Posted by: lemonator | May 6, 2013

Homemade Tortillas

Lemonator Here.


By now I’m sure you’ve seen Hil’s post on our Cinco de Mayo festivities.  She’s asked me to follow-up with a recipe for homemade tortillas.  Lets begin with the recipe.

  • 3 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • ~3/4 cup hot water

To make:  Combine all the dry ingredients, then cut in the shortening until the dough is crumbly and soft.   Add the hot water and knead/stir periodically until the dough sticks together easily, but is not moist.  I ended up needing a little more than the 3/4 cup to get it to the right consistency.  Be careful at this step not to add too much liquid… it makes actually making the tortillas a sticky, messy affair.  Let the dough rest for ~1 hour to let it relax and be more pressable.


We got a tortilla press a few years back from Blueberry Sis, and I definitely recommend one for making tortillas, especially corn tortillas.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have the masa to create them this time around, so another blog post on that will have to come later.  If you don’t have a tortilla press, you could also use a rolling pin (in fact, I recommend having one on hand anyways, as I will explain later).  It won’t be as easy to get the round tortilla shape, though.

Even if the dough is at the right consistency, it will probably stick to the tortilla press after you press it into a tortilla.  In order to prevent this from happening, you should line your tortilla press.  I’ve seen a lot of people say that wax paper is the best, but I’ve found that using a gallon ziploc is even better.  Just cut out two circles in the ziploc that will each cover one side of your press, and you are ready. 


Take a small handful of dough (about 1/16th of the total for each tortilla) and place it on the press.  Depending on your press, you might want to put it closer to an edge or the center as you see how the tortillas are coming out.  For mine, right in the center works great.


And PRESS for all you are worth!  The perfect amount of dough is such that you can just see the tortilla sticking out of the press when you are finished.



Open the press and peel off the plastic.  This should be a very easy process… if it is sticking at all, it means you have too much water in your dough and should knead in some more flour before trying again. 


Continue until you have made all of the dough into tortillas.  Heat a pan up to medium heat.  For each tortilla, give it a once over with a rolling pin to get it as thin as possible.  If it is thicker, it will come out more like Naan, which are also delicious, of course, but NOT tortillas.  Make each tortilla one at a time, heating each side for ~1 minute and then removing from the heat and starting the next one.  If you look carefully, you can see the edges starting to brown right as it is ready to flip.


And flip!


Serve hot, preferably with taco fixings! 

Hil wants me to make her a whole wheat version next… for that, I’ll have to be sure to roll out the dough even more, as I’ve found it more difficult to get thin whole-wheat things in the past.  I’m sure it will be delicious, though!



  1. I wonder if whole wheat pastry flour would work better for the whole wheat tortillas? Less gluten to develop might mean less stickiness.

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