The best wheat flour tortillas I've ever had

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Sylvia Hook
By: Stacy SpensleyCC BY 2.0

This is a new tortilla recipe I found and, it makes the best tortillas I've ever had. It's a recipe for wheat flour tortillas that's been adapted slightly from Flatbreads and Flavours. These are actually surprisingly easy, and incredibly delicious when they're fresh.

To make these, you will need a medium-sized bowl, a heavy griddle or cast-iron skillet at least 8" in diameter, and a rolling pin.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups hard unbleached white flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 3T lard (the original recipe calls for corn oil, but mentions that lard is traditional; I didn't have corn oil)
  • ½ to ¾ cup of warm water

Instructions:

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in the lard, and blend it thoroughly. Gradually add ½ cup of warm water, stirring with a fork to moisten the dough evenly. If it is too dry to gather into a dough that will hold together, add a little more water.

Gather the dough into a ball, turn out onto a work surface, and knead briefly. The dough should be neither particularly wet nor especially dry, but easily kneaded.

Divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Flatten each between lightly floured palms to a disc approximately 3" in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.

Heat an 8-inch or larger cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat until very hot (make sure your griddle is hot enough before beginning to cook the tortillas).

On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll out a tortilla until it is 7–8" in diameter. Place the tortilla on the griddle; if the griddle is sufficiently hot, the first side should cook and become speckled with brown in approximately 45 seconds. Turn the tortilla and cook for 45 seconds longer. Remove and wrap in a kitchen towel.

As each tortilla is cooking, you should have just enough time to roll out the next tortilla. Stack the finished tortillas one on top of the other, and keep them wrapped in the towel. Serve warm.

Tortilla dough can be stored in the refrigerator, well sealed in plastic bags for up to a week. Before rolling out the tortillas, let the dough come to room temperature.

You can also store leftover tortillas in the freezer, well sealed in plastic. To reheat a cold tortilla, place on a hot dry cast-iron or other heavy skillet or griddle for 30 seconds, flipping it over halfway though. Once reheated, tortillas toughen quickly, so reheat them only as you need them.

My notes:
They do lose a fair bit by the second day, so saving the dough would be better than saving cooked tortillas — don't get me wrong, they're still decent tortillas the next day, they're just not much of an improvement (other than price-wise) on the store-bought kind. And that's a bit disappointing the day after you've been in tortilla-heaven.

The step where you make the discs is pretty important. Take the time to actually make them round — how round they are at that stage in large part determines how round you'll be able to make them when you roll them out.

That half-hour of rest time is a good chance to make refried beans, chop veggies, make guacamole, grate cheese — prepare whatever you want to put in your tortillas. Alternatively, if you're some sort of über-prepared kitchen ninja who already has everything ready (or, y'know, you decided to buy everything pre-made and pre-chopped), you can use that time to clean up your kitchen. Or play video games. Whatever floats your boat.

  1. This sounds very similar to a recipe in an old mexican cookbook I remember from my grandfather's house when I was a teenager. I made them a few times and they were so very, very good! I was really sad to realize I hadn't managed to save that recipe. I may just have to make these in the next couple of days. Thanks!

  2. These look delicious! I make my own corn tortillas but this seems like the perfect recipe to have on hand when guests come over. Thank you!

  3. Will this be the thing that motivates me to finally make my own tortillas? Probably not! But I'm still gunna Pin this and dream of a different life, a life wherein I actually make the things I wanna make.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Yes, thank you for sharing this recipe! We eat a lot of tortillas here and I would love to try my hand at making them. (Plus, if it's both cheaper and tastier than store-bought tortillas, it's well worth the effort!)

    • And in that same vein : what is "hard" unbleached white flour? I have unbleached white flour at home but "hard"? Please elaborate 🙂

      • "Hard" means it's made from "hard wheat", which has a higher gluten content. It's also sold as bread flour. I'm the type of person who keeps five different wheat flours around at all times, so I haven't tried with all-purpose flour but you could probably get away with it — the dough probably won't be as elastic, and they may fall apart more easily, since the higher gluten level is going to give them the ability to stretch instead of tearing, and give them a bit of lovely chewiness. You could make up for that somewhat by kneading more to develop the gluten further, or adding a bit of gluten if you happen to keep that around. You'll likely need less of the water with all-purpose flour, as well, since it tends to be a little less dense.

        Happy cooking!

        • What about almond flour or coconut flour for those who can't have wheat and all purpose flour? I miss tortillas!

          • My personal guess would be that you need SOME kind of glue to hold the tortillas together. Maybe not as much as you need for bread, but still enough.
            You could look into this specially treated corn flour: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixtamalization http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/make-masa-nixtamalized-corn-zmaz04amzsel.aspx#axzz33ACcmRMT (Maybe they'll sell it somewhere in the USA? Stores for Mexican food? But I have no idea actually!) Since it is one of the traditional tortilla bases.

          • I would reccomend buying corn masa mix and making corn tortillas. The instructions are on the bag of masa (we get it for around $4 at our local grocery store), and all you add is salt (well, I add garlic and other spices) and warm water. If you happen to have a tortilla press, life is even easier – roll a ball and squish!

            The bag we get gives us well over 100 tortillas for that price, so it works out to be quite economical, plus they taste great, too!

        • Thanks for the info! As someone who doesn't bake much, the intricacies of flour types always baffle me a bit 😉

        • Fabulous !! THIS is what i needed to know !! My hubby is from Sonora, Mx and we have been desperately trying to replicate his mom's wheat tortilla, as we live in France and he doesn't get back home much… try as we may, it never worked ! They would come out brittle at best, hard in the worst case. And kind of.. crumbly and pasty in the mouth.

          We are going to the store tomorrow to find white bread flour, and see if that works better 🙂

          A thousand thanks, mil gracias, mille mercis !!

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