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Flour Tortilla Recipe: The Ultimate How-To

June 30, 2020 7 min read 1 Comment

Flour Tortilla Recipe: The Ultimate How-To

Nothing beats the taste and smell of homemade tortillas, and with our delicious homemade flour tortilla recipe, you'll be pressing and cooking tortillas for every day of the week!

Flour tortillas recipes need just four ingredients: flour, water, salt, and vegetable oil, and a this tortilla press will make the preparation even easier, which will give you much more time to spend thinking about what to put in your tacos!

Our homemade Mexican flour tortillas are authentic, easy to press, easy to cook, and even easier to eat.

Follow our simple flour tortilla recipe, and you'll soon know how to make tortillas from scratch just like in Mexico!

How to make flour tortillas


Makes approx. 12 tortillas

  • 4 cups of white flour
  • 1 and a 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 and 2/3 cups of hot water
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of vegetable oil


How to make the flour dough

  1. Mix together 4 cups of white flour and 1 and 1/2 tsp of salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup of hot water and all of your vegetable oil to the mixing bowl. Mix together using your hands until all of the liquid has disappeared.
  3. Add the rest of the hot water, and again, mix the dough and the liquid together until no more liquid remains.
  4. If you've added too much liquid or if the dough is still really sticky, slowly add more flour until the liquid disappears.
  5. Once you're happy with the consistency (not too sticky, but not too firm!), transfer your ball of dough from the mixing dough to a flat surface that's been sprinkled with flour.
  6. Now you need to start kneading your ball of dough until it's as smooth as you can get it.
  7. Divide the large ball of dough into 12 separate balls of equal size and consistency, before moving onto the next step of the flour tortilla recipe, pressing your flour tortillas into shape!

How to press flour tortillas

It's possible to press flour tortillas using your hands (and sheer force of weight) alone, but it's a tough job. For 12 tortillas, it's going to take a while to hand press the dough, and if you're making larger batches, you're going to be tired by the end of it all!

If you do choose to press your homemade tortillas by hand, then you need to flatten them into shape using a rolling pin before smoothing them out with your hands. We much prefer using a cast iron tortilla press, however, because it's a lot easier to make both small and bulk batches of flour tortillas with this great piece of kitchen equipment!

You can quickly press bit batches of flour tortillas in one prep session, without getting tired. Your homemade tortillas will look a lot more like the real deal, too, as they'll be much flatter and a much nicer consistency.

Here's how to quickly press flour tortillas using a tortillas press:

  1. Protect your tortilla press and tortillas by laying down plastic wrap or parchment paper on either side. This prevents your dough balls from sticking to the sides!
  2. Place a ball of dough in the center of the press and pull the lever down to tightly close the lid shut.
  3. Open the tortilla press, and your flour tortilla should easily peel off the wrap.
  4. Remove the flour tortilla, place on the side, and keep repeating the flour tortilla recipe until you've run out of dough!

How to cook flour tortillas

Once you've pressed out all of your dough, we can move onto the next stage of our flour tortilla recipe. This is the stage where we start cooking those tasty tortillas!

There are a few ways we can cook our flour tortillas, but as we'll explain, some methods are definitely better than others. The cooking stage is important to get right if you want to make sure your tortillas taste delicious and hold their shape when you're making tacos later!

You can cook up your homemade tortillas in advance and store them for later because flour tortillas reheat really well.

The main methods for cooking flour tortillas are the following (we only recommend method no.4 if you are short on time!):

  1. Cast iron skillet
  2. Oven baking
  3. Tortilla warmer
  4. Microwave (last resort!)
Cast iron skillet

One of the best ways to cook flour tortillas is by using a cast-iron skillet on a stovetop. In fact, it doesn't need to necessarily be a skillet; a griddle or any other flat cooking surface will do just as nicely!

Microwaves aside, this is the quickest way to cook up your tortillas at home.

  1. Simply heat your skillet to medium heat on the stovetop.
  2. Place your flour tortillas, one by one, in the center of the skillet.
  3. Cook them for one minute, flip them over, and cook for a further minute on the other side.

Your flour tortillas should start to puff up slightly when they start to turn a light, golden brown color; that's when they are ready!

You don't need any oil or any butter because the tortillas will cook best using the dry heat directly from the cooking surface. Unless you have a large griddle, it's best to cook each flour tortilla individually in the skillet for the best results.

You can also use a cast iron skillet for cooking up crispy tortillas or taco shells. For this, you need to heat up oil in the bottom of the skillet or pan before frying the tortillas in oil. For taco shells (Taco Bell style!), a deep fryer works best.

Oven baking with tinfoil

Oven baking is a great way to cook up larger batches of homemade flour tortillas in one go. You can cook up big stacks of tortillas in the oven, rather than having to cook them individually in the bottom of a skillet.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F
  2. Wrap stacks of tortillas in tinfoil. (You can wrap all 12 from our flour tortilla recipe in one go, although we don't recommend more than this.)
  3. When the oven is hot enough, place your tin foil stack in the middle of the oven and let them bake for 25 min.

You can use the oven to reheat your tortillas later too. Just leave them in for 10 min.

Tortilla warmer

The best way to cook your flour tortillas evenly and consistently is by using ceramic warmers. These great pieces of kitchen equipment are often made from ceramic, which heats well and keeps your tortilla warm all the way through your Mexican dinner.

You can use tortilla warmers in the oven or in the microwave (we recommend the oven).

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F
  2. Stack your tortillas in the middle of the tortilla warmer, close the lid, and then bake for 25 min.

Once they are cooked, the tortilla warmer will help to keep the heat in, as long as you keep the lid closed, of course. You can wrap your tortillas in tin foil inside the tortilla warmer to keep them warm for even longer.


As a last resort, you can heat your flour tortillas in the microwave. It's really easy to overcook them in the microwave, and your tortillas will only need 30 seconds to cook through.

You also need to cook them through partially in a hot skillet before cooking them in the microwave. Microwaves are good for reheating if you're in a hurry.

  1. Heat tortillas until hot, but not cooked in a pan
  2. Sprinkle your tortillas with a dash of water
  3. Microwave them for 30 seconds ina small stack.

For the best result, use a tortilla warmer in the microwave.

Homemade flour tortilla recipe FAQ

Our delicious flour tortilla recipe is easy enough to cook up at home, but you might have a few questions you'd like answered!

We put together this quick FAQ, to answer the most common questions and queries when it comes to cooking homemade tortillas.

Can you cook flour tortillas ahead of time?

Yes! Tortillas are perfect for cooking ahead of time! In fact, we recommend it!

Prepare big batches of tortillas in advance, to save time later. You can part cook them in the oven or in a skillet, then leave them in the fridge, or even freeze them.

When it's time for those tasty tacos, you simply reheat them in the pan or in the oven.

How long do flour tortillas last?

Homemade tortillas can last for a long time in the fridge or freezer. If you store them appropriately, partly cooked, and in zip lock bags, they'll last at least ten days in the fridge. Freeze them in ziplock bags, and they can stay frozen for up to 8 months!

If you've left your tortillas in the fridge, simply reheat them. If you've frozen your tortillas, let them thaw on the side for an hour (that should be more than enough time!) before reheating them in the oven or in a pan.

Tortillas start to harden when they are starting to go off, but don't throw them out just yet! We'd recommend turning them into tortilla chips, just cut them into triangles and fry them in vegetable oil. You could use them in a Mexican soup broth, where the tortilla chips become super soggy anyway, or you could cook up a plate of nachos covered in cheese!

Are flour tortillas healthy?

Flour tortilla calories aren't necessarily the healthiest calories you can consume, and that's because they aren't as healthy as corn tortillas. Flour tortillas have more calories, while in comparison to corn tortillas, flour tortilla nutrition levels are quite low.

Homemade flour tortillas are the healthiest flour tortillas you could be eating, though, so don't feel too bad, especially when you're enjoying those delicious burritos for dinner!

You can make your flour tortillas healthier by using whole grain flour, instead of processed white flour. Homemade tortillas are much healthier than store-bought tortillas too. There are fewer preservatives, and there are fewer processed ingredients if you press and cook the tortillas at home.

Of course, how healthy your tortillas are, depends as much on the filings and toppings you use when you turn them into tacos anyway!

It's easy to perfect this delicious flour tortilla recipe! We guarantee that you'll soon be pressing and cooking homemade tortillas regularly after trying this recipe! Turn them into tasty tacos or brilliant burritos! Why not bookmark our tortilla-making guide to use later?

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1 Response

Rosanna Wickstrom
Rosanna Wickstrom

June 29, 2021

Can I use parchment paper in the oven instead of tin foil?

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