Homemade tortillas

Holly in WIJune 10, 2001

In our house, tortillas are used weekly. If you ever find yourself out of tortillas, or want a better tasting tortilla, try this simple recipe. They are easy to freeze too.

4 C. flour

2 tsp. salt

1/3 C. shortening

1 1/2 C. warm water

In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water and mix until doughlike.

Knead the dough in the bowl for 1 minute. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 18 balls. Roll each ball between both hands until smooth, then flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic and set aside for 1 hour. Roll out each disc to a 10-inch round.

Heat a skillet or griddle. Place each round on a griddle and count to 10, then turn over. Keep counting and turning until each tortilla has golden spots and has stopped blubbling.

Wrap in a kitchen towel, cool and wrap individually in foil and store in a plastic bag until ready to use. May be refrigerated for one week or frozen. (Makes 18)

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Thank you so much for this recipe! My mom used to make these all the time when I was growing up! They are the best. We have lost the recipe. You haven't had a tortilla until you've had these. I just hope I can roll them out and make them taste as good as she did. I remember it took a lot of elbow grease to roll these babies out! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2001 at 12:57PM
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Amen to home made tortillas. If you want help with all the rolling out, try a tortilla press. They cost about $20 and give you a perfectly round 5-6" tortilla, perfect for corn tortillas. If you're making flour ones, you can just roll them out a little bigger by hand. Makes life a lot easier.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2001 at 7:07PM
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Ok, I made these last night and my hubby was most impressed! We grilled chicken and steak, put that in them with rice and salsa and fresh tomatos and cheese. Question though. Is it really important to wrap each tortilla seperately when putting them in the fridge? Seems like a great deal of wrapping for a little hunk of dough. I put paper towels between them when they were hot because I thought they might stick to each other, but after they cooled I just put them all into a bag with no separators and stuck them in the fridge. I haven't checked yet, but that's how I buy them at the store, I can't imagine that they would not be ok that way.

Well, I just looked in the fridge and they are just fine. Makes me wonder if I really need to put the paper towels between when they are hot either. I think next time I will make 16 instead of 18 as they seemed a little thin to me. Of course I could just roll them out less but hubby likes a substantial burrito, lol.

Thanks for this recipe. We are going to Canada next week and I remember not being able to get a burrito at the grocery store last time we were there. Maybe I'll just make some!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2001 at 12:50PM
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I'm so glad you posted this recipe! DH & I were just pondering how to make them a couple days ago. We have our own grain mill (Whisper Mill, love it), and we love to use fresh-ground flour in any recipe we can. We'll have fun trying out our flour in these tortillas!

The rolling them out dose sound like a lot of work--I think I will keep my eye out for a tortilla press (maybe the yardsale angels will smile on me). Any other brilliant shortcuts, anyone, for rolling them out more easily?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2001 at 6:12PM
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Resting the dough before rolling it out is the secret to making them easier to roll. It allows the gluten to relax. For those of you who haven't tried the homemade version, they are so very good and so much better than the store bought. I especially love the corn tortillas..just no comparison at all......give them a try...you won't be sorry. The first time or two that you make them will probably be slow and tedious but beyond that you will have them made and ready in no tme flat and they are well worth the effort.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2001 at 7:49AM
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share the corn recipe??

    Bookmark   September 14, 2001 at 8:59AM
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When it calls for shortening, can you use butter? Or should you use lard?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2002 at 10:27AM
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I realize this post is a year old but here it is anyway :)

Corn tortillas

2 cups blue or yellow corn 1 teaspoon salt
Masa Harina* 1 2/3 cups boiling water

1 Combine Masa Harina* and salt in a medium size mixing bowl

2 Add boiling water and stir until dough resembles thick, cooked cereal

3 Wet hands and form dough into balls the size of an egg

4 Place each ball of dough between two lightly moistened pieces of waxed paper andflatten to about 1/8 thick, using a tortilla press, rolling pin, or pressure from the hands. Remove tortilla from waxed paper

5 Heat griddle or skillet on medium high heat. Place each tortilla on the griddle and cook for approxaimately 1 minute on each side.

(tortilla should be lightly speckled)
*Masa Harina is available in the cereal section of most grocery stores.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2002 at 8:11PM
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Thanks a bunch

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 10:38PM
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I just saw the homemade tortilla recipe. We've made the flour tortillas in our family for years with the following differences. Use about 1 tsp baking powder to flour, leave out the shortening and it's easier to mix in the food processor. Add the water slowly while processing to the desired consistency (since we don't measure). Make sure the water is just lukewarm. When soft dough is formed, turn out onto floured board and knead a little. Take a little shortening, oil or lard between your hands and knead into the dough. Rub a little grease over the top. Cover for about 15 minutes before dividing and rolling out. We just punch out a hunk at a time as we roll them out on a lightly floured board. On the hot griddle, turn the first side as soon as little bubbles form, then wait until the second side is looking golden, turn and finish the last side. As you perfect your technique, they will puff during the third side, then you know you have achieved the right technique. You just have to watch out for any escaping steam. There's no need to separate them, just cover with towel or eat them right away with a little butter inside the steam cavity, yummy! and fattening, darn. After they are cool, keep in a plastic bag in the fridge, if you have any left over. We used to make these twice a day when I was growing up and none of us were fat then.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2002 at 1:11AM
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How would you make spinach and tomato tortillas? Would you add tomato juice instead of the water? TIA. Sandy

    Bookmark   December 29, 2002 at 8:22PM
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Add finely chopped spinach and using tomato juice is the only thing I can think of trying to make the spinach and tomato tortillas.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2003 at 4:23AM
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I didn't mention either that when I make them.....after the dough is made, I just squeeze off little rounds for the tortillas and put them in the frig to relax a bit and then I take them out and roll them out....I don't roll mine before they go in to be cooked...but either way would work I am sure..

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 8:49AM
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I'm saving this thread. Tortillas are very easy to get here in NE Texas but I remember back in the mid 50's when my friend in Tucson taught me how to make Tacos. No one back East seemed to know what they were (tortillas) . I remember having to get a can A CAN of them in the Deli. I tried to make them myself with cornmeal and they were a disaster. After I was able to find real tortillas I'd have all you can eat Taco parties at my house for the kids and nephews. When the first Taco place opened up (in Miami Fl) I stopped making them.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2004 at 6:47PM
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A product that has showed up in stores in Houston has made my life tastier and easier. It is basically raw tortillas, ready to fresh cook on the griddle. Kroger has them on the bread aisle, other stores have them in the refrigerated section. The taste of homemade without the mess of making them. My kids love them.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 12:29PM
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They are available anywhere around here too but they will never equal a homemade...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 11:57AM
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Holly in WI,

Did you say to freeze individually because you eat them one at a time or will it ruin them to freeze a batch together?

thanks Holly or anyone who knows,


    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 11:18AM
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Here's a couple more recipes. Once I used the in-a-bag method from the Native American Tortillas In a Bag recipe, I've made all my tortilla that way. Great for the kids who like to help cook, and easy clean-up. I have a tortilla maker/baker, but rolling them with a rolling pin, or smashing them in a tortilla maker are also good ways to get the job done. I stick all the extras in the freezer. You can cut them and bake them for homemade tortilla chips. We also warm up the tortillas in the toaster oven until they are crispy and use them flat for tostadas. -Grainlady

Native American tortillas in a Bag
(Source: Kansas Wheat Commission (www.kswheat.com) 2001 Recipes)

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 T. shortening (I don't use shortening because it's a trans fatty acid, but use coconut oil, butter, or olive oil instead.)
1/2 c. hot water

In a large self-locking plastic bag, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Close bag and shake to mix. Add shortening and work into flour until fine particles form. Add the hot water and knead the dough in the bag until it forms a ball.

Remove dough from bag and place on a lightly floured work surface; knead 15 strokes. Divide into six (or more if you want smaller tortillas) equal pieces; shape into balls. Cover; let rest 15 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece as thinn as possible. Roll from the center out, turning several times to form an 8-inch circle.

Heat an ungreased griddle or skillet over medium heat. Cook until the surface begins to bubble and the under side is speckled golden-brown, about 15-20 seconds. Cook other side. Stack tortillas under a cloth as they are done and serve warm. Makes 6 tortillas.

*Variation: Use 1/2 c. corn meal and 1 c. all-purpose flour, or use 3/4 c. whole wheat flour and 3/4 c. all-purpose flour.

Wheat and Sesame Tortillas
(Source: Natural Meals In Minutes by Rita Bingham)
2 c. whole wheat (can use part all-purpose)
3 T. dry milk powder
1/3 c. sesame seeds (these really taste great in the tortillas)
2 T. butter or applesauce as a fat replacer
1/2 t. salt
2 T. yogurt
1/2 c. lukewarm water

Combine dry ingredients. Use hand or electric beaters to cut in butter or applesauce until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Slowly pour in water and yogurt, mixing lightly with a fork. On a floured board, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

Divide and shape dough into 8 balls. Cover, removing one ball at a time and roll paper-thin on floured board. Place on heavy, hot, ungreased skillet, over medium-high heat. Blisters should appear right away. Brown on one side and turn. Cook about 30 secones. Makes eight 9-inch tortillas.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 3:59PM
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I enjoyed this thread, old that it may be.

I only have one comment and that is if and when I am separating tortillas I use WAX paper not foil.

My grown sons still remember me standing at the stove cranking out tortillas as they scarfed them down. What a memory. (S. TX)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 12:42AM
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I used to 'crank them out' too. They do taste so much better, but then so does any home made food. I'm to lazy to make them any more.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 11:20AM
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Well you can buy a pretty darn good tortilla in Texas...at least in my area...but believe it or not, I still make them once in a great while....I have tortillas in the fridge all the time...corn and flour...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 9:44AM
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