Soft Flour Tortillas Recipe (VIDEO)
Learn how to make Flour Tortillas with just 5 ingredients. These are the best soft flour tortillas with a taste and texture that can’t be rivaled by store-bought.
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Flour Tortillas Recipe
I’m rarely one to pass up the convenience of store-bought. But sometimes, making homemade versions with better ingredients makes a world of a difference and the taste is more authentic. We love recreating our favorite Mexican foods including these soft homemade flour tortillas. I learned the technique for making these Mexican-inspired tortillas from Cooking with Claudia.
Homemade tortillas make tacos, fajitas, and quesadillas taste that much better. You can even turn these tortillas into crispy Hard Taco Shells. And the good news is, flour tortillas are incredibly simple to make.
Soft Flour Tortillas Video
Watch Natasha make these easy flour tortillas in under an hour, with a handful of pantry ingredients. You’ll be turning out your own tortillas in no time. These also keep well, meaning you can use leftovers to make even more delicious meals all week long.
The ingredients for flour tortillas are basic, and likely already in your pantry. Below you’ll find a short summary of what you’ll need, with the full details available in the recipe card.
- Flour – All-purpose flour works perfectly for making soft tortillas.
- Salt – I love using fine sea salt in my recipes because it tastes better than table salt
- Baking Powder – Use fresh baking powder so that the tortillas puff up nicely in the pan.
- Butter – Take your butter out of the fridge to soften before you start. This makes it easier to combine into the dough.
- Hot Water – Essential for bringing tortilla dough together (see my Pro Tip below).
Pro Tip: Make sure that the water you’re using to form the dough is hot enough (over 140ºF). I use boiled water and drizzle in a little at a time. The high temperature is needed for the starches in the flour to trap moisture, in what’s called gelatinization. This is key to soft, moist tortillas.
How to Make Flour Tortillas
This tortillas recipe makes about ten large 8” tortillas or twelve small 6” tortillas. You can adapt the size of your flour tortillas depending on what you’re using them for (larger ones are better for wrapping burritos, for example). Making flour tortillas from scratch couldn’t be easier.
Preparing the Tortilla Dough
First, you’ll prepare the tortilla dough so that it has time to rest:
- Combine Dry Ingredients – Begin by whisking together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Add Butter – Use your hands to work the softened butter into the flour until you have a sandy texture.
- Add Water – While you work the dough with your hands, drizzle in hot water. Be careful and go slowly, adding a little at a time. Continue to mix until the dough forms a sticky ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead – Next, turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will get less sticky as you knead.
- Rest the Dough – Pinch off golf-ball-sized balls of dough and roll them on the counter into smooth balls. It’s similar to rolling Dinner Rolls. Arrange on an oiled baking sheet and cover with oiled plastic wrap and rest for 20-30 minutes.
Pro Tip: You can roll out your tortillas in the time it takes to preheat the pan you’ll cook them in. If you have one, you can use a griddle or comal which is a specialty tortilla skillet. Otherwise, a large, non-stick skillet will do the trick.
How to Cook Flour Tortillas
- Preheat the Skillet – set your skillet over medium heat (it should reach 500˚F on an infrared thermometer)
- Roll the Tortillas – Turn the first dough ball out on a floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out your tortillas, rotating and flipping as you go, until you have a thin 10” round. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Properly rolling a tortilla is the difference between a puffed, perfect tortilla and a flat, lifeless one, so make sure to follow the detailed rolling directions in the recipe card.
- Cook – As you finish rolling each one, cook the tortillas one at a time on the hot skillet for 20-30 seconds per side, flipping when you see bubbles on top and golden brown spots on the first side. Keep the hot cooked tortillas covered in a dry kitchen towel.
Pro Tip: Keep tortillas covered after cooking them so that they can steam a little. I like to wrap them in a dry kitchen towel to trap the warmth and keep the tortillas soft and pliable.
Tips For the Best Tortillas
Here are some helpful tips to make perfect tortillas, every time:
- Rest the Dough – Make sure to let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes before rolling. This relaxes the dough and gluten strands, making it easier to roll.
- Roll Correctly – Properly rolling out the dough is key to having it bubble and puff up the way it should in the pan. The tortillas should be ultra-thin and nearly translucent. Follow the rolling directions as they’re written to avoid disappointment.
- Use the Right Pan – Use a non-stick Hexclad skillet, griddle or comal that’s large enough. It should be wide enough to fit the whole tortilla without curling.
- Wait for the Bubbles – Let bubbles form before you flip, for light, airy tortillas.
- Get the Temperature Right – If your pan is too hot, your tortilla will develop black spots. Meanwhile, if it’s been half a minute and your tortilla is still flat, this could mean that the pan isn’t hot enough.
We have experimented with a variety of different fats including butter, lard, and oil. Our favorite was butter. It didn’t add any off taste or smell and was the most accessible.
Your skillet should be preheated over medium/high heat until it’s starting to smoke, or about 500ºF on an infrared thermometer.
Ways to Use Homemade Tortillas
Soft flour tortillas are super versatile and taste great in plenty of easy recipes, from Mexican-inspired enchiladas to homemade quesadillas. Here are some of our favorite easy recipes with flour tortillas:
- Burritos – Use flour tortillas to bundle up the ingredients in Breakfast Burritos.
- Quesadillas – Make Breakfast Quesadillas, or try these savory Philly Cheesesteak Quesadillas.
- Tacos – Make Fish Tacos, Chicken Tacos, or turn your soft tortillas into Hard Taco Shells.
- Wraps – Wrap these flour tortillas around your favorite fillings for a sandwich wrap, or make the famous Tiktok Tortilla Breakfast Wrap.
You can even drizzle these tortillas with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle them with sea salt, and then bake them until crispy for homemade tortilla chips or strips to serve over Chicken Tortilla Soup. Or, add your favorite pizza toppings, and then bake until the cheese is melted for a homemade thin-crust pizza.
Flour tortillas are wonderful to serve warm, or you can make them ahead to store for later use.
- To Store: Store your tortillas airtight at room temperature on the day they’re made, and afterward refrigerate them for up to 1 week.
- Freezing: To freeze, stack the cooled tortillas with parchment paper in between (to keep them from sticking), and seal them inside a freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw the tortillas at room temperature before reheating.
- To Reheat: Dampen a paper towel and use this to line the bottom of a microwave-safe dish. Place the flour tortillas over the paper towel, then microwave uncovered until warmed through (about 15-30 seconds). Keep the reheated tortillas covered to trap the steam while serving.
I’ll be the first to admit some things aren’t worth making from scratch, but flatbreads like Pita Bread, Focaccia, and, of course, these flour tortillas are an exception. You won’t know what you’re missing until you’ve tried fresh homemade flatbreads.
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
If you loved this tutorial on how to make flour tortillas, turn your next meal into a Tex-Mex feast with these easy dinner ideas:
Homemade Flour Tortilla Recipe
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder
- Add softened butter and work it into the flour with your hands until you have a sandy/ fine crumb mixture.
- While mixing with your hands, pour hot water into the dough a little at a time (and carefully since it’s hot). Drizzle in some water then mix and drizzle again and add more water if needed to form a sticky dough ball that pulls away from the edges of the bowl, then transfer the dough to a clean countertop. Knead for 5 minutes until soft, elastic, and smooth (The dough will get less sticky as you knead).
- Lightly oil a baking sheet and a sheet of plastic wrap. Pinch off balls of dough (about golf-ball size) and roll each into a ball over your counter. Place dough balls on the oiled baking sheet and cover with oiled plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
- Lightly flour a work surface. Place one dough ball over the surface, dust it with flour and lightly flatten it with your fingers. Roll the tortilla once, rotate the dough, roll again, then rotate again. Repeat until the dough is about halfway rolled out, then roll it up and down, rotate, and roll it up and down again. As it gets larger, flip the dough over to prevent the edges from curling and continue rolling. Continue until you have about a super thin 10” diameter round, or until your dough begins to look see-through.
- Cook on the hot pan for about 20-30 seconds per side until you get some bubbling on top and blistering/golden browning on the bottom then flip and saute for another 20 seconds. Stack warm tortillas wrapped in a dry kitchen towel. Once the tortillas are cool, transfer them to a zip-top bag to keep them from drying out.