Homemade Tortillas

Though it may seem surprising, homemade flour tortillas are extremely easy to make at home. And they can be ready in under an hour! You'll need: flour, salt, baking powder, cold lard (or cold bacon fat or shortening), and water. That's it! Lard is one of the most common cooking fats found throughout Mexico and provides flour tortillas with their airy, rich flavor and texture. After mixing everything together, you'll need to let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Then it's time to roll out the tortillas and cook them in a pan. You'll know they're ready to flip once the dough bubbles and becomes golden. 

Instead of rolling out the tortillas you could use a tortilla press. They're amazing, simple tools that ensure totally flat tortillas that all come out looking the same. However if you don't have enough room in your kitchen for another appliance, using a rolling pin is just as good!

The trick to getting fluffy flour tortillas that puff up while cooking is using a heavy bottomed cooking surface that heats and cooks evenly. Cast iron is great for this but if you find it heats a little unevenly on your burner you can preheat the cast iron in a 400ºF oven for 10 minutes before. This will ensure the pan is evenly and fully heated, and lead to picture perfect tortillas.

Fill your fresh and warm tortillas with your favorite taco fillings, like cilantro-lime shrimp, crack chicken, and most definitely al pastor. Or if you're like us, just eat them plain with a bit of salt!

Have you made this recipe? Rate it and let us know how you liked it in the comments below.

Editor's Note: The introduction to this recipe was updated on March 29, 2021 to include more information about the dish.

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Yields: 8
Prep Time: 0 hours 5 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 45 mins
2 c.

all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

1 tsp.

kosher salt

1/2 tsp.

baking powder

1/4 c.

cold lard, rendered bacon fat or vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces

2/3 c.

warm water

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking powder. Using fingertips, rub lard into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Gently stir warm water into flour mixture until shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each portion into a ball. Cover balls with plastic and let rest 20 minutes.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. On a floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll one ball into a 9" round. Transfer round to preheated skillet and cook until dough bubbles and develops golden spots on the bottom, about 40 seconds. Flip tortilla and cook until second side develops golden spots. Transfer to a plate and cover with a clean dish towel to keep warm. Repeat with remaining dough.

Parker Feierbach
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