Flour Tortillas

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Flour tortilla are a simple mixture of flour, fat (lard or vegetable shortening), salt and water. Despite what you may have read, flour tortillas are NOT made with a tortilla press. The dough is too soft and sticky and will not flatten without the assistance of skilled hands or (for the rest of us) a rolling pin (palote).

The best (and traditional) rolling pin (palote) is made of wood and is 14" - 18" long and about 1" in diameter.

Flour tortillas are made with wheat flour and in order for the tortilla to maintain its flattened shape the dough must be rolled until the gluten strands break down. Without rolling the ball of dough would just snap back into its prior shape.
  • PrepN/A |
  • TotalN/A |
  • ServesMakes 12 tortillas


    • 3/4 pound (2-3/4 cups ) all purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling the tortillas
    • 5 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening, or a mixture of the two
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt


Put the flour in a large bowl and rub the lard or shortening into the flour using your fingertips. Add the salt to the water to dissolve. Mix the water into the flour a small amount at a time until you form a stiff dough.

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and kneed it for about 10-15 minutes until it is elastic.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll each one into a ball with the palm of your hands. Cover the pieces with plastic wrap while you work. When you are finished cover all the pieces and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Roll out each ball on a lightly floured surface using a thin rolling pin. Rotate the tortilla one quarter with each roll to keep the shape even. (This takes a lot of practice so do not be disheartened if your first attempts don't make perfect round tortillas). Keep rolling until the tortilla is about 12".

Warm a comal over medium heat. Place one tortilla at a time on the surface (ungreased) and cook for about 45 seconds to 1 minute until the surface beings to blister and lightly brown. Turn the tortilla over and cook the other side for an additional minute.

Wrap the tortillas in a clean dish towel to keep them warm as you heat the rest.

Additional Notes

about 3/4 cup very warm tap water
Recipes From GourmetSleuth.com - The Gourmet Food And Cooking Resource