White Flour Tortillas

August 4, 2008 at 4:49 am (Mexican & S. American, Mom’s recipes, Quick weeknight recipe, unrated)


Back in the 70’s, when my parents lived on a farm in Tennessee, my mom used to make hundreds of tortillas. She stopped making them once we moved to Austin, where tasty and cheap tortillas are readily available. Thus, I never learned how to make tortillas myself. However, the quality of tortillas available in Saarbruecken is quite low. I’m sure like other Texans I’ll get homesick for tortillas, so I asked her to show me how to make them.

  • 1 cup white wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 6 Tbs. water
  1. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add oil. Mix with wooden spoon, mixing as little as possible. Over-working the dough will result in a stiff dough and tough not tender tortillas. Add 3 Tbs. of water all at once and mix. Add remaining 3 Tbs. of water and mix again. Next use your hands to form the dough into a ball. If the dough is sticky add a little more flour. If there are bits of dough that won’t stay incorporated into the dough ball, add another teaspoon or two of water. Divide dough into four or five balls.
  2. Preheat cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  3. Sprinkle flour on counter. Roll one dough ball around to lightly coat with flour. Press ball into a flat four-inch disk. Use a rolling pin to roll the disk into a thin circle, sized to fit your skillet, about 8 to 9 inches in diameter. Use the same method to roll the dough as is used to roll out a pie crust: always roll from the center of the disk.
  4. Place tortilla in dry, pre-heated skillet (still on medium heat), and cook until the top starts to bubble (about 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how hot your skillet is). Flip. Cook for 30 seconds on second side.
  5. Eat immediately or stack and cover with a lightly damp cloth. To keep warm, wrap the tortillas in foil and place in a warm oven.

Makes 4 to 5 tortillas. Tortillas will be thicker and slightly larger if you make four, and thinner and slightly smaller in diameter if you make five.

My Notes:

I really enjoyed these flour tortillas. They’re just like the Austin tortillas I grew up on: a bit puffy, nice and chewy, and browned in just a few spots. They’re pretty easy to make too, if you don’t count getting the flour off of everything.

My sister Hanaleah really liked them too. Her comment: “I want another one. Why’d you only make four???” So the second time we made them we doubled the recipe, but everyone was still pining for another even after their second tortilla.

The homesicktexan recipe I link to above is similar to this one except that they use milk instead of water, and they use three times as much baking powder. The also knead the dough briefly and then let it rest for 20 minutes. I’m curious to see how their tortillas differ from this one. We also want to try making whole wheat tortillas. Stay tuned.

1 Comment

  1. austingardener said,

    You do mean if sticky add more flour not water?

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