Homemade Flour Tortillas

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Sometimes I get the urge for steak tacos, but I don’t always have flour tortillas on hand.  Getting them means throwing the baby in the car seat and driving to the store, which is sometimes more effort than I want to put in for dense, store-bought flour tortillas.  And you may find it contradictory as homemade tortillas take a little effort and I could probably have gone to the store and back twice in the time it takes me to make these, but truly, nothing compares to a homemade tortilla.

There’s something about getting in there with your hands.  Feeling the flour in your hands and kneading the dough until it’s perfect and soft.  Rolling out the individual tortillas is a great activity to do with the kids.  I bought my four year old daughter her own small wooden rolling pin, which she uses not only to help me roll out the discs of dough but also when we make pasta and cookies.  She loves helping in the kitchen and I love sharing those memories with her.  By the end of it, we’re both covered in flour and munching on warm tortillas and at that moment, nothing could be more perfect.

Lots of mexican restaurants make their own but many purchase them too, so there’s a really good chance that you’ve never had a really fresh tortilla.  If you’re not sure, then most likely, you’ve not yet experienced this heavenly bite.  In which case, I strongly, strongly encourage you to try making them at home.  You’ll never want to get store-bought again.  🙂

  • 3 C. flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 T. butter, room temperature (or lard or shortening)
  • 1 C. warm water (just run your tap water for a minute and it should be perfect)

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Break the butter into pieces and slowly mix into the dry mixture until it resembles corn meal.  Slowly add the water and combine with your hand.  It should feel sticky but not loose.  Turn it out onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.  Roll into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-30 minutes (can be longer if need be.  I sometimes make the dough earlier in the day and roll it out hours later).

Cut the dough ball in half and then roll each end into a log.  Cut each in half, then half again, and then again until you make eight pieces out of each half.  Roll each piece into a ball.

Liberally flour your counter and flatten a dough ball out and then roll out to approximately the size of a salad plate or until the desired size (6-8 inches).

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Heat a dry skillet over medium high heat.  Make sure it’s good and hot.  Add one dough disc and cook until it puffs up slightly and browns and then flip (I find that chopsticks are the perfect tool).  Cook for another minute on the other side.  Remove and put on a plate, cover with a kitchen towel.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Notes:

  • You can store the leftover tortillas in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week.  My daughter loves cheese quesadillas or egg wraps with the leftovers.
  • For egg wraps – scramble two eggs and pour into a buttered skillet and cook over medium heat.  Cook until the egg looks set and flip.  Cut in half and place in the tortilla and cover with cheese and fold over.  Return to pan until both sides of the tortilla are browned and the cheese is melted.
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