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Learn How to Make Tortillas at Home

Is there anything better than fresh, warm, delicious tortillas packed full of your favorite treats? [...]

Is there anything better than fresh, warm, delicious tortillas packed full of your favorite treats? No matter what you fill your tortillas with, these tasty wraps are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Not only are they delicious, but it might surprise you to know that making freshly baked tortillas at home is incredibly quick and easy. And once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll never want store-bought again!

What is a tortilla?

Tortillas were first made by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica earlier than 500BC. Most people today, however, would probably think of them as a Mexican staple. They’re flat, round pieces of bread usually made from corn (maize) or wheat flour.

It’s really easy to make homemade tortillas, yet many people avoid it due to a fear that it’s a complicated process they don’t feel comfortable undertaking.

In this article, we’re going to learn how to make homemade flour tortillas, but corn tortillas are just as straightforward.

How do you make tortillas?

Tortillas are incredibly easy to make and require just four ingredients: 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/3 cup fat (We think lard works best, but vegetable oil, shortener, and butter are also popular).

To make the tortillas:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and cut in your chosen fat and a splash of water.
  2. Once the ingredients are combined, knead the mixture into a supple dough on a lightly floured surface. (A good tip is to try and get the water as hot as you can to bring the dough together swiftly and not to over-flour.)
  3. After kneading, quickly divide the dough into bite-sized chunks and roll them out as flat and thin as possible, ensuring they’re the same thickness all the way around.
  4. At this point, you’ll need to let the dough rest for approximately 15 minutes before cooking your tortillas on a pre-heated skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.

Is it cheaper to make your own tortillas?

Flour tortillas can cost as little as $1 across the USA; however, this can vary between stores and even states.

Making a tortilla from scratch usually comes in at around $0.30 up to $0.40 per batch, so it is cheaper to make your own… Not to mention more fun!

What do I need to make homemade tortillas?

The beauty of a tortilla is in its simplicity, and how few tools are actually essential in the making of them.

As a beginner, you need to start with a minimum of a mixing bowl, rolling pin, and a cast iron skillet.

That said, if you really want to impress with your homemade tortillas, you might want to invest in some more professional items such as a tortilla press like the ones at https://unocasa.com/products/tortilla-press.

You might also want a pastry roller for a bit of extra help in creating truly thin and perfect tortillas, or even a tortilla warmer to keep your homemade tortillas toasty and warm!

Why are my homemade tortillas tough?

There are a few reasons your homemade flour tortillas might not come out quite the way you expected. Usually, this is due to overbaking.

Although such a short cook time might feel uncomfortable, up to a minute is all you need for perfect tortillas that aren’t too tough or chewy.

Another reason your tortillas are tough could be due to over-kneading. You don’t need to battle with tortilla dough the same way you might with bread. Look for a smooth, elastic consistency. You should also use really hot water and don’t add too much flour when kneading.

How long will homemade tortillas last?

Once you’ve made your perfect tortillas from home, if you don’t eat them all immediately, you might want to store some for another day. At room temperature, homemade tortillas can last for up to 12 hours, or you can refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.

What can I do with my homemade tortillas?

There are almost no limits to the fillings for your homemade tortillas! From shrimp fajitas to spicy chicken tacos, your tortillas will be the perfect accompaniment to almost any dish. And why stop at dinner? If Taco Bell can serve KitKat-filled tortillas, then why can’t you?!

Perfect for dinner, lunch, breakfast, and even dessert… Once you’ve mastered homemade tortillas, nothing will stop you!  

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Laura.Bartlett

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