Simple Tortillas

star rating (24) rate this recipe
dairy free, quick-n-easy
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 8 tortillas

Recipe photo

This recipe for soft flour tortillas is quick and easy. Soft and tender, with just a little bit of "chew," you can have these on the table in under an hour. The dough can also be made the day before and allowed to rest in the fridge overnight.

Simple Tortillas

star rating (24) rate this recipe
dairy free, quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 8 tortillas
Published: 01/16/2013

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, plus additional as needed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lard (traditional); or butter, shortening, or vegetable oil
  • 7/8 to 1 cup hot tap water (about 110F to 120F)

Tips from our bakers

  • Although traditionally made with lard, these tortillas are equally delicious using butter, shortening, or vegetable oil as the fat. If you choose to use oil, add it with the water in step 3.
  • The resting period improves the texture of the dough by giving the flour time to absorb the water. It also gives the gluten time to relax, making the tortillas easier to roll out. You may extend the resting, or skip it altogether if you don't have the time; the recipe is pretty forgiving. The tortillas will roll out and stay thinner if you include the rest, though.
  • If there are leftovers, allow them to cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic and store in the refrigerator. Reheat in an ungreased skillet, or for a few seconds in the microwave.

Directions

1) To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2) Add the lard (or butter, or shortening; if you're using vegetable oil, add it in step 3). Use your fingers or a pastry blender to work the fat into the flour until it disappears. Coating most of the flour with fat inhibits gluten formation, making the tortillas easier to roll out.

3) Pour in the lesser amount of hot water (plus the oil, if you're using it), and stir briskly with a fork or whisk to bring the dough together into a shaggy mass. Stir in additional water as needed to bring the dough together.

4) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead briefly, just until the dough forms a ball. If the dough is very sticky, gradually add a bit more flour.

5) Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Round the pieces into balls, flatten slightly, and allow them to rest, covered, for about 30 minutes (see tips at left). If you wish, coat each ball lightly in oil before covering; this ensures the dough doesn't dry out.

6) While the dough rests, preheat an ungreased cast iron griddle or skillet over medium high heat, about 400F.

7) Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll into a round about 8" in diameter. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Fry the tortilla in the ungreased pan for about 30 seconds on each side. Wrap the tortilla in a clean cloth when it comes off the griddle, to keep it pliable. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

Yield: eight 8" tortillas.

Reviews

1 23  All  
  • star rating 03/07/2015
  • Texican Jessica :) from Virginia
  • I have seen and tried several recipes, but this is the one I was looking for. Great results every time. They taste great. Even my mom asked for the recipe- and she's been making tortillas all her life. She never could teach me, since she didn't use a recipe- she just guesstimates. I prefer using oil. I found that I can still blend the oil in the flour (rather than pouring it in with the water) by mixing it in until it looks like crumbly sand. Think of how you would make pastry dough. Use a pastry cutter. I had to do this because if I blend it with the water, sometimes it's just too much water. And then you have to add flour which means more kneading and handling the dough. I think that makes for hard tortillas. Letting the dough rest makes a significant difference in rolling them out. The dough does't shrink back after rolling it out. And it also makes the tortilla easier to roll so that you can make better round circles instead of Texas shaped tortillas! Thanks for the recipe! I've been sharing it, and look forward to doing a hands-on demo for my close friends.
  • star rating 02/19/2015
  • Diane from NY NY
  • This is the first time I've ever attempted to make tortillas, so I was a bit hesitant. I'm so glad I did! They were super easy and delicious! I tried one plain, hot off the griddle and mmmm.... it was good. The remaining were used to make steak tacos. These homemade tortillas took the meal up a notch. I don't think I'll ever buy the store-made version again.
  • star rating 11/23/2014
  • kittyd7926 from KAF Community
  • They didn't taste bad but they sure didn't taste like tortillas or even close. In fact, they tasted like pancakes. My hubby was totally aware of the baking powder. He ate two, the rest went into the disposal. We're sorry that they didn't meet your expectations. Most of the recipes we've seen do contain some baking powder for leavening. You might want to try using lard as the fat. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 10/26/2014
  • Renina Sales from
  • I didn't have time to let the dough rest and the tortillas were amazing! It yield more than 8 since I made them paper thin. Definitely a keeper!
  • star rating 09/06/2014
  • Donna from Blanchard, OK
  • These are the best tortillas I have ever had! I increased the salt to one teaspoon, and they turned out perfectly.
  • star rating 08/11/2014
  • Chuck Ground from Indiana
  • Such an easy and delicious recipe! I'll never buy store bought tortillas again in my life. I used vegetable oil and it turned out fantastic. I've used this recipe probably 15 times!! 10 stars!!
  • star rating 08/06/2014
  • joe from ATX
  • This recipe makes the perfect tortilla. I separated the dough into 1 3/8 oz balls and it made the perfect size tortilla.
  • star rating 08/02/2014
  • Sonya from La Mesa, CA
  • These are fantastically delicious, and pretty easy to make! *The dough is a snap to make, the only challenge is rolling them out, and then they're very easy to cook. I've made them with lard, vegetable oil, and butter, and they are always delicious. They really make any recipe they're used with extra special (quesadillas, wraps, etc). Highly recommended!
  • star rating 07/15/2014
  • Breadreader from KAF Community
  • Wonderful soft texture!! Tortillas are Better than store bought. Thank you for this recipe!! I will be using this for now on.
  • star rating 07/03/2014
  • Jeong from
  • Easy and delicious! I doubled the recipe with a plan to freeze a half for later use. The tortilla were so good and my son snatched them as I was removing them from the pan. There's nothing left to freeze.. I used coconut oil instead of butter.
1 23  All  
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