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Mar 19, 2014 09:52 PM

Trying to make flour tortillas

I'm looking for a good recipe for flour tortillas. I've tried two recipes so far without good results.
Does anyone have a recipe and technique I can give another go...

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  1. Can you outline the recipes? What was wrong?

    In my limited experience, making good flour tortillas is more a matter of technique than recipe. It may help if you are already an experienced pie dough baker. Also a dough with more fat is easier (for a beginner) to roll out thin.

    1 Reply
    1. re: paulj

      been using olive oil for the fat. think thats it. dry.

    2. Mix dough.....roll into balls...flatten..... then cook.

        1. re: small h

          Yup, I have used that one. I use butter when I don't have any lard and it works well, too.

          Flour tortilla dough is a lovely dough to work with.

          1. re: sandylc

            Rick Bayless Homemade Flour Tortillas

            On YouTube is an episode of Rick Bayless in his show One Plate at a Time making homemade flour tortillas.
            The episode is called "Making Quesadillas".


            I made these recipe notes while watching that episode:

            Rick Bayless Homemade Flour Tortillas

            Makes One Dozen, 7-inch, flour tortillas

            3/4 cup (175 gr) cold tap Water
            1 tsp (6 gr) Table Salt
            2 3/4 cups (3/4 lb) (340 gr) All Purpose Flour
            1/3 cup (65 gr) Shortening (vegetable or pork fat).

            Mix salt into the cup of water.
            Place flour and shortening in food processor.
            Pulse until shortening is well mixed.
            With food processor running, pour in salty water slowly.
            Process until dough forms a ball. It should be slightly sticky.
            Remove from food processor and roll dough out into sausage shape on slightly floured counter.
            Cut into 6 even size pieces.
            Cut each of the 6 pieces in half to make 12 pieces of dough.
            Roll each piece of dough into a ball.
            Place 12 dough balls on plate and cover with plastic wrap.
            Let dough balls rest on plate, covered with plastic wrap on counter, for 1/2 hour.
            Roll out each dough ball into a 7-inch tortilla, one at a time as you cook them. Dust counter with a little flour
            while rolling out tortilla. Using a rolling pin, roll out tortilla from the center to edge, while rotating tortilla.
            Cook in a dry or slightly oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat.
            Turn over after a minute or two.
            Cook until tops of bubbles that form are browned.
            As each tortilla is cooked, stack in a cloth lined (clean dish towel, etc) basket and cover with the cloth.
            They will steam and soften each other as they sit in the covered basket while you cook the remaining tortillas.

            Makes 12 flour tortillas.

            Source: One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless, episode "Making Quesadillas", as viewed on YouTube.

                1. re: helmut fig newton

                  Those look really tasty. Glad it worked for you.

                  1. re: Antilope

                    Thanks. Yeah, I like the shortening more than using oil or butter. They have just the right chewiness.

                      1. re: helmut fig newton

                        Hi Chris,

                        Those babies look amazing ! I am going to try making them tonight. How was their texture and softness after steaming ?

                        My many attempts to make flour tortillas (with very similar recipes, but not using a food processor) have made tortillas that were a little tough and too biscuity (they crack when folded).

                        1. re: PoppiYYZ

                          My best effort yet !

                          Dough formed, rolled out, and cooked up perfectly. However, as with my past attempts, the tortillas were a little too crispy even after steaming. They also 'crisped' up more once removed from the hot steam towel. Any suggestions ? Maybe roll slightly thicker, cook slightly less, or is that the way fresh (and azodicarbonamide free !) tortillas are supposed to be ?

                          PS My previous recipes were almost identical but didn't use a food processor and included a tiny amount of baking powder (which I reduced and reduced trying to make the tortillas less crispy / biscuity).

                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                            Increasing the fat will make them softer.

                1. What have the results been? If they are turning out like "flying discs", be sure to cover them with a towel just after taking them from the griddle.

                  I think it helps to start with masa trigo from the store, if you are having difficulty with other recipes. It is generally not as good as making them from scratch, but it may be easier to get the feel of the dough.

                  If you make your own from scratch be sure to use a fairly soft (low protein) flour. You can improve all-purpose flour with a little cake flour added. Don't overwork the dough, or you'll have too much gluten. Use lard. If you want them flexible when cold, use a bit less lard (or whatever you use), otherwise they will be hard when cold and need to be reheated to get soft.

                  Use a good griddle and be sure the temp is close to 450.

                  Let us know how it works out!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: travelerjjm

                    I'm currently using masa trigo, though I think it is little more than flour with some salt and fat added. But I need more practice with rolling.

                    1. re: travelerjjm

                      thank you this is what i needed! i've been overworking the dough, using olive oil...

                        1. re: paulj

                          You can use other fats. Lard has always worked the best for me, though. I never got shortening or olive oil to produce as flavorful or properly-textured tortillas. I have not tried butter.

                          It may be the mouthfeel or it may be another factor. I don't know this aspect of food science well enough to know.