Tortillas are something I couldn’t live without. We eat them almost daily around our house. I’ve wanted to make homemade tortillas for a long time because we eat them so often that making them homemade would save money. Plus it is healthier. And if I can make my own, then I can have them anytime, even if I can’t get to the store for some reason.
Unleavened flatbreads called tortillas are produced from corn or wheat flour, water, and salt. They are widely used in Latin America but are most strongly linked to Mexican cuisine, where they make up the majority of the country’s poor Mexicans’ dietary intake. When tortillas become stale, they are fried and used as chips, in chilaquiles, or in tortilla soup, also known as Sopa Azteca. Tortillas are used in foods including tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. The name is also used to describe a certain flat omelet in Spain; both words’ roots are torta and mean “small cake.”
I’ve tried to make homemade tortillas many times, but to be honest, I’ve struggled. Every recipe I’ve found is essentially the same: flour, shortening (which I don’t love) or lard or oil, salt, maybe some baking powder, and milk or water. But no matter how many recipes I’ve tried I just couldn’t quite get the soft, supple goodness I was hoping for. Either they ended up too thick and more like pita bread or too thin and more like a chip or just right thickness-wise, but crumbly.
Well, I think I’ve finally found it: the perfect homemade tortilla recipe. For me, the secret is yeast. I know…not a typical tortilla ingredient, right? I just decided on a whim one day to try it, and they were the most tender, soft, and flavorful tortillas I’ve ever made. And I really think you should try it out, too!
Plus, these homemade tortillas keep well. Make a large batch, and freeze them. Or if you really love that hot-off-the-grill-ness, make up some dough, and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Portion off just a bit at a time, and cook them up as needed. These also make great wraps and thin-crust pizzas.
Also, these can be made with white flour or whole white wheat flour. The first few pictures below (ingredients, etc.) show white flour, but the finished product pictures below show them with whole white wheat flour. I’ve made them both ways, and they always turn out!
What You Need for Making Homemade Tortilla?
Start by gathering your ingredients.
Homemade Tortillas Recipe: Steps
These are the steps to making them.
How to Make Tortilla Dough at Home
- Add the hot (but not boiling) water, yeast, and sugar to your mixer.
- Let that sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast is completely dissolved.
- Now add the oil, salt, and flour.
- Start with the mixer on low until all ingredients are incorporated. Then increase speed to medium, and leave running for 5-7 minutes until you have a very smooth dough. You made need to add a little flour. The dough should just barely start to pull off the sides of the mixer. It is better to add too little flour than too much.
- Coat your hands and a large bowl with a bit of olive oil. Remove the dough from the mixer and place it into the bowl. Cover with a moist towel, and let rise until double (about 45 min to just over an hour).
- Divide the dough into 12 balls. At this point, you can refrigerate your dough for up to a week. If you want just one tortilla at a time, this is a great option! Now, using your hands, gently flatten each ball into a disk.
- Place the first disk on a floured surface and roll from the center out until about 10-12 inches in diameter. Don’t pick the tortilla up (unless it is sticking). Just roll from the center out in each direction all the way around. The dough should be very thin when rolled out.
How to Cook Soft Easy Homemade Tortillas at Home
- Warm a cast iron skillet or electric griddle over high heat (you want a hot pan). Once the pan is very hot, drizzle a little olive oil in the pan and then wipe off the excess.
- Lay a rolled-out tortilla on the skillet, and cook for 30 seconds, until you see bubbles starting to form. Flip and cook for 30-60 seconds on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Flip again and cook another 15-30 seconds to toast the first side.
- The tortilla should start to puff up during this time; if it doesn’t or if only small pockets form, try pressing the surface of the tortilla gently with a spatula or clean towel (below is actually a picture of a homemade pita since I forgot to take one of the tortillas at this time, but the same principle applies).
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup hot (not boiling) water
- 2 tsp. active dry or instant
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- Add the hot (but not boiling) water, yeast, and sugar to your mixer. Let sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast is completely dissolved.
- Add the oil, salt, and flour to yeast mixture.
- Turn mixture on low, and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Increase speed to medium and leave running for 5-7 minutes until you have a very smooth dough. You may need to add a little flour. Dough should just barely start to pull off the sides of the mixer.
- Coat your hands and a large bowl with a bit of olive oil.
- Remove the dough from the mixer, and place into the bowl. Cover with a moist towel, and let rise until double (about 45 min to just over an hour depending on your home).
- Divide the dough into 12 balls. Using your hands, gently flatten each ball into a disk.
- Place the first disk on a floured surface, and roll from the center out until about 10-12 inches in diameter.
- Warm a cast iron skillet or electric griddle over high heat. Once pan is very hot, drizzle a little olive oil in the pan, and then wipe off the excess.
- Lay a rolled-out tortilla on the skillet, and bake for 30 seconds, until you see bubbles starting to form.
- Flip and cook for 30-60 seconds on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Flip again and cook another 15-30 seconds to toast the first side. The tortilla should start to puff up during this time; if it doesn’t or if only small pockets form, try pressing the surface of the tortilla gently with a spatula or clean towel.
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Suggested Read: One Jar Meal
If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section. Also, please share with us your experience of how you’ve made your own version of homemade tortillas. Have you made other improvisations? Discuss below how you did it! We are always super excited to hear from you.
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29 thoughts on “Homemade Tortillas (Easy and Authentic Recipe)”
Can I cold storage this recipe before cooking over night so it will be fermented a bit?
11-8-21. Put all your sins on your great-grandma used lard, My grandma did it my mother did it, they didn’t drive, they walked and worked hard making everything from scratch. Today’s grandmas drive trucks to the Supper market. Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry a 10 LB ground beef package and no lard, Walmart carries lard and 2-3 Lb meat package. I went to buy a can of jalapeno at the ethnic small market, but their meat section is huge with 10LB packages. all 3 of these market-goers have different body shapes and sizes, one can identify. ask yourself a question why these differences. Only available fats were lard decades ago, today with lots of research lard is replaced with the newer substance we call it better or a little better. We have to follow our lifestyle and our buying habits. Make Indian chappatis, and have your Tortillas, or I love Ms. Courtini’s yeast-based Tortillas, Not only she is beautiful, also looks good with her baby girl, her venture of making Tortillas without lard, if there is a god, he or she only knows how they are made and sits year old lard on the counter. Someone raised how to make round, it is like learning driving, not quite, but with little practice, one will have their esthetic part of it. good luck and Wishes to Ms. Courtni
I got how mush yeast to use! Just didn’t read far enough! Thank you!
I’m glad you figured it out, Martha!
How much yeast do u use for tortillas, everybody say use yeast, but no one says how much yeast to use!!??
Pictured are undercooked. Tortillas have brown spots and puff from cooking. Most restaurants serve undercooked tortillas bc it’s faster.
I just tried this recipe and was very pleased with the consistency of the dough (soft and pliable) and the taste is wonderful. But I do have a problem. I could not get them rolled out very big, although the circle was thin enough I thought. But they kept shrinking into small circles on the hot griddle. They puffed up, but looked almost like English muffins, though not quite that thick. I let the dough rest and they still shrunk. What is the solution to this? Should I store the rest of the raw dough overnight in the fridge? Thank you.
That’s sheer craziness. Soda causing obesity has been blamed for diabetes in Mexico, and is most prevalent near Mexico City, and other more developed areas with fast food joints and soda as standard. Barbara seems to hate flour so much she’s willing to lie. That’s sad. These tortillas are delicious and easy to make. Thank you!
Maybe I am not seeing it, but I wanted to know how much yeast to use for this recipe. Thanks
Maybe I am not seeing it, but I wanted to know how much yeast to use for the recipee, Thanks
What is the nutritional value on this tortilla recipe.
I am diabetic and this is something I need to know.
Hi, Charlene! The truth is I don’t really know the exact nutritional value of this recipe. However, after a little research, I found this amazing Nutrition Analyzer. I hope it will be helpful! Thanks a lot for reading!
Great recipe. All of the shortening + chemical leavener recipes can take a hike.
I worked at a pizza place for a year and found that this dough, quite similarly, benefits from an overnight rest after being portioned.
This has been my go-to recipe for a while now and it is just perfect! It gets you super soft and chewy tortillas that are very forgiving (they stay soft even if you forget to cover them)
So I just wanted to say thank you for sharing it!
I like the idea of yeast for fluffy soft tortillas! Alas once again I have failed…I’ve tried numerous times to make a good flour tortilla. Perhaps someone 🙂 can tell me what I’m doing wrong.
My tortillas dont puff up when cooking…ever.
Usually on the dry side too, no taste either.
My husband’s mother makes the best f t so he loves them!
Ive tried her method, to no avail.
Really? Even with the yeast? Did you keep the dough pretty soft?
Try to use less salt…use only lukewarm and not hot water so u dont kill the yeast
I am a Mexican who never made flour tortillas, my mommy was always close and if I craved them she had no issues cooking up a batch… however I am now living in NZ and I can’t hop in the car and go to my parents … I’ve attempted to make flour tortillas multiple times since moving to this country and I finally found the recipe I shall follow …. they taste like my mom’s!!!! Next step…. getting them round since mine look like stars lol… Thank you!
Yay! I am so happy to hear that Sophie! I was pretty glad when I figured it out too. Enjoy!
Thanks for re-posting! I didn’t see this when you first posted it, but I’m going to print up the recipe to add to my food storage recipe binder 🙂
I won’t eat flour tortillas. When they were adopted by Mexicans in the northernmost parts of Mexico, diabetes became epidemic. My husband grew up in California eating them, and he became diabetic too. Corn tortillas are healthy and don’t cause diabetes.
So sorry you can’t enjoy the flour tortillas Barbara! I love corn too! They are much easier to make!
Hi Barbara, Americans eats
Breads , Whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas andare a good source of carbohydrates, and a god source of energy as flower tortilla., please don’t blame mexicans for causing epidemic, diabetes anywhere!
Wow did you ever understand that backwards to what I said. The Mexicans were poisoned by US – the white bread eaters who invented the nasty flour tortilla. Diabetes is epidemic among American citizens, too because of all those “good” carbs you mentioned. Mexicans along the US border learned to like flour tortillas they buy in the US, and WE caused THEIR diabetes epidemic. White bread and pasta are not good for anybody; they are like ingesting table sugar. Refined carbohydrates have wrecked the American and Mexican diet. I did not blame anything on the Mexicans; rather, I have adopted THEIR diet which is much healthier! Taco Bell has just opened its first restaurant in Mexico City. Their food is sold as AMERICAN FOOD. The real cuisine of Mexico is healthy and delicious, but what most Americans think is Mexican is a dietary mistake make right here in the USA. Even the best “Mexican” restaurants in the US generally serve Tex-Mex recipes, not real Mexican.
I am an R.N. and nutrition instructor, by the way who has seen the effects of diet on many indigenous populations for 4 decades. Ours is the unhealthiest.
Moderation, not daily like the Mexicans eat. Sheesh.
You’re grossly incorrect. Rn? No.
Mexicans have been eating flour tortillas for centuries. Go to the Texas institute of Cultures.
Mexicans have been eating flour tortillas before the US existed. Different regions. Stop making stuff up.
Mexicans from Texas (formerly Mexico) are not Mexican? What are you saying. TexMex is Mexican food which originated in Mexico before it was Texas.
Offended as a Texas resident descended from Mexicans living in the region long before it was Texas