Homemade tortillas… just saying (or typing) those words makes my mouth water. If you’re not lucky enough to live somewhere where hot, freshly made tortillas are available at the local grocery store, this recipe will become a staple in your life.
Growing up, I was one of those fortunate few who could buy freshly made tortillas at my local grocery store. We pretty much always had a few in the fridge to use with breakfast tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, or warm up with a little bit of cheese for a snack. When we lived in Texas, my husband pretty much lived off of the cheesy tortilla snack.
After moving to Scotland, we found that tortillas in general were hard to come by and homemade tortillas were non existent. While this didn’t surprise us (Scotland isn’t quite as close to Mexico as Texas is), I have to say, fresh tortillas are the one thing we have really missed. I have been perfectly comfortable making all of the southern and Tex Mex dishes we love, so even though we can’t buy any of these dishes here, we don’t feel deprived because we have them at home quite often. Fresh tortillas WERE the exception to this… but not anymore!
I had always shied away from making tortillas on the assumption that they were difficult to make and probably required special ingredients. Come to find out, this could not be further from the truth.
I am here to proclaim the truth. I will shout it from the rooftops! I will tell everyone I know! I’ll tell strangers on the street! Homemade tortillas are EASY to make! If I can do it with Scottish ingredients in the world’s smallest kitchen, I promise that you can do it too.
Mix the flour salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
Add in the vegetable oil and water and mix with a spoon until the dough forms a rough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until the dough is smooth (about 3 minutes).
Feel free to add a little more flour if the dough becomes sticky.
Divide the dough into 12 to 16 equal sized balls. Dividing it into 12 pieces will give you larger tortillas perfect for burritos. Dividing it into 16 pieces will give you tortillas that are the perfect size for tacos.
Flatten each dough ball out slightly with the palm of your hand.
Cover the dough with a clean towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
Take this time to prep your work station for rolling and cooking the tortillas. Or contemplate your life, or call your mom, or vacuum your entire house. That last one may only work for those of you who, like me, live in 400 square feet. This tiny flat has its perks.
I’m going to let you in on one of the running jokes in our house. I don’t have a rolling pin. I haven’t had a rolling pin since I started college. I briefly had a rolling pin following our wedding (we had registered for one), but it wasn’t one of the things that made the trip over to Scotland.
So I still have no rolling pin.
Instead, I roll everything out with a Nalgene water bottle. I get a little bit of grief from my husband every time I pull the water bottle out of the cabinet to use it for this purpose. Something about, “rolling pins only cost a couple of pounds,””I’m sure we can find somewhere to keep it,” and other arguments that make far too much sense.
But I’ve stuck to my guns. I’ve become quite close to my water bottle/rolling pin partner. It’s never let me down. Also, my husband loves tortillas so much I was pretty sure he’d let me off the hook this time.
So back to the task at hand, working on only one at a time, roll out each tortilla on a lightly floured surface. Roll the tortillas quite thin, and don’t be too concerned if you don’t get a perfectly round shape. I think this adds to the character of the tortillas. It makes them look homemade. If anyone gives you a hard time, tell them the tortillas are “rustic”. Be sure to leave the other tortillas under the towel until you are ready roll and cook them.
Once rolled out, place the tortilla immediately into a pan heated on medium heat.
Cook the tortilla for one minute or until golden brown spots appear on the underside. Some bubbles will appear on the top of the tortilla.
Flip the tortilla over and let the other side cook for about 30 seconds.
Take the tortilla out of the pan and place it into a covered container or ziplock bag. This will help keep them soft and flexible.
Keep rolling and cooking one tortilla at a time with the remaining dough.
Store the tortillas in a covered container or bag in the fridge.
Reheat them in the microwave or on the stove top before serving.
Use the tortillas for fajitas, tacos, quesadillas, or enjoy them as a snack!
The first time I made these, I didn’t tell my husband. I let him come home and discover them for himself. I believe his exact words were, “This is the best day of my life.”
There may or may not have been a tear in his eye.
Give them a try! If you love hot, fresh tortillas half as much as we do, you won’t be disappointed.
Homemade Flour Tortillas
Makes 12 to 16 tortillas
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup lukewarm water
Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
Add in the oil and water and mix with a spoon until the dough forms a rough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth (about 3 minutes). If the dough becomes sticky, add in a little more flour.
Divide the dough into 12 to 16 equal sized dough balls. 12 dough balls will give you larger, burrito sized tortillas, while 16 will give you smaller taco sized tortillas.
Flatten the dough balls with your palm.
Cover the dough with a clean towel and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
One at a time, remove a single piece of dough from under the towel. Roll it thin on a lightly floured surface, then immediately place it into the heated frying pan.
Cook the tortilla for about 1 minute on the first side or until golden brown spots appear on the underside. The top will bubble up a bit.
Flip the tortilla over and cook for another 30 seconds.
Remove the tortilla from the pan and place into a covered container or ziplock bag. This will keep the tortilla soft and flexible.
Repeat the rolling and cooking with the rest of the tortillas.
Eat immediately or store the tortillas in a covered container or ziplock bag in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or stove top before serving.