If you have ever eaten at an authentic Mexican eatery, you will understand the absolute bliss that comes from tucking into a soft flour tortilla. The soft stretch in the dough that envelopes succulent and fresh fillings. Fresh soft flour tortillas are comforting and delicious, not to mention extremely simple and easy to make at home. Here is the low down on the perfect soft tortilla.
A Secret Batch of Soft Tortillas
The secret to any perfect tortilla recipe is the love with which it is made and the power of a tortilla press. Many home cooks shy away from making tortillas because it might seem time-consuming and tedious to roll tortilla after tortilla out with a rolling pin—the frustration when it sticks to the counter or breaks, and the stress of starting over.
A tortilla press makes it so much easier; it streamlines the entire process. You will have a stack of tortillas in no time that you can freeze for later or keep in your refrigerator for a grab-and-go meal.
The Softest Flour Tortillas on the Block
This homemade flour tortilla from scratch recipe is so easy you might never buy another package of store-bought tortillas again.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, for a gluten-free option, see the note below.
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil or butter
- 1 cup warm water (use boiling water if you are using a stand mixer with a dough hook)
The Tortilla Dough Mixture:
- In a stand mixer: Use the dough hook attachment, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter/vegetable oil and mix well on medium speed; slowly pour the hot water in. Allow the mixer to knead the tortilla dough until it becomes soft and smooth. The dough should come off the sides of the bowl easily. Add more water or more flour until it reaches the desired consistency. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky in texture.
- By hand: In a large glass bowl, combine the dry ingredients and the butter. Slowly begin pouring in the warm water; it should be as hot as possible. Knead the tortilla dough by hand until it comes away from the sides easily. When the dough is mixed well in the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough.
How to Make Flour Tortillas:
Divide the dough into 18 – 20 small dough balls. Place the dough on a floured baking sheet and cover with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap for 30 minutes.
Press your tortillas in a press between sheets of parchment paper. Stack them up next to you. Prepare a clean plate or cutting board with a kitchen towel for the cooked tortillas.
If you are rolling your tortillas out by hand, make sure they are about 6-inches wide. Always use a floured work surface.
Cooking the Tortillas:
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Drop a dash of water into the pan; if the water sizzles and evaporates completely, the pan is ready.
Carefully place the tortilla in the center of the hot pan and allow it to cook until light brown spots appear. Flip the tortilla over and cook the other side.
Place the tortilla on the plate and cover it with a cloth. As you cook the flour tortillas, stack them up and cover them with a cloth.
Gluten-Free option: If you are gluten-free, use a flour mix that has psyllium husk in it. When rolling, handle the tortillas with a bit of extra care and press them a little thicker.
Homemade flour tortillas are easy to store; keeping a batch on hand means you never have to run to the store if you run out of bread or tortillas or if you crave late-night nachos.
- Fresh Tortillas - to store fresh-pressed tortillas, you can either cook them and cool them before storing them or keep the pressed tortilla dough in the refrigerator. Cool your tortillas down if they are cooked, wrap in plastic wrap, store in the fridge for up to 2 days. If you are storing the pressed dough, stack them between parchment paper pieces; simply remove them from the refrigerator and cook in a hot skillet before eating.
- Freezing pre-made tortillas - If you like being prepared, you can stack and store your pressed tortillas in the freezer between sheets of parchment paper. Seal them in a large ziplock bag or an airtight container. To freeze the dough, section the dough out into balls that will form individual tortillas, freeze the dough balls on a baking sheet; once frozen, place in an airtight container. Thaw the dough thoroughly before rolling out.