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Homemade Flour Tortillas

Homemade Flour Tortillas with Lard from www.loveandoliveoil.com

Following yesterdays Crispy Cauliflower Tacos, I thought I’d share our favorite recipe for homemade flour tortillas. This is one of those situations where store-bought simply can’t compare to homemade. Seriously, make a quesadilla with these babies, and you’ll see what I mean. I promise you won’t be disappointed. The taste and texture are unlike anything you can buy in a (normal) grocery store; they practically melt in your mouth with a buttery softness not unlike a pie crust.

The secret?

Lard.

No, seriously.

We found some really nice lard at a hip local butcher (if you’re local, you know the place). If you can find good quality lard, use it: you’ll end up with a richly flavored tortilla and not one that tastes like bacon. Although that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but lesser quality lards do have a pronounced porky flavor. If you can only find gigantic containers of lard, divide it up into 1/3 cup portions and freeze it, that way you always have some on hand when the tortilla-craving hits.

If you can’t find or would rather not use lard, unflavored vegetable shortening is your next best bet. While the flavor might not be quite as robust, it’ll still beat a store-bought tortilla any day (honestly, those things are as flat in flavor as they are in shape).

How to Make Homemade Flour Tortillas from www.loveandoliveoil.com

The process of making flour tortillas is actually easier than corn, because you don’t need any gadgets or presses other than your hands and a rolling pin. Also unlike corn (which are better fresh), flour tortillas keep quite well and can be made a day or two ahead of time.

How to Make Homemade Flour Tortillas from www.loveandoliveoil.com

The dough does need to rest for 30 minutes before you roll and cook, so give yourself enough time. There’s nothing worse than a last minute scramble to get dinner on the table. But once you get the hang of it, you may find yourself hesitant to buy store bought tortillas again. It’s well worth it, I promise.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Yield: 8 large or 10-12 small tortillas

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup (9 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup lard
  • 1/2 cup cool water

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add the lard, in chunks, and cut in with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle in the water, and stir with a fork until the mixture comes together.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead, adding more flour as needed (up to 1/4 cup) until the dough is smooth and pliable. Using a scale, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (for large tortillas) or 10-12 pieces (for smaller tortillas). Shape into balls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Place a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Lightly flour your work surface, and roll each ball into a thin circle (about 8-inches in diameter for large, 6-inch diameter for small tortillas). Keep unused dough covered with a tea towel until ready to use.
  4. Cook the tortillas for 1 to 2 minutes per side until light golden brown in spots. Transfer to a plate or serving platter and cover with a tea-towel. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Tortillas will keep, refrigerated and sealed in an airtight bag, for up to 3 days. Microwave for 30 seconds under a damp tea towel to reheat.

Recipe from Alton Brown.

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36 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 6:33 am

    I’ve been wanting to try homemade tortillas but was holding off since I didn’t have a tortilla press. Now I don’t need it which is great news because that seemed like a silly purchase, even for a food blogger! Happy Friday.

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 6:51 am

    This is such a great tutorial! I’ve always wanted to make my own tortillas!

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 7:51 am

    This look perfect and I never would have guessed lard is the secret ingredient. Must try this!

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 8:09 am

    They look awesome and do sound rather easy. I’ve also been waiting to borrow the tortilla press from my friends. It’s awesome that these can be made without one. Perfect! Now I’m craving Mexican! :)

    Reply

  5. 5
    ladsimm
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Is there a substitue for the lard by chance? I cannot wait to try and so true re: making without a tortilla press since every recipe calls for one. They look great!!!

    Reply

    • Posted On July 25, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Unflavored vegetable shortening will work as well. :)

  6. 6
    Karen D
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I’m  vegetarian, so I don’t use lard.  I’ve found that by reducing the salt & adding approximately 1/2 tsp of baking powder works well, as the baking powder helps lighten them.

    Reply

    • Posted On July 25, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Do you use the vegetable shortening then??

    • Posted On July 25, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Vegetable shortening can be substituted directly for the lard if you prefer. We tried making recipes that called for baking powder and did not like the results, but could be that’s just us.

  7. 7
    Carol
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I’m local, but I guess I’m not hip!! Can you tell me the local butcher where you got the lard? Or at least a BIG hint? Thanks. Love the blog.

    Reply

    • Posted On July 25, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Porter Road Butcher. Found this at the Charlotte location but guessing the east side version would have some as well. :)

  8. 8
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Definitely going to have to make these!!  And I’m pretty sure I know which butcher you referenced!  ;-)

    Reply

  9. 9
    Sophia
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Thank you for the recipe, I was looking at a homemade flour tortilla recipe that had fat but not lard and I have bee looking for more recipes other than pie crust that I can use my grassfed pastured lard on. For those who do do not have a local rad butcher, here is where I bought mine. They also give out subscriber coupons is you sign up. I am looking forward to making these! And no, I do not work for them, I just buy their products. :)

    http://fatworks.wazala.com/

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 10:16 am

    1/4″ thick? Isn’t that going to make these too bready and heavy? The last time I made these using another recipe, I rolled them 1/8″ thick and they were still too thick.

    How thinly do you think you can get away with rolling these to get a lighter end result?

    Reply

    • Posted On July 25, 2014 at 10:34 am

      It’s really personal preference, you can definitely roll them as thin as you’d like!

  11. 11
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Looks perfect, Lindsay! Never tried making tortillas at home. Now I’m convinced!

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 11:20 am

    This has been on my to-try list for way too long – they even look so much better than the store bought version! 

    Reply

  13. 13
    Lydia
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Just wondering if you tried these with anything other than white flour? My hubby is boarderline diabetic so a lower GI option would be great!

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I am so going to try this soon! Love the step-by-step photos. :)

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    When I read your recipe the other day and it said preferably use homemade tortillas, I had a feeling these were coming! Pinned your collage – the step shots are so helpful!

    Reply

  16. 16
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Wow you make it look easy. Having them homemade is such a difference. We have a local restaurant and they make them right out front in the restaurant. Of course they make it look easy. Apparently it is. I pinned this too.

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Lard is the secret to my dad’s pie crusts too! Although most of the time he uses butter. But when he had some lard leftover from cooking he makes sure to use it in a pie. I gotta try making my own tortillas sometime. It’s been on my list for a long time.

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I absolutely love burritos, tacos & quesadillas, so I’m pretty sure I’d use this recipe ALL the time!  Perfect!

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On July 26, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Good for you, Lindsey! The word lard got my attention. I’ve been troubled that genuine lard tortillas are so hard to find in Mexican food grocery stores even! There’s just the two of us so don’t know if I’ll try making them myself but I guess you could have used that excuse, too! Thanks for a rare, basic flour tortilla recipe!

    Reply

  20. 20
    Leslie
    Posted On July 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Great..step by step photos. It makes it easy to follow :) Thank you

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On July 26, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Looks amazing! I make all of my families bread at home, I have made homemade pitas and I agree they are much better! The lard does make me a tad nervous but it’s only a once in a while treat. Thank you!

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On July 28, 2014 at 3:53 am

    i’ve always been incredibly lazy and purchased  my tortillas from the store, definitely inspired to make my own now!

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On July 28, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Ok, you have convinced me…I have always had such trouble with flour tortillas…trying lard next time. Also, that’s the worst word :)

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On August 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Impressive!  I never think to make these and always buy them.  NOW I have a great recipe to use.  Thank you!  Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

    Reply

  25. 25
    Posted On August 5, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I cannot wait to try these out – we always buy tortillas at the store and end up not using them all before they get stale. They also tend to lack in the flavor department. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

  26. 26
    Val in MN
    Posted On August 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Gotta try this! Hubby and I prefer natural fats, even lard to things like Crisco and margarine. Thank-you!

    Reply

  27. 27
    Posted On August 18, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Yum. Ever since moving to London from LA, I’ve really been missing good Mexican food! I just mixed the dough up for these tortillas.. can’t wait to roll and cook them in 30 minutes!   

    Reply

  28. 28
    Posted On August 20, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Will this work with rice flour or other gluten free flour? Would you add xanthum gum or ???

    Reply

  29. 29
    Melissa
    Posted On August 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Can we freeze the dough before rolling them?
    It could be nice to have them on hand when I need some…
    Thanks!

    Reply

  30. 30
    Sonder Legari
    Posted On September 16, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Vegan version please?

    Reply

    • Posted On September 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Shortening. :)

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