I grew up eating only 100% whole wheat breads and pastries. And while I’ve switched to using really good white flour for most of my baked goods, there are some things I still enjoy with a little wheat flour in them. To me, the nutty flavor is good, so long as the texture compares to the white version. This homemade tortilla recipe is one that is amazing with whole wheat, white flour, or a combination of the two!
Secrets to a Great Homemade Flour Tortilla
Number one is flour. If you’re buying aged flour off the shelf at your local supermarket it is probably already stale and possibly rancid. This makes for a bitter taste that may be covered in sweet baked goods, or yeasty bread, but is very noticeable in simple breads like tortillas. So you want to start with a good fresh flour. If you have a mill and you can grind your own whole wheat flour you’ll be set. If you don’t, I recommend a high-quality flour like Wheat Montana which comes in good heavy plastic bags vs brown paper and stays fresh longer. For my tortillas, I use their white flour, or their prairie gold wheat flour (it’s less dense than hard or red wheat) and have had very good results.
The second secret is vinegar and time which softens the wheat. This is essential if you’re using whole wheat flour, but it also makes a noticeable difference for white flour tortillas. It’s just a half tablespoon of vinegar and 10 minutes of rest time for the dough but it’s worth it! It will make your dough soft and pliable and your tortillas will have just a tiny bit of chewiness to them.
How to Roll Out Flour Tortillas
A lot of people flour their surface and roll out their tortillas. I can never seem to get mine thin enough this way and the tortillas end up kind of dry. So I like to place a drop of oil on the counter, or spritz the surface with a spray can of oil (very quick, not too much oil!) and dip my ball of dough in the oil, turn it over and roll it out. The oil keeps the dough from sticking to the counter or your rolling pin and it allows the dough to stretch nice and thin. It also pre-greases the tortilla so you won’t need to oil your pan at all when you cook your tortillas!
Getting your tortillas to be somewhat round takes practice. Just remind yourself that no matter their shape, they will be delicious. If you can fill them with meat, veggies, and condiments for a great fajita, you’ve won, whether or not they’re symmetrical.
Note: You can buy tortilla presses, but these are designed for corn tortillas and don’t seem to work well for flour tortillas. They’re either too small or don’t get the dough thin enough. I’ve tried a few, but rolling them out by hand really does work best.
Cooking Tortillas at Home
You can use just about any skillet to cook a tortilla, but I love my cast iron pans the best. They transfer heat evenly so that the tortillas cook evenly and don’t end up crunchy near the flame or heat element before they’re cooked on the edges. I have also used my favorite non-stick ceramic pans with good results.
You’ll want to gently transfer your roll-ed out tortilla from the countertop to the pan and let cook on medium low for 30-45 seconds. You should start to see some bubbles appearing and parts of the tortilla may change from glossy to a little bit matte looking. You can use your spatula to check the underside and see if little golden spots are appearing. If you cook too long your tortilla will end up crunchy, like a torta shell. If this happens, save for some dip or a taco salad. 🙂 When you think the tortilla is ready to flip, turn it and cook for a few seconds on the other side.
Easy Flour Tortilla Recipe
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 cast iron or non-stick skillet
- 1 bowl
- 1 wooden spoon
- 2 cups flour (whole wheat or white)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
- Mix dry ingredients together.
- Make a depression in the middle of the dry incredients and add water, vinegar and oil. Mix well. Dough may be flaky and not entirely combined. Dump onto countertop and knead about 10 times, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky.
- Let set for 10-15 minutes.
- Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each into a ball.
- Lightly oil your countertop. Dip dough ball in oil, turn and roll out till tortilla is thin and roundish.
- Cook till tortilla has a few light gold spots on each side.Serve warm.