillas with a recipe that calls for coconut oil. I don’t know if i should be using crisco or coconut oil for a healthier alternative – any suggestions?

    • Jessie says

      Hi Ali,

      I’ve never tried them with coconut oil, so I can’t speak to the effects it might have on this recipe. I am always wary of substituting a liquid (like olive oil or vegetable oil) for a solid (like shortening), because it will change the texture and consistency of the final product. If you want to stay away from Crisco, there are several organic and all-natural alternatives on the market (check a good health store or Google it for specifics). Lard might seem “gross” to us these days (Particularly to Americans, who have been taught that it’s “gross” for a few generations now) but it’s actually a staple in many non-American cuisines. It’s really only been demonized over the last few decades in this country (see this article for more details: http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/cooking-with-lard-zmgz12djzkon.aspx#axzz2dHoUf9lJ). If you still prefer to use some type of oil, definitely give it a try, but I’d recommend making a half batch to test it out. If you try it, let me know how it turns out! Hope that helps :)

      • Amy B says

        Coconut oil is generally solid, it really only turns liquidy when it gets to about 75 degrees F and above. I will be subbing coconut oil in for the crisco in this recipe, I will have to let you know how it turns out!

    • Jessie says

      I have actually never tried them without baking powder! I HAVE noticed that they’re easier to bend/wrap when they’re warm, but haven’t noticed a pretzel-y taste when I make these. I will also say that these make some seriously AMAZING quesadillas. Maybe I’ll try them without baking powder, though, to see if I can tell a difference!

  9. Becky M. says

    Love homemade tortillas… We’ve only made them a couple of times, but my husband and I had a pretty good flow going where I could get one rolled out in the time it took him to get the last one cooked on both sides. It takes a long time though, so I can see where the press would be really useful!

    Yours look super yummy!

Leave a Comment