Soft, tender, and authentic. With 4 simple ingredients, you're about to learn how to make flour tortillas from scratch.
No preservatives or funny ingredients here. These babies are going to be your new favorite snack, side dish, or food mopper upper.
There's no arguing our love for corn tortillas. They instantly come to mind when authentic Mexican food is brought up.
But we learned something recently.
Flour tortillas are also very authentically Mexican. Long ago, when the Spaniards settled in Northern Mexico, they discovered the cold winters were perfect for their wheat crops to flourish.
Since then, not only are flour tortillas enjoyed in Mexico, but they have become a staple all across the world.
So, what's actually in a flour tortilla?
They consist primarily of four ingredients: flour, fat, salt, and water.
All-purpose flour is relatively low in gluten, which creates a soft tortilla. Avoid bread flour as it contains higher amounts of this protein.
We're definitely not sold on using lard (couple of vegans here), so we've included neutral oil in our recipe. Any one will do.
We've heard of people using coconut oil, but we wanted to keep things as cheap and authentic as possible.
You can definitely make a salt-free recipe, but it really helps elevate the overall taste. We wouldn't recommend skipping it.
You've probably also seen a lot of flour tortilla recipes that call for baking powder, but we don't find this necessary at all.
For one, it's not traditionally used in Mexican tortilla recipes. And two, it's just an additional ingredient.
So, you must be ready to make your very own flour tortillas by now!
Once you take your first bite, you'll never be able to look at store-bought the same way again.
These flour tortillas are completely vegan and are perfect for quesadillas, fajitas, burritos, or as a snack on their own!
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: known as all-purpose flour, this has a rather mild wheat flavor. It gives the tortillas a soft texture and slightly sweet taste.
Health: compared to store-bought tortillas, homemade gives you the benefit of no preservatives! It really makes you think twice about the ingredient lists of mainstream tortilla brands.
Fun fact: flour has been made since prehistoric times. Some of the earliest methods involved grinding grain between stones (and here we are now driving around in electric cars).
Taste: opt for neutral oils to avoid an overpowering flavor on the rest of the tortilla.
Health: if you're looking to purely save money, you can't beat soybean or canola oil. But if you want to retain some health properties, avocado oil is a great choice.
Fun fact: some of the most common neutral oils include corn, peanut, grape seed, or safflower oil (as well as the ones listed above).
Don't forget to check our FAQ at the bottom of the page if you're unsure of how to troubleshoot this recipe.
Step 1: whisk the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the oil and water together then add this to the flour and salt. Stir the dough together with a spatula.
Note: the dough will seem crumbly at this point, but once you start the kneading process, it will come together.
Step 2: remove the dough from your mixing bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it's sticking together but not coming off on your hands. Keep on kneading for about 4-5 minutes.
Step 3: cut the dough into 12 smaller pieces and roll each one until smooth. Once they are rolled, slightly flatten them, and cover with a towel to rest for 15 minutes up to a few hours (the longer they rest, the softer they'll turn out).
Step 4: if you have a tortilla press, open it and lightly flour both surfaces. Place a tortilla in the center, close it, and press down gently to form tortillas about 6 inches in diameter.
Step 5: if you don't have a tortilla press, don't fret! These are super easy to make with a rolling pin. Begin rolling the disc of dough out with your pin on a lightly floured surface until it's quite thin (it should be almost see-through).
Step 6: preheat a seasoned cast-iron skillet slowly (~10 minutes to heat it evenly) up to medium. Then, add a tortilla in and cook on the first side for 30-60 seconds, or until you see bubbling and light brown spots. Flip and cook for another 30-40 seconds.
Note: for us, 30 seconds on the first side and 30 seconds on the second seems to be the sweet spot with our cast-iron and gas stove, but you may have to adjust the time and heat level depending on your stove and pan.
Step 7: when the tortilla looks ready, remove it from the heat and wrap it in a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve these warm with your favorite meals!
Keeping warm: while you're cooking all the tortillas, it's important to keep them wrapped in a tea towel or tortilla warmer. The trapped steam will keep them soft and pliable.
Room temperature: you can keep these in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Fridge: these will keep in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. They will harden a little once in your fridge, but you can easily reheat them (see below).
Freezer: let your tortillas cool completely before stacking with parchment or wax paper in between. Wrap with foil and keep in a freezer-safe bag for up to 6-8 months. Thaw the amount you want in your fridge overnight.
Reheating: microwave your tortilla on a plate with a damp cloth or paper towel over top for about 20-30 seconds. You can also reheat them in a covered skillet over low for 20-30 seconds per side.
💭 Pro tips
Time to share our tips and tricks we learned while perfecting this recipe for you:
- The texture will be slightly crumbly when you initially mix it. But as you continue kneading, the consistency will turn more uniform.
- Start your cast-iron skillet low and slow to ensure you get the right temperature (for extra points, use a laser thermometer to ensure the pan is at 425-475 degrees F).
- If you're seeing dark brown or black spots too quickly, turn the heat down and wait a few minutes before starting the next tortilla.
- Don't worry about rolling these out perfectly. They still taste delicious! Plus, the oblong shapes totally add to the authenticity.
- Make a double batch and freeze the extras to save you time in the future.
🍴 Tasting notes
We love homemade flour tortillas and we know you're soon going to be a fan too. They're:
If you try this recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
How to Make Flour Tortillas From Scratch
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour ($0.22)
- 1 tsp salt ($0.02)
- ¼ cup (53g) neutral oil ($0.08)
- 1 cup (217g) very warm water ($0.01)
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the oil and water together then add this to the bowl of flour and salt. Stir the dough together with a spatula.
- Note: the dough will seem crumbly at this point, but once you start the kneading process, it will come together more uniformly.
- Next, remove the dough from your mixing bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Begin kneading the dough to form a ball that's sticky enough to stay together, but not coming off on your hands. Keep folding over and pressing with your palm for 4-5 minutes.
- If the dough appears too crumbly, continue adding a tbsp of water at a time until you are able to form a texture similar to play dough. If it's too sticky, similarly add a tbsp of flour while continuing to knead.
- Cut the ball of dough into 12 smaller pieces. Roll each piece of dough in between your palms until smooth and then flatten slightly. Once they are rolled and flattened, cover with a towel to rest for at least 15 minutes up to a few hours (the longer they rest, the softer they'll turn out).
- if you have a tortilla press, lightly flour the surface. Open the press and place a tortilla in the center, then close it and press down gently to form tortillas about 6 inches in diameter.
- If you don't have a tortilla press, use your hand to flatten the ball, then begin rolling it out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. The tortilla should be quite thin (almost see-through.)
- If you don't have a rolling pin, continue pressing down with a hard, flat surface until your tortilla is the same size as the above methods.
- Preheat a seasoned cast-iron skillet slowly (~10 minutes to heat it evenly) up to medium. Then, add a tortilla in and cook on the first side for 30-60 seconds, or until you see bubbles forming and light brown spots on the underside. Flip and cook for another 30-40 seconds.
- Note: for us, 30 seconds on the first side and 30 seconds on the second seems to be the sweet spot with our cast-iron and gas stove, but you may have to adjust depending on your stove and pan.
- Remove from heat and wrap each tortilla in a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve your flour tortillas warm with your favorite meals. Enjoy!
- Some people use baking powder to create more Tex-Mex style tortillas. We don't find it necessary, but you can add 1 tsp of baking powder to this recipe.
- The resting period hydrates the flour and softens the gluten bonds, which makes softer, more pliable tortillas.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- Nutritional information is a rough estimate.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more how-to recipes, check out our:
- Corn tortillas to decide which one you prefer (or maybe it's both).
- Sourdough bread for a snack that's soft on the inside, slightly tangy, and crunchy on the outside.
- Spreadable vegan cheese for an easy, creamy recipe to spread on these tortillas.
- Homemade peanut butter if you're finally ready to say goodbye to store-bought and find out what you've been missing!
If your dough is too dry, add in warm water 1 tbsp at a time until it stays together with kneading.
If your dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 tbsp at a time until it reaches a playdough consistency.
You don't have to let the dough rest. But to ensure you have the softest tortillas, leave them for a minimum of 30 minutes before cooking.
If your tortillas are sticking to the pan, it likely means you didn't preheat it enough before putting the tortilla on to fry. This is especially important if you use a cast-iron skillet since it takes a while to heat up evenly.
You can make these without oil if you want. They won't be as flavorful, and the texture will be dry.
We haven't tried making this gluten-free since gluten plays an important role in flour tortillas. You can try using your favorite gluten-free flour blend, but we think you're better off making our gluten-free corn tortillas.