Cooking Technique: How to Make Flour Tortillas

Tue, May 4, 2010

Bread, Cooking, Recipes, Techniques

Cinco De Mayo is this week (tomorrow to be precise) and in the spirit of the Mexican holiday, lets learn how to make homemade tortillas! Tortillas are a flat bread made of either corn or wheat flour that were originally made by the Mesoamerican peoples.  They have been used for many centuries in Mexico and are used in quite a few dishes such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and in some Tex-mex cuisine like fajitas.

According to Mayan legend, tortillas were invented by a peasant for his king. The oldest tortilla was made of corn and dates back to 10,000BC. Corn tortillas are traditional, but flour tortillas are a mix of Mexican tradition and Spanish ingredients.

Tortillas are fairly easy to make and are well worth the effort because of the superior taste! When making your own tortillas you need to decide what type you want to make, corn or wheat? The one shown in this article is a flour tortilla, but you can find a great corn tortilla at Simply Recipes.

    Serves 16
    Time required 45 minutes
    Difficulty level 2
    Cost of ingredients 6 USD

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) oil
  • 1 cup (250ml) warm milk
  • ½ cup (125ml) warm water

In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk to stir helps to spread the salt and banking powder evenly through the flour. Add in milk, water, and oil and stir to form a dough.  Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. It will be a little sticky to the touch but will not stick to the surface. Place a warm damp towel on top and allow to rest 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut the dough into 4 even pieces. Cut each quarter into quarters again to make 16 in total. Roll the dough with the palms of your hands to make balls and again let the dough rest about 5 minutes with a warm damp towel on top.

Take one ball at a time and press flat on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circular shape to about 1/8th of an inch thick, or thinner if you like them bigger around. If they don’t come out in perfect circles, don’t worry, they will taste just as great and the more you practice the better they look!

Place the tortilla in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Do not add oil to the pan prior to adding the tortilla or after. It doesn’t need it at all. Watch the tortilla and when you see small bubbles start to form, flip it and allow it to cook. The whole cooking time for each tortilla shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes at the very most.

Place the tortilla on a plate with a warm damp cloth on top, to keep the tortillas from drying out as you make the next ones. If you time it correctly, you should be able to roll out a tortilla or two in the time it takes for one to cook.

Use your tortillas for anything from enchiladas to taco salad bowls to even making tortilla chips by baking them in the oven for about 10 minute at 350F (175C)!

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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5 Responses to “Cooking Technique: How to Make Flour Tortillas”

  1. claudia lamascolo Says:

    wow this was awesome nice job love the instructions!

  2. Belinda @zomppa Says:

    Thanks for the step by step!!

  3. Chef Dennis Says:

    my mother use to make these for me as a special treat, usually accompanied by refried beans and pan fried potatoes….that and a big glass of milk and I was in heaven….thanks so much for stirring those memories

  4. Rochelle Says:

    Sounds delicious all together! I’m glad that it brought up such great memories :)


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